Marine Biology and Environmental Science Research Immersion Program – ONLINE (part of UCSD Extension Futures Program)

Online 10-week program: March 30th – June 3rd, 2021

Exposure to chemically complex, polluted sediments and water during early development can be lethal to a variety of species. Contaminated sediments accumulate in food webs or directly affect heath of marine life. In this course, students will utilize California Purple Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryo and larval development to conduct toxicity testing in the sediments collected from the Tijuana River Estuary and preform ecological risk assessment.

Besides learning how to maintain and culture animals in the lab and perform fertilization tests utilizing microscopy to assess embryo morphology, students will (virtually) tour the estuary, collect sediment and water samples. They will learn to deploy passive sampling devices (PSDs) and perform toxicity testing on developing urchin embryos.

Upon collecting data and performing statistical analysis, students will correlate phenotypic changes observed among developing embryo populations with estuarine sediment, water and PSD chemistry data. Students will showcase their work and share their research with fellow scientists, academic, government officials and life-science industry leaders during a formal seminar symposium at the conclusion of the course.

Course Delivery: Live Online

Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th–12th grade

Academic Schedule: 

  • 10-week program, March 30th – June 3rd, 2021
  • Tues and Thurs 3:30-4:50 pm PST
  • Synchronous online teaching a week
  • 4 hours of work required outside of online lecture/lab a week

Scholarship Opportunities: Limited number available

To be notified of summer session programming: email

The Boz research immersion program will be online for the foreseeable future.  Our scientists are looking forward to getting students back in the lab, but for now our top priority is safety.