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At the National level, STEP-UP is a biomedical science-focused research internship, empowering students with hands-on laboratory experience to further their education and career goals in STEM. However, within the Pacific region, our students additionally learn that great scientific achievement is not contained within a single discipline. Pacific STEP-UP students are exposed to the concept of One Health – the idea that the health of humans, animals, and the environment are interconnected – through both their summer research projects and a 3-part lecture series by University of Hawaii professors. One Health is a concept vital to life everywhere, but especially apparent in the Pacific islands, where isolated environments hang in delicate balance. Climate change and worsening storm patterns, sea level rise, ocean pollution, crop blights, invasive species and extinctions are only some of the challenges looming over Pacific island ecosystems and human health. Pacific STEP-UP students are immersed in the front lines of One Health research that directly impacts their communities and way of life, gaining vital skills, knowledge and perspective that they will carry throughout their careers to solve some of the most urgent scientific challenges of their time. 

A list of past student projects can be found here.

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