Biological field stations and marine laboratories (FSMLs) serve as places to study the natural environment in a variety of ways, from the level of the molecule to the globe. Undergraduate opportunities at FSMLs reflect the diversity of study options—formal courses, research and service internships, and field-trip experiences—and students are responding to those opportunities: More than half of the FSMLs that responded to an informal survey indicated an increase in their undergraduate enrollment in the past 10 years. Many programs are residential in nature, which facilitates the development of a community of scholars in which undergraduates can interact not just with their peers but also with graduate students, research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, and resident and visiting faculty. With respect to undergraduates, challenges for FSMLs include maintaining relevance in curricular offerings, attracting rigorous and well-trained instructors, providing adequate numbers of mentors for research experiences, and providing funding to assist undergraduates who want to study at a FSML.
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Vol. 59 • No. 8