The Center for Diverse Leadership in Science-Ocean Science Learning Ecosystem (CDLS Oceans) is a program that aims to recruit and retain undergraduates from historically marginalized communities in STEM fields. It provides financial support and mentorship for diverse cohorts of students.
This funding will support cohorts of early career fellows from two CDlS partner institutions: University of California, Los Angeles and East Los Angeles College. The fellows will receive training and mentorship from graduate students with similar identities, as well as participate in paid field and laboratory-based research projects. They will also have the opportunity to present their work at a student symposium.
Research projects will focus on evaluating the biodiversity and biogeochemistry of ecosystems around Santa Monica Bay. These ecosystems include kelp forests, seagrass meadows, rhodolith beds and rocky reefs. The methodology will involve sampling seawater from a research vessel and processing environmental DNA samples. The research will contribute to multi-year records of biodiversity at sites around the bay.
The project will contribute to ongoing eDNA metabarcoding work while providing research, mentorship and networking opportunities to undergraduate students from historically-excluded communities.