NOAA 2001-R242
Contact: Bob Hopkins

UMES Chosen to be Home for Living Marine Cooperative Science Center

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has targeted $2.5 million to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Md., as the lead institution in establishing a Living Marine Cooperative Science Center. The award is part of NOAA's new Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions. The new initiative will award approximately $15 million in FY2001 funds for programs aimed at atmospheric, environmental and oceanic sciences and remote sensing research and educational programs.

The new Living Marine Cooperative Science Center at UMES will work with partner MSIs to conduct ecological research on marine and estuarine systems while promoting education, research and advancement opportunities in marine science for students in traditionally underrepresented groups. Other Cooperative Science Centers will be established in the areas of remote sensing, environmental sciences and atmospheric sciences.

"This new education initiative is a special partnership effort between NOAA and several academic institutions to expand education, research and professional opportunities in NOAA-related sciences," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "I thank the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and the other lead institutions for adding to a rich network of research and scientific resources that will benefit NOAA and the nation."

Official presentation of the award will be made at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2001. The other lead MSIs hosting Cooperative Science Centers are City College of the City University of New York (remote sensing), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (environmental sciences) and Howard University (atmospheric sciences).

"This center, by itself, is important to University of Maryland - Eastern Shore. We are also going beyond, with the construction of the $3 million Coastal Ecology Teaching/Research Laboratory, which will be completed in early 2003. These two events will place University of Maryland - Eastern Shore in a unique position to provide significant opportunities to minority students for pursuing careers in the marine sciences," said Dr. Jackie Thomas, interim president of University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

NOAA's EPP/MSI initiative is designed to support the development of quality education for students at minority serving institutions while meeting the prescribed goals of NOAA and the nation. Working with partner MSIs and other research and federal government institutions, the NOAA program provides opportunities and programs for students to pursue careers in atmospheric, environmental and oceanic sciences and remote sensing.

While four Cooperative Science Centers are designated, a total of 17 MSIs will be funded and participate as partners at these centers. Cooperative Science Center partners include:

Remote Sensing Cooperative Science Center

Environmental Sciences Cooperative Science Center

Atmospheric Sciences Cooperative Science Center

Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center

The EPP/MSI initiative also calls for the development of an Environmental Entrepreneurship Program, an Undergraduate Scholarship Program and a Graduate Sciences Program for students attending MSIs in NOAA-related sciences.

The Environmental Entrepreneurship Program provides funds through a competitive process to support education and training to strengthen the capacity of MSIs. Thirteen grants are awarded annually to MSIs that support program development and environmental restoration activities with the aim of increasing the entry of individuals from under-represented groups into environmental fields.

The 10 MSIs selected to receive awards associated with the $3.3 million Environmental Entrepreneurship Program will also be awarded during the NOAA ceremony on Oct. 23.

The Undergraduate Science Program offers students a 10-week paid internship program with NOAA and provides scholarships during the academic year. Students who continue training during the academic year in a NOAA-related field and maintain an acceptable GPA will be offered an opportunity for a second 10-week internship at a NOAA field site the following summer.

The Graduate Sciences Program provides financial assistance to six MSI students for graduate-level training in NOAA-related occupations. Students accepted in this program are hired as NOAA employees and commit to a tenure of service with the agency.

For more information on NOAA's Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions, please visit or contact the program manager at (301) 713-9437.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources.

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