NOAA 2004-R488
Contact: Glenda Powell

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expanding partnerships with minority serving institutions through a $5 million grant over a two-year period to Florida A&M University that will support NOAA’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center. The grant is an extension of the original agreement in 2001 for $7.5 million. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The Environmental Cooperative Science Center has made a major contribution to the lives of students, opening the door of opportunity and encouraging them to pursue careers in the environmental sciences,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA's support of the center also demonstrates NOAA's commitment to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's call to encourage and increase the participation of traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups in the ocean-related workforce.”

The science center is funded through a cooperative agreement between NOAA and FAMU, with partners Morgan State University, Delaware State University, South Carolina State University, Jackson State University and the University of Miami. Located on the campus of FAMU, the science center was established to study and address ecological and coastal management issues. So far, the science center has supported more than 130 students in the environmental and marine sciences.

The goals of the science center are to increase the number of underrepresented minority scientists in NOAA-related sciences, develop ways to monitor coastal ecosystems and assess impacts of human and natural actions, improve the scientific knowledge base used in coastal resource management, and facilitate community education and outreach relating to coastal ecosystems.

Research by scientists and students associated with the science center is conducted at several NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves sites, including Apalachicola Bay, Fla.; Chesapeake Bay, Md.; Delaware Bay, Del.; ACE Basin, S.C.; and Grand Bay, Miss. Research is also conducted at NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. These sites were selected because they present ideal opportunities to expand existing research, education and outreach activities.

Science center students are trained to work in interdisciplinary teams addressing the next generation of environmental issues facing the nation. Students research a broad range of scientific issues, ranging from field studies on contamination in oyster and sea turtle habitat, to using geographic information systems and mathematical models to understand how regional ecosystems function and are affected by humans.

NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program administers the ECSC grant. Last year NOAA awarded $14 million in grant awards as part of EPP. The program is designed to provide financial assistance to minority serving academic institutions to support collaborative research and training of students in NOAA-related sciences through competitive processes.

NOAA 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.

On the Web:


NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program:

Environmental Cooperative Science Center:

Florida A&M University:

National Marine Sanctuaries Program:

National Estuarine Research Reserves: