Student Forum

NOAA Office for Coastal Management is recruiting 2018 fellows

The NOAA Office for Coastal Management is recruiting candidates for the 2018 Coastal Management/Digital Coast Fellowship Program. This program's mission is to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management agencies and other key NOAA partners. The fellowship positions start in August 2018 and are available at the California Coastal Commission, the coastal programs in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and Washington; the Coastal States Organization in Washington, DC; the National Association of Counties in Washington, DC; and the National States Geographic Information Council, which will be hosted in Anchorage, Alaska.

For the 2018 fellowship, applicants must complete a master’s or other advanced degree at an accredited U.S. university between January 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018, to be eligible. A broad range of degrees are applicable to the fellowship because the projects are varied among the host organizations. This two-year opportunity offers a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement.

Application packages must be submitted to the Sea Grant office in the state where you received your degree by Friday, January 19, 2018.

Apply now for Maryland Sea Grant 2019 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

Maryland Sea Grant is officially announcing the 2019 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships. This is an opportunity for graduate students who have an interest in ocean and coastal resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources to work in executive or legislative branches of government. This is a one year, non-renewable appointment in Washington D.C. The National Sea Grant College Program awarded 57 Fellowships to highly qualified graduate students in 2018.

Any student, regardless of citizenship, who, in February 2018, is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate or professional program that has an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources is eligible to apply. The graduate degree needs to be awarded through a United States accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories (District of Columbia residents apply through Delaware Sea Grant and must first contact

Applications are due Feb. 28, 2018. Please note: Sea Grant will be requiring a draft application and an interview before the February 23 deadline to submit the complete application. This is to help both students and our program to better manage the Knauss Fellowship applications. If interested in applying, you are highly encouraged to contact Maryland Sea Grant at

Students gather support for Puerto Rico, Mexico

During the recent Marine-Estuarine Environmental Sciences Colloquium, two graduate students called on the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science community for support after two natural disasters devastated their communities. In eight days, they raised $3,455, surpassing their goal of $2,500.

Zoraida Perez Delgado of Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Ana Sosa of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, and Juan Alvarez of Horn Point Laboratory organized the fund.

During Colloquium, Perez Delgado spoke about the struggles that Puerto Ricans facing after Hurricane Maria engulfed the island as a Category 4 on Sept. 20, while Sosa spoke about the devastation left in Mexico in the wake of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on Sept. 19.

"My fellow students and I are very touched by all the support we have received following both disasters," Delgado said. "I would like to say thank you to all of those who have helped and donated to the GoFundMe account, and I ask that everyone continue to spread the message about what has happened in Puerto Rico and Mexico. It will take months, if not years, for our homes to get back to what they once were."

"Every single effort is greatly appreciated," Sosa said.

The money raised will be equally divided between Puerto Rico and Mexico, and will go to vetted programs whose purpose are to help with disaster relief in these areas.

Other ways to donate

For Puerto Rico:

For Mexico City:


3 questions for... Stephanie Siemek

Photo by Cheryl Nemazie
Graduate student evaluating natural protections for streams affected by runoff.
What do you study? My graduate research involves understanding the hydrology of the Ridge and Valley province, a part of the Appalachian Highlands that falls within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I am examining how effective riparian buffers—vegetated areas near streams that help shade and protect that stream—are in reducing nutrients in groundwater before being discharged into streams.
Why UMCES? I spent three months studying tortoises in the Mojave Desert as a field technician and became a certified Watershed Steward for Anne Arundel County through the Watershed Stewards Academy. While continuing to find ways to help improve the Bay in between work hours, I considered going back to school to obtain my Ph.D. in Environmental Science. After I was accepted into the Marine-Estuarine Environmental Sciences (MEES) program and found an adviser at the Appalachian Laboratory, I made the decision to commit to my graduate studies and pursue my passion in environmental research.
Share an experience that stands out most about your time with UMCES. During the 2015 MEES colloquium, NASA Astronaut Ricky Arnold gave a presentation about his experiences in space. He showed pictures of all the different planets and gave a brief description about each of them. The last planet he talked about was Earth. He showed the most amazing pictures of all the different locations around the world that were taken from space. He then noted that of all the different planets he has seen and learned about, he considered Earth the most amazing and worth protecting as there is no other planet like it.
Read Stephanie's full Q&A and find more interviews on our Student Stories page. 

Graduate Student Council Representatives

Appalachian Laboratory

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Horn Point Laboratory

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology

Where are they now?

Astronaut Ricky Arnold, Biotech start-up founder Ryan Powell, and Secretary of Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles Verónica Cáceres Chamorro are each leaving their mark on this world, but despite their different careers, they were all once graduate students at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Visit the Alumni Profiles page to learn more about these and other UMCES graduates.


2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting
Co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and The Oceanography Society, the conference will be held 11–16 February, in Portland, Oregon. The OSM is an important venue for scientific exchange across broad marine science disciplines. Sessions will include all aspects of oceanography, especially multidisciplinary topics, as well as presentations that reflect new and emerging research on the global ocean and society, including science education, outreach, and public policy.
2018 American Fisheries Society 148th Annual Meeting
Theme: "Communicating the Science of Fisheries to Diverse Audiences."  The meeting will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey from August 19-23, 2018. For more information, visit their website.
2018 255th American Chemical Society National Meeting
March 18 - 22, 2018 | New Orleans, theme: "Nexus of Food, Energy & Water." ACS National Meeting website.
2017 Society of American Foresters National Convention
November 15-19, 2017. The Future of Forestry: Meeting Diverse Needs in a Changing World. We will explore how we can transform the way we approach forestry by integrating a social-ecological perspective to research, education, and management and by adapting forestry to a rapidly urbanizing, globalizing, and diversifying environment.
2018 American Society for Microbiology "Microbe 2018"
June 7–11 in Atlanta–connecting scientists with their science–showcases the best microbial sciences in the world, and provides a one-of-a-kind forum to explore the complete spectrum of microbiology from basic science to translation and application. Eight tracks allow you to narrow in on your scientific niche, and connect with the experts in your field. More information.

Scholarships and Assistantships

Robert M. Jenkins Memorial Reservoir Research Scholarship
The Reservoir Committee (RC), a technical committee of the Southern Division AFS, created the scholarship to provide financial assistance to graduate students conducting reservoir-related fisheries research in the southeastern United States who show exceptional progress in their research, education, and professional endeavors. Two $500 scholarships will be presented for 2018. For more information on this and other SD AFS scholarships, visit their website.

UMCP Teaching Assistantships
Applications for potential Spring 2018 UMCP Biological Sciences teaching assistantships, TAs through MEES must be emailed to the MEES Office by 12noon, Monday, November 6, 2017.  These TAs are based at UMCP and working with introductory-level BSCI courses.  To apply, please email the MEES Office your name and the name of your advisor now. By November 6 we need 1) submit a letter of request, including a list of any previous TA experience, and 2) have a letter of support submitted from your advisor. 


Please review our Information on UMCES Students and Graduate Programs for guidelines and statistics about UMCES Students.  

Information, guidance, and expectations of UMCES students in the Student Handbook.