Mentored Undergraduate Research Program

What is the Mentored Undergraduate Research Program (CMIL MURP)?

The goal of the CMIL MURP is to provide community college students and SDSU undergraduates with an opportunity to gain research experience and see how a marine laboratory runs by working with graduate students at the CMIL.

Although many community college students are interested in pursuing STEM careers, they often have fewer opportunities to engage in research than their colleagues at 4-year universities. Marine science is a historically white field and the aim of the program is to also engage students from historically marginalized groups to help them increase their sense of belonging in STEM and marine sciences.

The interns work 8 hours per week for 10 weeks throughout the summer. With this schedule, students who have other jobs, classes, and family responsibilities can still participate.

Our program has been funded by grants from The Mesa College Foundation and California Sea Grant.



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History of the Program

The program was started in 2021 by PhD student Jessica Griffin in collaboration with Professor Paul Detwiler from San Diego Mesa College. After a successful first year, PhD student Lily McIntire joined the program’s leadership team and served as student co-director alongside Jessica. In 2023, Professors Hentschel, Miller, and Sbeglia joined the team and we grew the program to also include upperclassmen biology majors from SDSU to form a near peer mentoring relationship.

The students also have written blog posts at the end of the summer outlining their experiences: