This REU Site award to California State University San Marcos, located in San Marcos, CA, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2019-2021. This intensive research program will focus on the unifying theme of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Beyond: From Beetles to Beer. Students will select a mentor from a diverse team of scientists who use genomic, transcriptomic, metagenomic, and epigenomic methods to address fundamental biological questions, including biological control, yeast biology in beer flavoring, soil microbiomes in agriculture, amphibian ranavirus pathogenesis, and biomineralization in invasive coccolithophores. The residential program will foster a community of scholars who will transition from being students to researchers, and from learning to discovery. Weekly enrichment activities are embedded in the program with seminars, bioinformatics workshops, and field trips, to highlight the breadth of NGS applications. In addition to graduate school and career workshops, a culminating Poster Showcase is planned to celebrate research accomplishments of participants and encourage future presentations at regional and national meetings.<br/> <br/>It is anticipated that a total of 30 students, primarily from schools with limited research opportunities, will be trained in the program in conducting and presenting independent research. With a strong commitment to supporting underrepresented groups, including veterans, and first-generation college students, the CSUSM NSF REU program will contribute to building a diverse and talented population of next generation scientists. We hope to host a strong cohort of biologists that will be well poised to apply to competitive doctoral/Masters programs.<br/> <br/>A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU Site programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure, and a tri-weekly assessment of applying knowledge to research will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine their career paths. Students will be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information about the program is available by visiting https://www.csusm.edu/bioreu/index.html, or by contacting the PI (Dr. Betsy Read at firstname.lastname@example.org) or the co-PI (Dr. Arun Sethuraman at email@example.com).<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.