The Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) is internationally recognized for excellence in undergraduate training in marine science. At our facility on Appledore Island in the Gulf of Maine, we offer college-credit courses, research experiences for undergraduates, and individualized research opportunities for students from Cornell, the University of New Hampshire, and many other colleges and universities. We also offer a research venue for Cornell faculty, and are especially proud of our Appledore Postdoctoral Fellowship program. Current Appledore Fellow Julie Ellis studies the biology of two species of gulls that nest on Appledore Island and works to involve students and citizens in her research.
Bemis, Willy Professor and John M. Kingsbury Director of Shoals Marine Laboratory
issue being addressed
SML serves undergraduate marine science education at Cornell, the University of New Hampshire, and other institutions. I arrived in 2005 to serve as director of SML. My first goal for the next 12 months is to increase SML`s capacity to serve Cornell undergraduates, particularly our entering freshmen in the life sciences. My plan is to develop a new one-month course to serve our top students in biology. I expect to be able to accept 20 students for a one-month version of the course to be offered for the first time in July 2007. My current plan is to accept only students who have scored a five on their AP biology exam and to offer them a broad sample of the very best of the new life sciences at Cornell. The one-month course will have four one-week modules, each taught by a team of two Cornell faculty; I will provide course coordination and direction. Four example modules are Genomics, Neurobiology, Development, and Evolutionary Ecology; each will have a "marine" flavor but will be suitable for students with any range of interests in NLS.
Since tuition and fees had not been raised since 2001, my first response in November 2005 was to increase tuition and fees for our credit courses as much as 40 percent in order to bring revenues closer to expenses. I had many discussions on the main campus in order to understand others' perspectives on SML and its place in the larger context of Cornell. My second response was to plan for logical growth as a way for SML to escape chronic programmatic and financial limitations. Creek Farm Cottage, which offers a new programming venue on the mainland near our facilities on Appledore Island, is my main strategy for this and I am planning new programs to be offered there in the summer of 2007. Finally, I am reaching out to Cornell faculty and students to grow awareness of SML and the many opportunities it provides.
SML offers Cornell`s only regular field training in marine science, and as such it is critical to the environmental, atmospheric, and earth sciences as disciplines. Its impact can be greatly increased by strengthening and diversifying its offerings, reexamining and revising the existing curriculum, and involving more Cornell students and faculty. These are my objectives, and as I deliver them, I expect the impact of SML to increase.