Bigelow Labs

Changing Oceans Semester Program

Colby’s partnership with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, includes a semester-in-residence program for students interested in gaining a sophisticated understanding of oceanography and hands-on research experience through immersion in a professional laboratory environment. Students engage in significant oceanographic and climate-change research, working alongside Bigelow’s senior research scientists who study three core areas: marine microbiology and blue biotechnology, ocean biogeochemistry and climate change, and ocean health and marine ecosystem function. Located on the Gulf of Maine—an ecosystem highly susceptible to climate change—Bigelow provides the perfect location for research of this kind.

The Changing Oceans program is intellectually intense, truly immersive, and life changing for Colby-Bigelow students. A highly individualized mentorship experience that provides broad training as a research scientist, the program gives a unique advantage to any student interested in pursuing graduate work in marine, environmental, and biological sciences at the nation’s top universities.

Program at a Glance

  • Small program with 3:1 Ph.D.-to-student ratio
  • 16 academic credits, Colby College transcript
  • Four laboratory courses in ocean science
  • Six one-day oceanographic cruises with scientists on the Gulf of Maine
  • Intensive independent research under the mentorship of a Bigelow Laboratory senior research scientist
  • 14-week program during fall semester
  • Development of research skills through extensive lab and field components
  • Bigelow-owned housing in East Boothbay, Maine
  • Participation does not preclude study abroad for Colby students 

Jan Plan at Bigelow

Each year, Bigelow research scientists teach Jan Plan courses on Colby’s campus. These intensive, month-long courses cover topics relating to oceanography and climate change and include field trips to or extended time at Bigelow Lab to give students a taste of field and laboratory research.