Adina Paytan ~ Multi-Scale Mentor

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Mentoring for Good Research

Dr. Paytan has developed a High School Internship program, Youth and the Ocean: Teaming High School and Graduate Students together for Coastal Investigations. Funded under the GeoEd program in NSF, high school students from the San Francisco Bay Area work on intertidal monitoring research through NOAA’s LIMPETS program.

Simultaneously, Adina recruits grad students and trains them to be mentors to the high school students, using portions of the COSEE CA course Communicating Ocean Sciences. The grad students work with the high school students to develop good research questions, which the high school students then work on during the week-long on-campus science camp. In addition other high school students participate in a summer-long internship at UCSC coordinated by Adina, spending 8-10 weeks (15-30 hours each week) working in different labs.

Every summer Adina brings these high school students to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). They talk to scientists and tour the facilities and interact with summer grad and undergrads that come to MBARI for the summer, getting a first-hand idea of how a non-university research facility operates.

"One of the goals for MBARI is to get the datasets that we have gathered online into the classrooms," says George Matsumoto, senior education and research specialist at MBARI. "Video, seismic and physiochemical data and data from ocean observatories is put online, and then we work with teachers to create activities." Adina uses this data in an undergrad non-major class, The Ocean Around Us.

Adina developed the high school internship program at Stanford, where it is still being offered today as the Earth Sciences High School Internship Program, bringing between 15 and 30 high school students to the Stanford campus each summer, where they are mentored by graduate and undergraduate students. Now it is offered also at UCSC and draws students from throughout the Bay area.