Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


WATSON NELSON, Tenea M., Office of Multicultural Affairs, Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, 397 Panama Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-2210,

The School of Earth Sciences (SES) Office of Multicultural Affairs at Stanford University sponsors a yearly summer undergraduate research program. The Summer Undergraduate Research in Geoscience and Engineering (SURGE) program provides students with opportunities to work on strongly mentored yet individualized research projects. In addition to research, enrichment activities support the development of community within the summer undergraduate research cohort. The SURGE Program, now in its second year, draws high performing students, primarily rising juniors and seniors, from 14 colleges and universities nationwide, including Stanford. Seventy percent of SURGE students are from racial/ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in STEM, and approximately one-third are the first in their families to attend college.

For eight weeks, SURGE scholars conduct independent research with the guidance of faculty, research group mentors, and program assistants. The primary objectives of the SURGE program are to 1) provide undergraduates with a research experience in SES; 2) prepare undergraduates for the process of applying to graduate school; 3) introduce undergraduates to career opportunities in the geosciences and engineering; and 4) increase diversity in SES graduate programs. Independent research, network building, and intense mentoring culminate in a final oral and poster symposium. SURGE scholars participate in enrichment activities including faculty research seminars; career, graduate school, and software training workshops; GRE preparation classes; and geoscience-oriented field trips. Interaction among our students takes place through both research and enrichment activities, creating a critical mass of diverse undergraduate scholars and promoting community development. Pre- and post-program surveys indicate that the overall program goals are being achieved.

  • Nelson 216 GSA SURGE Presentation.pptx (12.6 MB)