bigelow-other-research-sonia-01Ten-week summer internships at Bigelow Laboratory offer students pursuing degrees in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering opportunities to conduct research on the coast of Maine. Accepted students spend the summer conducting independent research under the guidance of a scientist mentor.

Directed by Senior Research Scientist David Fields, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) internships at Bigelow give students opportunities to drill down into intensive, laboratory-based research featuring hands-on, state-of-the-art methods and technologies.

Each REU student is paired with a Bigelow scientist who shares a mutual research interest. Typically from June through August students work with their mentors to identify a research question, develop a proposal, conduct their research, and prepare an abstract and poster. At the end of the program, students present findings at a student symposium.

Research areas vary year to year but can include marine microbiology, ocean biogeochemistry, optical oceanography, remote sensing, bioinformatics, sensory biology, and phytoplankton ecology.

Students are immersed in the Bigelow community and participate in seminars, field trips, laboratory outreach programs, social events, and more. REU participants are housed in the McKee House, adjacent to the lab, and receive a stipend, food allowance, and funding to cover travel to and from Bigelow’s campus. Some REUs are funded by the National Science Foundation.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2015.
For more information and to apply, visit

Recent Areas of Focus for Colby Summer Interns

  • Bacterial genomes from deep-sea vents
  • Chemical environment of iron seeps
  • Effects of ocean acidification on marine bacteria
  • Computer programming
  • Science communications

soniaSonia Vargas ’15

Majors: Biology; Science, Technology, and Society
Selma, California | Fowler High School
Science Communications Intern

“More often than not, scientists are being asked to share their work and research with a broader audience than those who have the same specialized field of study. I had a great experience learning about how Bigelow Laboratory shares its research and mission with the general public and about the interactions between communications professionals and scientists.”