Student Forum

Maryland Sea Grant offers opportunities for grad students

Maryland Sea Grant (MDSG) is pleased to announce two graduate student opportunities: 

1. Maryland Sea Grant Competitive Graduate Research Fellowship

This is an outgrowth of our recent Coastal Resilience and Sustainability Fellowship. Students apply for a two-year Maryland Sea Grant fellowship that provides stipend, fringe benefits, and a tuition remission allowance. Due Wednesday, May 2 at 5 PM. For more information, please visit the website.

2. Graduate Research Support Grants

This new program supports student research expenses (e.g., materials and supplies, analytic services, research travel expenses). Due Wednesday, April 25 at 5 PM. For more information, please visit the website.

To be eligible, graduate students must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at a Maryland academic institution and engaged in research that is relevant to Maryland and the MDSG Strategic Plan 2018-2021. In addition to financial support, these opportunities will provide additional professional development opportunities in science communication, the science-to-management process, proposal/grantsmanship, and/or other relevant skills. MDSG is administered by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state of Maryland. 

Maryland Sea Grant will be hosting a webinar covering both of these opportunities on March 23rd at 10 am. If you are interested, please register here.

IMET's Maurer takes marine skills to Disney's Epcot

Leah Maurer She gets to interact with these two dolphins on a daily basis.

Leah Maurer, who studied under Dr. Sook Chung at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Science, recently started working as a research associate at The Seas in Walt Disney World's Epcot.

"I work with many animals, including marine fish, dolphins, sharks, and rays," she said. "One exciting project I assist on is the dolphin project, which studies the cognition and vision of dolphins (among other things). Guests can even see some research sessions in progress at The Seas."

"The research that I'm involved in focuses on improving the welfare of animals in the aquarium and applying that knowledge to other facilities and to the populations in the wild," she continued. "Because I work in Epcot, I am given a lot of opportunities to educate the public about marine life and the importance of conservation."

At IMET, Maurer studied the early development of the blue crab, specifically trying to understand the dietary conditions that influence how crustaceans grow. She successfully defended her master's thesis in July 2017.


USM student scholarship opportunity

The University System of Maryland Women's Forum recognizes and celebrates the achievements of students, faculty and staff from across the system through award and scholarship programs. All awards and scholarships are open to any person regardless of sex, race, color, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability. The award is open to both men and women. Application materials must be received by June 30, 2018 for consideration.

The USM Women's Forum Student Scholarship (scholarships are $500/student recipient) is open to all students attending a USM institution. In order to be eligible for the award, you must
have earned a total of 48 undergraduate OR 9 graduate credits, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and have demonstrated financial need.



3 questions for... EMily Russ

Horn Point Laboratory graduate student Emily Russ examines where sediment comes from and where it goes. Listen as she explains the problems some sediment bring to the Bay and how she grew to love this work.
Horn Point graduate student Emily Russ is working to understand sediment's role, for better and worse, in Chesapeake Bay
What are you researching? I research where sediment comes from (source) and where it goes (sink). Specifically, my research has focused on how much sediment comes from the Susquehanna River or from shoreline erosion, and where it gets deposited in the Chesapeake Bay.

Why the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science? I came to UMCES in August 2014. I had been emailing different professors I wanted to work with on a Ph.D. After talking with Cindy Palinkas, I was fascinated by her work and really interested in coming to a place that was very interdisciplinary. I felt like UMCES would be the best fit for me, and I feel like I made the right decision.

What are your future plans? At this point I am very open to any job opportunities; however, I am applying for the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship from Maryland Sea Grant, which is a one-year fellowship that helps recent graduates or advanced graduate students obtain policy experience.

Read Emily'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 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 the website.

2018 255th American Chemical Society National Meeting
March 18 - 22, 2018 | New Orleans, theme: "Nexus of Food, Energy & Water." ACS National Meeting website.

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.

2018 Atlantic Estuarine Research Society
April 5-7, 2018 in Rehoboth Beach, DE- The spring 2018 meeting will celebrate and reflect on the historical role of the society in advancing coastal and estuarine science and management. In the spirit of the free-wheeling discussions of the society’s early years, we will challenge both senior and young professionals to help chart the future of AERS, grounded in our lessons from the past.


Scholarships and Assistantships

Scientist Sentinels: Civic Engagement & Leadership Program

We’re excited to be providing a 6-month leadership program focusing on civic engagement for scientists and researchers. This program kicks off with a 3-day in-person retreat May 29 – June 1, 2018 in Seattle, WA. The 15 scientists selected for our program will join 5 Science and Democracy Fellows supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists for an intensive retreat on the policy landscape, the role of science in decision-making, leadership, and science communication skills. All natural and social scientists currently residing in the U.S. are eligible to apply. We particularly encourage scientists studying topics with bearing on environmental issues. Due February 20, 2018. Learn more

EcologyPlus: Where Diversity Meets Opportunity

A new project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to broaden participation in ecology.  EcologyPlus is an alliance of 15 partners led by ESA and will provide diverse students in the Greater DC area with paid career mentoring, networking, research/internship and skills development opportunities. Undergraduate, graduate students, and recent graduates in the Great Washington DC area are encouraged to apply here. Deadline: Extended until filled.

Research Opportunities at the US Forest Service Research and Development (R&D)

Research opportunities routinely become available at the US Forest Service Research and Development (R&D), a component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. R&D works at the forefront of science to improve the health and use of our Nation's forests and grasslands. Research areas include invasive species, inventory and analysis, outdoor recreation, resource management, water, air and soil, wildland fire and fuel, and wildlife and fish. For more information, click here. Deadline: rolling applications.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Research with the U.S. Army

One research opportunity is available with the U.S. Army Garrison - Aberdeen Proving Ground, Directorate of Public Works (APGDPW). Qualified candidates should have completed a Bachelor and/or Master degree in biological sciences, forestry, environmental science, environmental engineering within the past five years.  U.S. citizenship is required. Research participant will assist senior level scientists and engineers who are responsible to create and to sustain the mission landscape through a proactive program of diverse activities that simultaneously promote environmental stewardship for the Chesapeake Bay and its natural and living resources while simultaneously supporting mission related activities. Candidate will be well versed in technical and scientific principles associated with natural resource management.


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.