Details regarding the MS Marine Biology Research Project broadly fall into three categories:
Timing: In the first few years of this program the majority of students conducted research in either the winter or spring portion of the program, with several of these projects resulting in publications (Heinlein, et al., 2010; Matassa, 2010; Shantz, et al., 2011; Green, 2012). However, over time students found they could produce a more comprehensive and publishable product by conducting their research project in conjunction with their internship. The majority of our students now complete their research project during their internship, although this is not an absolute requirement.
Research Scope: When conducting a research project in conjunction with their internship advisor, students may work solely on their research project, or they may also assist with other activities associated with their internship. This is determined on a case-by-case basis between the student and their advisor. Student research may be independent or directed, with the understanding that students are ultimately responsible for presenting the research talk and submitting the research paper described above.
Funding: The MS Marine Biology program can provide up to $650 in funding to students during their internship. This can be used for supplies, travel, or presentation of their research at a scientific meeting (e.g. Benthic Ecology meetings the following spring).
Deliverable: Oral presentation: Students return to the Marine Science Center in Nahant to present a 15 minute seminar: 12 minutes in length, followed by 3 minutes of questions. This typically occurs on the first Friday in December.
Deliverable: Research paper: Students submit a 10-20 page (text) research paper that includes the classic components of a research article, including: an abstract, an introduction with an extensive review of the literature, materials and methods, results (with statistical analysis), a fully developed discussion, and literature cited. The typically submission date is the Monday after the oral presentation.