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The CELP Scholar Program - Community, Equity, Learning, Persistence

The Aquarium’s CELP Scholar Program seeks to broaden participation in marine sciences, help more students find their own community in STEM, and support students’ persistence in the field.

kelp blade

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific / Andrew Reitsma

2025 Applications Coming Fall 2024

Informed by the successes and alumni of the African American Scholar Program.
Focusing on a regional effort of recruitment.
Prioritizing community college and undergraduate applicants.
Providing financial investment, engagement, networking, and membership in a growing community.

Addressing the complex environmental challenges facing our planet requires participation from a wide range of lived experiences. The Aquarium’s CELP Scholar Program seeks to broaden participation in marine sciences, help more students find their own community in STEM, and support students’ persistence in the field.

Eligible students are:

  • Enrolled in a community college, undergraduate, masters or PhD program in Southern California
  • Studying any STEM field related to ocean and coastal environments, marine conservation, or informal science education. Majors may include life science, biology, marine science, oceanography, environmental science, and others.
  • Able to complete a W9 or W8 to the Aquarium for award processing.

All members of our community are invited to apply. The Aquarium believes everyone is welcome in the work we do. Applicants of any race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status are welcome.

Students who identify as a member of groups who haven’t seen themselves well represented in STEM and marine science, or who find themselves not feeling they fit in STEM, are strongly encouraged to apply. Similarly, students who have experienced and worked to overcome educational or economic disadvantage and/or have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their continued progress in science careers are also encouraged to apply.

The goal of the Aquarium’s CELP Scholar Program is to provide support networks, access to Aquarium programs and staff members, professional development, and financial support to help emerging scholars explore their future place in STEM.

CELP Scholars will receive:

  • Curated introductions to Aquarium staff and professional networking opportunities.
  • Engagement with Aquarium programs to explore interests and career paths.
  • “CELP Board” - A quarterly e-newsletter including job postings, internships, scholar updates, and invitations to Aquarium events.
  • Scheduled professional development webinars available for live participation and recorded for on-demand viewing.
  • An invitation to various CELP Scholar community building events. 
  • A financial award of $10,000.

CELP Scholars commit to the following in their first year:

  • Participate in quarterly virtual check-in meetings.
  • Identify and engage in an Aquarium initiative of interest to their individual professional development needs or career goals.
  • Present a 5-minute “Lightning Talk” during the Scholar Symposium at the Aquarium.
  • Attend at least one additional in-person event.

If you have questions regarding the application or eligibility requirements, please email CELPScholars@LBAOP.ORG.

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