Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has selected the sixteen Maine high school juniors who will be the Laboratory’s 2009 Keller BLOOM Program class. Participants represent nearly every county in the state.
WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME – Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has selected the sixteen Maine high school juniors who will be the Laboratory’s 2009 Keller BLOOM Program class. Participants represent nearly every county in the state. The Laboratory’s selection committee considered applicants’ transcripts, teacher recommendations, and the application essay, which asked the thought-provoking question “What marine invertebrate do you want to be and why?” According to BLOOM Program Director Dr. Nicole Poulton, the essay and demonstrating a “passion for marine science” were the most important criteria in selecting this year’s participants.
Members of the 2009 Keller BLOOM program, which will run from May 17 through 21, are: Emily Bell-Hoerth, Sagadahoc County; Douglas Blasius, Lincoln County; Natasha Boada, Washington County; Amanda Bouchard, Kennebec County; Steven Chesley, Cumberland County; Kayla Cobb, Cumberland County; Dakota Cunningham, Hancock County; Magnolia Dixon, Franklin County; Arthur Govoni, Waldo County; Meghan Harbourne, Sagadahoc County; Hayli Kinney, Knox County; Jordan Leathers, Somerset County; Justin Lewin, Aroostook County; Jenn Stauffer, Waldo County; Katrina Ternus, York County; and Courtney Withee, Piscataquis County.
Bigelow Trustee Emeritus James McLaughlin and the late Dr. Maureen Keller began the BLOOM (Bigelow Laboratory Orders Of Magnitude) Program as a way to provide young people with opportunities that foster scientific literacy and creativity. The program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this spring, is an intensive, in-residence week of ocean science activities that are typical of the work and research scope -- from microscopic organisms to global systems -- underway at the Laboratory. Scientists in the program convey that the ocean environment is an expanding and exciting field of study, and encourage young people to consider science as a career path.
Bigelow Laboratory Executive Director Dr. Graham Shimmield sees the program as an integral component of the Laboratory’s focus on ocean science education.
“The program is designed to show students how to approach problems in a scientific context. It provides role models for careers and demonstrates that the study of the ocean is critical to our planet’s future health,” Shimmield said. “As citizens or future policy makers, BLOOM graduates will experience how scientific research about our world is fundamental to human progress.”
“Whether or not these students ultimately choose a scientific career,” added Poulton, “they gain a richer understanding of their environment, and are urged to have an inquisitive mind and strive to be responsible stewards of the Earth.”
The 2009 Keller BLOOM Program is underwritten by donations from The First bank, the Fisher Charitable Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Morrell, Downeast Energy and Building Supply, Drs. Charles and Clarice Yentsch, and friends of the Laboratory. Bigelow provides its facilities and expertise for this program in order to promote marine science careers for young people and to enhance the science curricula in Maine schools.
Established in 1974, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is a center for global ocean research. An independent, nonprofit research institution, the Laboratory is supported by federal research grants and private funds. The laboratory’s research focus ranges from microbial oceanography -- examining biological productivity in the world’s oceans at the molecular level -- to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive interactions between ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions. These programs have taken Bigelow scientists around the world to every ocean and the polar seas.
Photo: An all-day research cruise is a standard part of the Keller BLOOM curriculum. Photo by Bruce Wood.