Gift Sends Students Seaward

Amanda Garris Ph.D. ’04

Star Fish
Photo: Drew Harvell

A new travel fund is giving Cornell students the opportunity to dive into marine research at the Friday Harbor Marine Laboratory on San Juan Island, Wash. The Lynch Ocean Biodiversity Travel Fund, established by longtime Cornell friend, adviser and Foremost Benefactor Susan Eckert Lynch, is sponsoring the unique ten-week apprenticeships for three years, beginning in March 2015.

“Research-intensive field work provides students with a life-changing experience that cannot be replicated in even the best university laboratory,” said Drew Harvell, the program leader and a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “This type of field research experience is a stepping stone to real-world jobs and access to top graduate programs.”

Up to six students each year will focus on marine health issues that affect the biodiversity of the Pacific Ocean’s invertebrates, which face disease outbreaks, warming temperatures and ocean acidification. In addition to their individual research projects, students will also participate in ongoing studies of the area’s many habitats, from the plankton-rich surface to the rocky and sandy shores.