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UMass Dartmouth Internship Program

We are offering a paid research opportunity for UMass Dartmouth students with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) January-April, 2023. Preference will be given to students who have not had an off-site research experience in the past. Students will participate in a short course in January and begin a research project to be co-advised by a WHOI scientist and UMass Dartmouth faculty member through the spring semester.

Interns will be on-site full-time at WHOI in Woods Hole, MA, January 3-13 and March 6-10, 2023. WHOI campus housing is provided at no charge. A stipend of $680/week and a meal allowance of $150/week are provided for the 3 weeks at WHOI. Stipend provided for UMassD on-campus research through the Undergraduate Research Incentive Program (URIP).

The research project will introduce interns to types of lab-based research career opportunities that exist locally, and it may serve as a stepping stone for them to consider graduate studies. Research project options for Winter/Spring 2023 are listed below.

The short course will be 2 hours/day, Tu-Fri, Jan 3-6 and Mon-Thurs, Jan 9-12, including lectures and hands-on activities related to WHOI research on Blue Economy topics such as ocean aquaculture, offshore wind energy, harmful algal blooms, engineering and sensor development, and degradation of organic pollutants. The course will be taught in the new Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Technologies (AVAST) facility.

The application for 2024 will open in Fall 2023.

1. On-line Application Form - includes contact and academic information, and short answer questions about your educational/career goals and research interests
2. Unofficial Transcript - email to
3. Resume (pdf or doc) - email to
4. One Reference is required from a professor/instructor who knows you in an academic capacity. A second reference is optional from a job supervisor, another instructor, or another supervisor.

If you have any questions about the program or the application, please contact


Below are the research project options for UMass Dartmouth interns for Winter/Spring 2023:

Using cloud computing and satellite observations to provide context to in situ oceanographic measurements

Tom Farrar (WHOI) and Amit Tandon (UMASSD)

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Example of high-resolution sea surface temperature off of the coast of California—this project would process 1000’s of these images to identify cloud free scenes that could provide context to in situ oceanographic measurements.

High resolution imagery of the ocean surface allows us to probe nature with many interesting questions. For this project, the student will use cloud computing tools to search very high-resolution satellite imagery (e.g., sea surface temperature) with observations from field experiments explore interesting scenarios during recent large field campaigns – such as SPURS1, SPURS2, S-MODE, ASIRI and MISOBOB.  We will create cloud computing environments on AWS and access and manipulate NASA Earth Science data in the cloud.

Desired skills:
Inquisitive about flows in nature related to weather and the ocean
An interest in gaining experience in Matlab, Python to probe nature.

For field experiment examples see:
SPURS 1 and 2:

Project mentors:

Tom Farrar, WHOI Physical Oceanography Department

Tandon Lab, UMass Dartmouth

Marine Foundation Species and Climate Change Solutions

Tom Bell (WHOI) and Steven Lohrenz (UMASSD)

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Giant kelp canopy showing fronds with varying physiological condition. Lighter colored senescent fronds contain less chlorophyll pigment and are generally older than darker frond with higher chlorophyll content. (Tom Bell, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Marine foundation species (e.g., kelp forests, coral reefs, seagrass meadows, saltmarshes) structure entire communities, which are often ecologically and economically important, by creating physical habitat and enhancing productivity. Fundamental and applied research that quantifies how a changing environment interacts with marine foundation species can lead to a greater understanding of ecology and promote beneficial human outcomes.

The Bell lab at WHOI (Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Dept.) focuses its research on macroalgal forests (kelp forests), salt marshes, and coral reefs and is motivated by understanding how the physical environment and intrinsic biotic factors drive the population and physiological dynamics of foundation species over local to global scales. Recently, there has been great interest in understanding how these systems can be leveraged to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester fixed carbon in the deep ocean.

The Lohrenz lab at UMass Dartmouth conducts research extending across various themes including climate change impacts on land-ocean interactions, phytoplankton ecology and physiology, and coastal water quality. Current work also includes applications of optics and remote sensing in the study of biological and biogeochemical patterns and processes in aquatic environments.

We are seeking a student interested in pursuing a research project focused on one of three areas:

  1. Investigate the optimal siting of large-scale kelp aquaculture to enhance atmospheric carbon dioxide removal and sequestration in the deep sea. This marine spatial planning project would involve maximizing kelp production, reducing distance to sequestration sites, and minimizing existing human conflicts.
  2. Understanding the response of giant kelp forests to marine heat waves by comparing the dynamics of kelp forest canopies measured by satellites ( to recent ocean warming events.
  3. Mapping the distribution and health of local salt marsh species using a variety of drone-based sensors and determining appropriate spectral classification methodologies.

Bell Lab Website

Lohrenz Lab Website