Biological Opportunities And Training in Sciences

Eligibility How to Apply DISL Faculty Mentors

two students use quadrant in the field

Program Information

Biological Opportunities And Training in Sciences (BOATS) is an NSF-funded RaMP (Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates) program at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab that provides participants with transformative professional development and research training to further their career path.

Important Dates and Info:

Application Window: April 1, 2024 - August 1, 2024
Program Start Date: January 6, 2025
Program End Date: December 19, 2025

students help to tag a shark

Applicants admitted to the program will receive:

  • 1-year of full support ($40k stipend, funds for research, and on-site housing)
  • Access to a supportive professional network of mentors and peers
  • Immersive research and professional development activities to prepare for graduate school or career-establishing opportunities.


Applications for this program are open to recently graduated baccalaureate students who have received their degree within the past 2.5 years.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and Post-baccalaureates from traditionally underrepresented minority or socioeconomic groups that have had limited, or no research experience are particularly encouraged to apply.

Postbaccalaureate applicants must have received a degree in either Science, Mathematics, Engineering, or any related field with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

How to Apply

Opens April 1, 2024.

Click here to start your application.

Applicants should provide:

  • a personal statement- includes a brief description of yourself and background along with:
    • Background and personal interests with respect to the program
    • Your intended area of specialization, career objectives, and research interests.
  • CV/Resume
  • Transcript
  • Three (3) references

students learn to use a remotely operated vehicle

What to expect

Applicants who are selected for this post-bac program will:

  • Develop and conduct a year-long research project at DISL within a faculty members lab (with potential for experiences at partnering universities and institutions)
  • Experience innovative science that focuses on Oceanography, Marine Geology, Marine Ecology, and other related fields.
  • Participate in expert led workshops, seminars, and networking events that aim to enhance the professional skills needed to thrive in graduate school or STEM careers
  • Have an opportunity to publish their findings in scientific journals
  • Be part of a supportive and collaborative team of mentors and peers
  • Professional Ecologist Certification from the Ecological Society of America (optional)

DISL Faculty Mentors

Dr. Lee Smee - Marine Ecology/Restoration/Chemical Ecology
Dr. Brandi Kiel Reese - Microbial Ecology/Molecular Biology
Dr. Elica Moss - Microbial Ecology/Human Health
Dr. Andrea Tarneki - Microbial Ecology/Seafood Safety
Dr. Kenneth Hoadley - Coral Reef Ecology/Evolutionary Biology
Dr. Ben Titus - Evolutionary Biology
Dr. Charlie Martin - Fisheries/Marine Ecology
Dr. Steven Scyphers - Socioeconomic Policy/Fisheries
Dr. Jeffrey Krause - Biological Oceanography
Dr. Ronnie Baker - Fisheries/Restoration
Dr. Ruth Carmichael - Ecology of Marine Mammals
Dr. Kelly Dorgan - Marine Ecology/Physical Biological Coupling
Dr. Brian Dzwonkowski - Physical Oceanography
Dr. John Lehrter - Biological and Chemical Oceanography
Dr. Sean Powers - Fisheries
Dr. Benjamin Belgrad - Marine and Restoration Ecology
Dr. Jessica Lunt - Marine and Restoration Ecology
Dr. Alison Robertson - Chemical Ecology/HABs/Seafood Safety
Dr. Havalend Steinmuller - Wetland Ecology/Biogeochemistry

BOATS Program Coordinator:

Dajana Smiljanic -

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 2318922.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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