Prospective Volunteers

The Smith Lab members would not be able to complete their work without the help of a wonderful and dynamic volunteer team. If you are interested in volunteering with the Smith Lab, please fill out the Smith Lab Volunteer Application.

If you have any questions, please contact the Smith Lab Manager at

We have a very long waitlist for volunteer positions. Please be patient with us, as we may only reply to inquiries and applications when there is an opening available. Thank you for your understanding!

Prospective Graduate Students

The Smith Lab is a marine ecology-focused lab located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). Choosing the right graduate program is a difficult and lengthy process, but it is essential that you find the right fit. Our PhD students study a wide variety of topics which include ocean acidification, the causes of reef degradation, overfishing, and other anthropogenic and or climate effects on marine ecosystems. They spend a lot of time writing grants to support their research and many have published papers in various prestigious scientific journals. They collect data for their individual projects at locations including San Diego, Hawaii, Brazil, Moorea, and the Line Islands.

Here is a list of relevant experience and prerequisites that are considered for the Smith Lab:

  • SCUBA certification & Scientific Diving certification from AAUS 
  • Relevant field experience in Marine Ecology: internships, studying abroad, etc.
  • Training and/or familiarity with statistics, marine biology, marine ecology, marine biodiversity, phycology, experimental methods, zoology, botany, oceanography, conservation, etc.

Students are also strongly encouraged to apply for grants and other fellowships to help support their research prior to applying for the graduate program through SIO. There are many scholarships, grants, and fellowships available for graduate students, some of which include:

  1. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP)
  2. The Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

If you are interested in applying to be a part of the Smith Lab, you can contact Dr. Jennifer Smith at Please include a CV and a detailed summary of your research interests.