Natural Sciences Students Sharing Laboratory Research Results As Part of Internships Across The Country

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

Next Friday, April 25, marks a day of science and discovery at Del Mar College. 

 The Natural Sciences Department will host guest speaker and leading authority on marine virology Dr. Curtis Suttle with the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. His lecture is part of the College’s annual Student Science Research Education Day.

The free lecture and learning event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Wolfe Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Center Music Building on the East Campus at Ayers and Kosar. The lecture and student presentations are open to the public. For more details, contact Stephanie Dovalina, DMC Project Director of National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education REVISION grant, at 361-698-1483 or

To access a printable flyer in PDF format, click here.

Dr. Suttle will provide a free lecture, “Viruses: the greatest biological diversity on Earth and drivers of global processes.” Formerly a professor at The University of Texas at Austin, he teaches courses in Biological Oceanography, Marine Microbiology and Environmental Virology at UBC and is a Senior Fellow with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research located at the university.

As a scientist, Dr. Suttle’s contributions cross over many fields, including biological oceanography, environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, virology and phycology. His active research program encompasses environmental microbiology and virology, but primarily focuses on viruses, their diversity and the roles that they play in the global system.

To view a video of an interview with Dr. Suttle, click on the screen below:


Students will become the educators and share their research results following Dr. Suttle’s lecture.

DMC’s Student Science Research Education Day will also highlight students who performed STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research as part of internships in laboratories across the country. Del Mar Natural Sciences students performed research work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service facility in Arizona, the National Natural Toxins Research Center in South Texas and campus biotechnology laboratory work for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Phage Hunters SEA (Science Education Alliance) program.

Last fall, Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education, announced Del Mar College’s Research Mentoring in the Biosciences program as a 2013 Example of Excelencia at the associate level. The program was among 22 national finalists that are included in the organization’s 2013 edition of “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education.” The program was selected from among 165 competitors from 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

Recognized as a Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution with 63.8% of students identified as members of ethnic or racial minority groups, Del Mar College has revised its science education with Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education initiatives, fostered by the National Science Foundation and American Association for the Advancement of Science, that incorporate concept-based curriculum using authentic research experiences, case studies and implementation of a mobile device platform that allows students to review preloaded podcasts of critical laboratory techniques.

The College’s curricular reform focuses on core concepts and student competencies rather than their memorizing extensive course content. Students also engage in embedded authentic research in their bioscience courses and as part of hands-on research though internship opportunities provided across the country.

To read a full news release about Excelencia in Education’s recognition of the College’s success in the sciences, click here.

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