Education program cultivates leaders in marine science

April 5, 2012

Ph.D. student Jeanette Davis impressed the judges with her talk about sea sponges as a source of anti-cancer compounds at the NOAA-Educational Partnership Program’s Education and Science Forum in March. She won First Prize for the graduate student oral presentation in the “NOAA Healthy Oceans” category.

Davis has been working in Dr. Russell Hill’s microbiology laboratory at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), thanks to funding from the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center. The multi-institution program helps prepare minority students for careers that support the sustainable harvest and conservation of living marine resources.

IMET scientists help train graduate and undergraduate students in aquaculture and molecular approaches to enrich their research experience.

Ammar Hanif and Jan Vicente joined Davis at the forum at Florida A&M University, along with Dr. Rosemary Jagus, Project Director for IMET's Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center. The theme of the two-day event was “Developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics [STEM] Talent: Increasing Innovation and National Competitiveness.”

"These remarkable students are working side-by-side with highly respected scientists, and they are already making an impact in their field," said Dr. Jagus. "The Living Marine Resources program helps us contribute to building a strong, well trained, diverse workforce in science and technology."  

Participants in the NOAA-EPP forum included more than 200 students and scientists from all four of the cooperative science centers: the Center for Atmospheric Sciences, the Center for Remote Sensing Science and Technology, the Environmental Cooperative Science Center, along with the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center. 

The students were welcomed by US Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Representatives Michelle Vasilinda and Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee), and Tallahassee Mayor John Marks. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Paul Sandifer, Senior Science Advisor to the NOAA Administrator.