shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, off Cape Point, South Africa
Photo Credit: TAMU-CC
It’s that time of year again! Discovery’s annual Shark Week, and National Geographic’s SharkFest, are right around the corner.
This year, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) researchers will once again be featured in both Shark Week and SharkFest programming. This is the first time HRI has been featured in National Geographic’s annual SharkFest.
“Sharks are such great ambassadors for the ocean,” said Dr. Greg Stunz, Director for the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation (CSSC) and TAMU-CC Professor of Marine Biology and Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health. “They are a key that opens the door for scientific curiosity and learning. Most people are fascinated with sharks, and with the help of these charismatic animals, we have a great opportunity to teach children and adults about why healthy oceans are essential to the well-being of people and the planet.”
This year’s class of 86 finalists comprises students and recent graduates from 62 distinct universities, including 16 finalists from nine minority-serving institutions. The finalists represent 29 of the 34 Sea Grant programs, and they completed coursework and research in a range of fields, such as biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, environmental science and management, law, marine and coastal sciences and policy, and several disciplines of oceanography.
"The Knauss Fellowship offers graduate students the invaluable opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practice in tackling marine, coastal, and Great Lakes management and policy challenges at the federal level,” said Jonathan Pennock, Ph.D., National Sea Grant College Program director. “We look forward to welcoming the 2023 class of Knauss fellows and seeing how they will apply their unique insights to developing solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the country."
Dr. Michael Martinez-Colon was part of a research study with scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean Science, and the Office of National Martine Sanctuaries. The technical memorandum titled Assessment of Contamination in Fagatale Bay (National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa) was spearheaded by the NOAA's Monitoring and Assessment Branch (Stressor Detection and Impacts Division). The main goal was to determine the presence and concentration of pollutants and to establish baselines which can be used in coastal management activities especially related to nearby coral reefs.
Elizabeth Mogus-Garcia, a NOAA CCME Master’s Scholar at UTRGV, will be participating in the NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship 2022 at the New York State Coastal Management Program in Albany, New York starting August 1, 2022 and finish August 31, 2024.
This fellowship project focuses on the development of framework elements for the New York State Coastal Management Program to support successful community-driven managed retreat.
Elizabeth will focus on developing a guidance document to inform a framework on approaches to strategic managed retreat considering coastal processes and climate change adaptation, with particular attention to socioeconomic sustainability and concerns at the municipal level.
Jordana Cutajar has accepted an appointment for a NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in Dover, Delaware.
She will report for duty on August 8, 2022 and finish the fellowship August 8, 2024 working under Kristen Thornton and Kimberly Cole on “Building Resilience through Relationships: Collaborating with Local Organizations to Support Frontline Communities”.
During 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, I was lucky enough to be chosen as an intern and gain experience in hydrography and seafloor mapping while contributing to the expedition mission. Our mission was to map waters outside of Puerto Rico.
During my time on the EX2202 I had several roles. Our primary focus on the expedition was to map predetermined lines outside of Puerto Rico. Collectively, we mapped an area twice the size of Puerto Rico around (18,000 km^2). While we were mapping my roles were to clean the data in Quimera. Throwing out obvious outliers was the main purpose in this role. Secondly, observing the Knudsen which measured the backscatter and revealed whether surface of the ocean floor was rocky or soft sediment. During the observation all we do is keep an eye on depth of the ocean and keep the Knudsen in range. Third, every day we had to perform a daily product. We took all the data collected that day and made sure it is properly stored in the right folders. There were multiple daily products which were backscatter, water column, and multibeam. Finally, we had to conduct XBTs. Every four hour we sent an XBT down hundreds of meters to collect data (temperature, salinity). The objective while conducting the XBT were to make sure we didn’t see anything abnormal occurring in the ocean.