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College of Arts & Sciences


The Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University is excited to announce that we will run our Summer REU in 2024, the seventh summer of our exciting program!

The Department of Oceanography’s summer REU program will focus on "Observing the Ocean: hypoxia, harmful algae, contaminants, nutrients, and ocean modeling." Ten students will work closely with faculty and staff mentors in laboratories and on seagoing projects to acquire the analytical skills for multidisciplinary oceanographic research. They will have the opportunity to plan, participate in, and use the data from a 3-day REU research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the R/V Pelican to investigate our changing ocean. The program is rounded out by a weekly professional development workshop series that helps students navigate careers, apply to graduate school, and/or gain other professional skills necessary to help them meet their professional goals.

2024 Program important dates: May 27 - August 2

  • Arrival May 27: housing at off-campus apartments adjacent to campus
  • Week 1: Program begins May 28; initiate research projects in consultation with mentors
  • Week 3: 3-day research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Week 10: REU Student Research Symposium: Best presentation prize awarded ($2000 travel grant to a national conference)
  • Every Friday: REU group meetings to practice science communication and host professional development workshops

Students Will:

  • Work with faculty mentors to develop a research plan
  • Receive training on sensors, analyses, data management, cruise planning and operations, and science writing
  • Receive professional development training on reading the scientific literature, CVs/resumes, how to decide whether to apply to graduate school, searching for marine science careers, and more!
  • Meet weekly to present and discuss results of their projects
  • As a group, develop a research plan for a research cruise
  • At the end of summer, prepare a final report or poster, and make a presentation to the group
  • Compete for a Best Presentation travel award to a scientific conference!


To be eligible for this research opportunity you must be:

  • A US citizen, US national, or US permanent resident
  • Enrolled as an undergraduate in a degree program leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree; preference will be given to students with rising junior or sophomore status, but all eligible students are considered
  • Most accepted applicants will have a minimum grade point average of 2.75
  • Non-US students and graduating seniors are not eligible for this program


To apply, please fill out this application.

Please note, you will be able to re-enter the application only from the same IP address that you started your application (so do not use a public computer or VPN). This means that you should have your application materials together, including:

  • Basic application information on education and experience
  • Mentor ranking from this list of Mentors & Projects
  • A 500-word essay on why you are interested in this REU program including your research interests, any relevant research experience, and future career goals
  • Transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV; in PDF format)
  • The name and email address of 2 recommendation letter writers (you must have your letter writers email their recommendation letters to

Announcement of acceptances: in early March

Mentors & Research Interests

For more information, see Mentors & Projects page.

Dr. Ping Chang: Physical Oceanography (Climate dynamics, climate modeling and prediction, hurricanes)

Dr. Jessica Fitzsimmons (Program Director): Chemical Oceanography (trace metals, inorganic nutrient and contaminant cycling)

Dr. Darren Henrichs (Program Co-Director): Biological Oceanography (harmful algal blooms, remote sensing of phytoplankton, machine learning in biology, plankton swimming behavior)

Dr. Sarah Hu: Biological Oceanography (Microbial ecology of the oceans, single-celled eukaryotes (protist), diversity of microbial communities, food web ecology, computational biology)

Dr. Spencer Jones: Physical Oceanography (Ocean tracer transport, simulating the trajectories of surface floats, global overturning circulation)

Dr. Andrew Klein: Remote Sensing Geography (Geographic Information Science (GISci) in polar environments)

Dr. Franco Marcantonio: Geological Oceanography (Isotope geochemistry, geochemical proxies of past climate and climate change, environmental geochemistry)

Dr. Peter Morton: Chemical Oceanography (Trace metal nutrients, pollution, aerosols and marine particles)

Dr. Kathryn Shamberger: Chemical Oceanography (Ocean acidification, carbonate chemistry)

Dr. Marie Strader: Biological Oceanography (Marine invertebrates, genetic regulation of responses to environmental change)

Dr. Jason Sylvan: Biological Oceanography (Microbial ecology at and below the seafloor, including sediments, seafloor basalts and hydrothermal vents, deep-sea coral reef ecology)

Dr. Shuang Zhang: Geochemical Oceanography (Data science, global carbon/biogeochemical cycles, carbon dioxide removal, climate change mitigation)

Anonymous Feedback from Former REU Students

“I feel that I learned way more about research here than I did my past three 3 years of doing research at my home institution. This program has given me the practical experience in oceanography that I needed to guide my graduate school and professional goals.” – a 2018 REU alum

“I feel that I gained experience with data techniques I was unfamiliar with and gained many data analysis, display, and management techniques. I believe this program will be extremely beneficial for me to move forward and manage my own data and analyze it.” – a 2021 REU alum

"My expectation that faculty would collaborate and work together with students was exceeded. In addition, the field cruise was the most impactful part of the summer and gave connection to the data and investment in the research.” – a 2018 REU alum

“I learned a lot about oceanography, and I finished the program with a lot of things that I am proud of. I think this will be helpful when I apply to grad school and when I do more research in the future. I also met a great group of people interested in oceanography and a mentor who I can talk to about my future plans/research.” – a 2021 REU alum