Information session on student research opportunties -- Oct 21, 2021

1.     Biology Research Experience Short course (BIOL 209)
The Biology Research Experience Short Course will be held at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories (MDIBL) in Bar Harbor during the last week of winter break, Sunday to Friday, January 9-14, 2022.    
This hands-on week-long research experience will introduce students to the biology of stem cells and regeneration in planarian flatworms, animals renowned for their ability to regenerate any lost body part in just a little over a week. Key concepts and techniques in cellular and molecular biology will be introduced through lectures, discussions, and an original research project examining the function of novel genes in the regulation of stem cell division.
Laboratory activities will include:
·      Gene knockdown by RNA interference
·      Labeling of dividing stem cells by immunostaining
·      Light and fluorescence microscopy
·      Automated image analysis for stem cell quantification
The course is free and open to all SMCC students who will have completed at least one semester of introductory biology. 
It is a residential course.  You will be provided housing at MDIBL and food during the week.  Funding for this course is provided through an INBRE grant from the National Institute of Health.
No prior research experience is required.  
There is an application and a selection process.  The application is a the bottom on this page. Contact Elizabeth Ehrenfeld ( for more details.
2.     Teaching Experience Short Course
Have you ever thought about teaching science or math as a career?  Here's an opportunity to see if it is the right choice for you!
A Teaching Experience Short Course will be held at Saint Joseph's College in Standish during the last week of winter break, Sunday to Friday, January 9-14, 2022.
This week-long course will introduce students to a concept in math and physics before learning about the pedagogy of teaching a math concept to students at the secondary level.  Some time may also be spent observing at a local middle school to watch teachers as they teach similar lessons to their students.  College students working in small groups will create a lesson plan and teach their math/physics lesson to middle school students.  The last day of the course will be a time to reflect on what worked and did not work during their teaching experience.
The course is free and open to all SMCC students who are taking math or science classes.  There is a $200 stipend for attending all five days of the course.
This is a residential course.  Housing and food will be provided at Saint Joseph's College.  Funding for this course is provided through a grant from the National Science Foundation.
No prior teaching experience is required.  
There is an application and a selection process.  A link to the application can be found on this webpage.  Look for the phrase "Apply Now" under GFSTM Activities, Teaching Experience Short Course.
Contact Daniel Moore ( if you have any questions.
Watch for announcements in the spring!   There will be another Teaching Experience Short Course in May, shortly after spring semester ends.   The May Teaching Experience Short Course will teach concepts in chemistry or biology.
3.     On campus research opportunities
Two courses focus on an undergraduate research experience: BIOL 122 Genome Research, & BIOL 127 Viral Genomics
These 2-credit courses are a part of a national undergraduate effort to isolate new viruses that infect bacteria.  From seawater, you will isolate a virus that infects bacteria, and you will learn to culture the virus and characterize it.  When enough of your virus has been isolated and purified, the DNA will be sequenced.  In the second semester, you will annotate the viral genome using software to align DNA sequences, identify genes, and determine the likely function of many of the proteins coded for by these genes.  This research project is done in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance.  See this website for more information about the collaboration:
For more information, contact the instructor Brian Tarbox (
A state-wide collaboration to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to look at ecology.
Maine e-DNA is looking at Maine’s coastal ecosystems using environmental DNA (eDNA) This is a National Science Foundation funded Epscor grant that involves University of Maine Orono, University of Maine Machias, University of Southern Maine, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Maine Maritime Academy, Colby College, and Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
If you participate in this research effort, you are likely to interact with researchers from many of these places!
Monitoring eDNA is a cutting-edge emerging research technique. You will be trained and become involved in eDNA research.  Currently, efforts are underway to detect harmful algal blooms, white sharks, seals, and goose neck barnacles.  The barnacle project will assist Maine Sea Grant and the aquaculture industry in assessing new aquaculture products.
Does this sound interesting to you?   Contact Brian Tarbox ( for more information.
4.     Off-campus internships – during the school year or over the summer.
Contact Elizabeth Ehrenfeld ( for more information if you are interested in doing an internship.  There is a course in the Biotechnology program (BIOL 275) that will allow you to earn 2 college credits for doing an internship.
5.     Paid full-time summer fellowships in research laboratories in Maine and around New England.  
These summer fellowships will include a stipend (about $525 per week) for 8-10 weeks.
Locations where students have done fellowships in the past include Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI), University of New England, University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College, Bates College, University of Maine in Orono, Mt Desert Island Biological Labs (MDIBL), and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.  
These fellowships fulfill the Biotechnology Program Internship requirement.
Contact Elizabeth Ehrenfeld ( for more information.

Application for Biology Research Experience Short Course Jan 2022

Slides from Oct 21 Presentation on Research Opportunities for SMCC students

Here is a link to the slides with information about the short courses and career panel. Click on the phrase.

Link for Zoom recording of the Oct 21 informational session on Research Opportunites for SMCC Students