Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced the receipt of a $15.4 million award over five years from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program (EPP) to establish the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME). The new award will allow the FAMU-led partnership to make profound national impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems education, science, and policy. The full suite of academic partners include:
- Bethune-Cookman University
- California State University – Monterey Bay
- Jackson State University
- Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
- University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
The award was made after a national competition with rigorous criteria established by the NOAA EPP.
CCME institutions bring forth a wealth of relevant academic programs and faculty with extensive expertise in coastal and marine ecosystems. Additionally, CCME institutions have well-established records of educating students from underrepresented groups in NOAA-related science and policy, preparing graduates for productive careers and conducting high impact research.
FAMU Distinguished Professor Larry Robinson, Ph.D., will serve as the CCME director and principal investigator. The interdisciplinary team at FAMU will include faculty and students from the College of Education, College of Science and Technology, College of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities, School of Business and Industry, and School of the Environment.
“The entire CCME team should be commended for contributing to this successful outcome in an extremely competitive environment,” Robinson said. “We have the opportunity to engage in education, research, and outreach consistent will NOAA’s priorities, while contributing to the well-being of the coastal communities and ecosystems so dear to all of our partners.”
The Center has already begun its important work by developing an implementation plan that focuses on student recruitment. One of the unique requirements of the award is that at least 50 percent of the funds are used to support students.
“The student-centered aspect of this award aligns perfectly with the priorities of all CCME institutions and specifically with FAMU’s focus on preparing our students for success in today’s competitive learning and work environments,” said Timothy Moore, Ph.D., vice president for Research.
Retired Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown, deputy NOAA administrator, recently discussed the importance of the program at the NOAA EPP Education and Science Forum in New York.
“These programs also give NOAA access and exposure to America’s future scientists and technologists as we endeavor to build a workforce that is more diverse and inclusive,” he said.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
Photo: FAMU CCME Director Larry Robinson, NOAA Deputy Administrator Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown, graduate student Darias Bell, and FAMU Professor Michael Abazinge discuss student research.
Photo by: Tony Leavell Photography, LLC