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Girls in Science


Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are excited to once again collaborate with Earthwatch Institute on the Girls in Science Fellowship, a competitive, week-long, fully funded, residential fellowship in Woods Hole for 20 young women from Massachusetts currently in their sophomore or junior year of high school.

Fellows are housed on the beautiful Sea Education Association campus during this week-long, summer fellowship, with easy access to the nearby WHOI facilities.  During their week, fellows work with WHOI Research Specialist Laela Sayigh, WHSG Education Specialist Grace Simpkins, Earthwatch Facilitators, and others to investigate marine mammal bioacoustics (sounds) while also meeting other female Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) professionals and learning from their collective expertise. The immersive experience includes building and testing their own underwater microphone (or hydrophone), analyzing data of dolphin vocalizations from the resident population in Sarasota Florida to aid in conservation efforts, and capturing the underwater sounds of whales and dolphins vocalizing during a whale watch expedition.  Earthwatch facilitators help the student fellows integrate arts and science to tell their "Story of Science."

"The (2021) fellows had a phenomenal week diving into the science of bioacoustics and meeting so many strong female role models in STEAM fields,” says Simpkins.  “It was truly amazing to see the growth in each fellow over the week and a joy to share the wealth of WHOI resources with each and every one of them."

Stay tuned for application and deadline details as they become available this winter.

Who is eligible?

Young women who are currently sophomores or juniors in a Massachusetts high school

When will it be held?

Two identical, week-long sessions will be offered in 2022 (dates TBD)

Fully-Funded Opportunity

This program is free to the fellow. All expenses are paid.

Diversity Statement

We are committed to assembling diverse groups of fellows. This fellowship encourages applicants from groups historically underrepresented in the ocean sciences – especially with respect to gender identity/expression, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

About the Program

Hear from the 2019 Fellows


Women in STEM moderated panel discussion

Recorded on Monday, August 24th, 2020, 6:30-8 pm
(View recording - with Spanish subtitles and English captions)


This webinar was designed with high school students in mind and was a collaboration between Woods Hole Sea Grant, Earthwatch Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Each speaker shared the journey they took to reach their current career as well as challenges and highlights along the way. The panel consisted of: 

Laela Sayigh, Marine Mammal Acoustic Research Specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  Laela's research focusses on the social behavior and communication of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). 


Kerry Strom, Marine Operations Coordinator at WHOI.  Kerry is the schedule planner for R/V Atlantis, Armstrong, HOV Alvin, ROV Jason & AUV Sentry and soon to be R/V Resolution.  Kerry is also WHOI’s US State Dept. liaison for marine scientific research applications.


Sarai Zelada, Urban and Regional Planning Master's Student at the University of Michigan and former Earthwatch Program Coordinator for the Girls in Science Program.  As an urban planner, Sarai focusses on how to use city planning as a tool for social change. 


Jennie Rheuban, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Research Specialist at WHOI.  Jennie focuses on the effects of climate change on coastal environments.  She is also the Research Coordinator at Woods Hole Sea Grant.


Amanda Dwyer, Knauss Fellow - NOAA Marine Debris Program. Amanda's graduate research focused on coral physiology in response to bleaching events. After graduating in December, she started a marine science policy fellowship to learn more about the interface between science and policy. 

Women in STEM Panel Discussion (summer 2020)



Grace Simpkins
Program Coordinator

With Support From

Sea Education Association

Giles W. and Elise G. Mead Foundation

Start up support from The Bill and Jane Jackson Foundation