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Girls in Science


Girls in Science Fellowship 2021

Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are excited to once again collaborate with Earthwatch Institute on the Girls in Science Program, a competitive, week-long, fully funded, fellowship in Woods Hole for 10 young women from Massachusetts currently in their sophomore or junior year of high school.

Previously, fellows were housed on the beautiful Sea Education Association campus with easy access to the nearby WHOI facilities.  During their week, fellows worked with WHOI Research Specialist Laela Sayigh, WHSG Education Specialist Grace Simpkins, and others to investigate marine mammal bioacoustics (sounds) while also meeting other female Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals and learning from their collective expertise. The immersive experience included building and testing their own underwater microphone (or hydrophone), analyzing data of dolphin vocalizations from Wellfleet to contribute to a study on whether a mass stranding predictive model can be developed, and capturing the underwater sounds of whales and dolphins vocalizing during a whale watching expedition.  During the evenings, Earthwatch facilitators helped the student fellows integrate arts and science to tell their "Story of Science."

"The (2019) fellows had a phenomenal week diving into the science of bioacoustics and meeting so many strong female role models in STEM fields,” says Simpkins.  “It was truly amazing to see the growth in each fellow over the week and a joy to share the wealth of WHOI resources with each and every one of them."

More information on the format of the 2021 program will be available in March.  Applications will become available on April 1st, 2021, and will be accepted until May 14th, 2021.




Program Documents



Climate Change - Rose Palermo, MIT-WHOI Joint Program

2019 Agenda

Women in STEM moderated panel discussion

Recorded on Monday, August 24th, 2020, 6:30-8 pm
(View recording - with Spanish subtitles and English captions)


This webinar was designed with high school students in mind and was a collaboration between Woods Hole Sea Grant, Earthwatch Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Each speaker shared the journey they took to reach their current career as well as challenges and highlights along the way. The panel consisted of: 

Laela Sayigh, Marine Mammal Acoustic Research Specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  Laela's research focusses on the social behavior and communication of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). 


Kerry Strom, Marine Operations Coordinator at WHOI.  Kerry is the schedule planner for R/V Atlantis, Armstrong, HOV Alvin, ROV Jason & AUV Sentry and soon to be R/V Resolution.  Kerry is also WHOI’s US State Dept. liaison for marine scientific research applications.


Sarai Zelada, Urban and Regional Planning Master's Student at the University of Michigan and former Earthwatch Program Coordinator for the Girls in Science Program.  As an urban planner, Sarai focusses on how to use city planning as a tool for social change. 


Jennie Rheuban, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Research Specialist at WHOI.  Jennie focuses on the effects of climate change on coastal environments.  She is also the Research Coordinator at Woods Hole Sea Grant.


Amanda Dwyer, Knauss Fellow - NOAA Marine Debris Program. Amanda's graduate research focused on coral physiology in response to bleaching events. After graduating in December, she started a marine science policy fellowship to learn more about the interface between science and policy. 


Grace Simpkins
Program Coordinator


About the Program

Hear from the Fellows

Women in STEM Panel Discussion (summer 2020)


With Support From

Sea Education Association

The Bill and Jane Jackson Foundation