Student Forum

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, a student based at Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, spoke about the struggles that Puerto Ricans facing after Hurricane Maria engulfed the island as a Category 4 on Sept. 20. Ana Sosa, a student based at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, 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... Sam Major

Watch as Sam Major, a graduate student at the Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology, talks about his research at the Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology.
Graduate student working to understand microbial communities associated with algae impact biofuel
What do you study? In the laboratory, we are investigating how the microbial communities associated with algae affect the quality of biofuel derived from these harvested microalgae. We are using next-generation sequencing to track how the microbial communities in treated ponds change over time. As a bloom of microalgae develops and is collected with this new technology, it is subsequently converted into a biofuel.
Why UMCES? I decided to come here because it is not your typical graduate experience. Working with UMCES and IMET allows me to interact with local entrepreneurs, leaders in biotechnology, and professors from all over the University of Maryland System.
Share an experience that stands out most about your time with UMCES. In June 2016, I attended my first American Society of Microbiology conference in Boston. I was completely blown away by the strength of the scientific research presented and the researchers’ ability to communicate their work. That was when it really occurred to me how crucial it is to be able to speak with other people, outside whichever field you study, about the impact and importance of your work.
Read Sam'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.


Maryland Sea Grant

MD Sea Grant has an opening in their extension program for a coastal climate specialist. Joining their talented team of extension experts in water resources, the new position will be expected to develop and lead programming focusing on issues facing coastal communities in Maryland. The position announcement with details of the job can be found at A master’s degree is a minimum requirement, applicants holding a PhD are encouraged to apply. The University of Maryland provides an excellent benefits package with this position. For best consideration please apply by April 30, 2017.

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth is currently seeking individuals to teach marine-science related courses over the summer in:

For more information about these positions, site locations, program dates, and access to their online employment application, please see their website,, or contact them at or 410-735-6185.


PERMANOVA+ for PRIMER Workshop on Multivariate Analysis in Ecology (& other Sciences) - March 6-10, 2017

This is a 5-day PERMANOVA+ workshop led by the instigator of these methods, Prof Marti J. Anderson FRSNZ (New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, Massey University), an ecological statistician whose initial training in marine ecology and subsequent move into theoretical statistics led to the development of these methods for analyzing more complex structured designs found in ecology and a similarly wide range of disciplines, in which the ability to handle multivariate data is key. March 6-10, 2017 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.


Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Congressional Visits Day - April 25-26, 2017

Scientists and graduate students who are interested in communicating the importance of federal investments in scientific research and education to lawmakers are invited to participate in the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC. There is no cost to participate, however, space is limited.


UMES AFS Tidewater Chapter subunit meeting: DelMarVa's Aquatic Resources and Ecosystems - April 28, 2017

Location: Paul S. Sarbanes Coastal Ecology Center in Berlin, MD. Friday, April 28, 2017 from 8:30am - 8:30pm.


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.