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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Inside the Scripps Institution of Oceanography SURF program

The San Diego program has been around for 10 years and continues to thrive.

SAN DIEGO — The Scripps Undergraduate Research Fellowship is celebrating its 10th year of success, but with the pandemic, there were concerns it might not go as planned this year. However, it continues to thrive. 

"The program exists to recruit and retain diverse and talented students in our field, geosciences," said Jane Teranes, the program's director.

Teranes has been with SURF since the beginning.  

"We're taking students that are undergraduates and we're exposing them to exciting research topics in earth atmospheric and ocean sciences," said Teranes.

SURF provides travel, housing and a $6,000 stipend so students can focus during the ten weeks of the program.  

"Those aspects of the program make it more accessible for students like me from lower-income backgrounds," said Nyazia Bey.

Bey is from the University of Pennsylvania where geosciences is not a focus. 

"Being around so many scientists, I'm excited about pursuing the field," said Bey. 

SURF also teaches the skills needed to further their education, which is what Ivan Moreno is doing. Moreno attended in 2017.  

"It gave me the confidence to pursue more research in that field and the tools and knowledge needed to apply, know what I was doing when application time came for grad school," said Moreno. 

Now Moreno is a grad student working on his Ph.D. 

"After coming here, I realized how many different aspects of marine biology or oceanography there are," said Moreno.  "I realized how many doors had opened and I could ask a professor if I could do research with them in the future."

Moreno is part of that continuing success of SURF and 10 years later, Jane Teranes reflected back. 

"It's good to look back and see how our original goal of increasing diversity at a national level is playing out," said Teranes.

If you're hearing about SURF for the 1st time and you would like to apply or know someone that would, Scripps is always looking for bright inquisitive minds.

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