Funded by the NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions Cooperative Agreement Award #NA16SEC4810009

DeMarcus Turner

NOAA CCME scholar DeMarcus Turner was featured on Pro Fellow's website where he answered 3 major questions about his experiences with the program.

  1. What inspired you to apply for the NOAA CCME Fellowship?
  2. What is a typical week like for an NOAA CCME Fellow?
  3. What tips would you give others applying to the NOAA CCME Fellowship?

View the full article here:

Dr. Benjamin Ross

Benjamin Ross received his Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and his MSc And PhD from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. He previously held a position as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC as part of the Ocean Dumping team.

His research has focused on the use of foraminifera, single celled protists that often create shells of calcium carbonate, as tools for environmental monitoring. This has included the development of methods for employing symbiont-bearing benthic foraminifera as a coral-relevant bioassay organism, including the use of fluorescent microscopy to observe sub-lethal effects and to distinguish live test organisms from dead. During the development of these methods he discovered that the foraminifera in his experiments could survive stressful conditions by entering a dormant state. Further research demonstrated this reaction to multiple stressors, including toxic chemicals and over a year of complete darkness, and found evidence in the literature that this stress reaction could be widespread among foraminiferal species and may have widespread implications for interpretations of foraminiferal population patterns for environmental and paleoceanographic applications.

Ben’s interests lie in monitoring environments that are susceptible to anthropogenic influence, and especially in developing low-cost methods that can be effectively employed in some of the world’s most impacted areas. He is also passionate about the importance of effective science communication and outreach in creating positive environmental changes.

At NOAA CCME he is continuing to research matters related to improving the use of foraminifera for environmental monitoring, including comparing metal extraction methods and exploring physiological and biological stress responses. He is also planning to work with NOAA scientists at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, FL to develop genetic-based tools for improving field monitoring of planktonic foraminiferal populations, and is going to join his NOAA mentor on the upcoming Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon (GOMECC-4) cruise as part of this collaboration.

Diana Del Angel

Diana Del Angel completed her PhD in Coastal and Marine System Science working with HRI Endowed Chair of Socio-economics, Dr. David Yoskowitz.  She received a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2008 and a M.S. from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2011. Diana has spent over seven years working in Texas coastal environments, focusing on mapping and remote sensing, barrier island processes, coastal change, and hurricane impacts.

In 2015 she was awarded the Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellowship and spent one year working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As a Science Policy Fellow she developed an ecosystem assessment framework for Florida’s coastal and aquatic managed areas. Her dissertation research will quantify wetland ecosystem benefits and values received by coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico.

The infographic below shows the participation that we had in this years event, themed "Restoration of Hydrology as a Key Step in Restoring the Function of Coastal Wetlands". The event was held at the Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience - University of Florida from July 25-30, 2021.

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Last year Dr. Martínez-Colón was approached by European colleagues to be a collaborator of a proposal to be funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The four-year proposal was approved!

Dr. Michael Martínez-Colón
Dr. Michael Martínez-Colón

The project, undeRstanding coral thErmal bleaching threSholds during past interglacIaL extremes: Insight into thermal strEsses dyNamics on tropical Coral reef Ecosystems (RESILIENCE), contributes to the understanding of climate dynamics in tropical (e.g., Florida Keys) and subtropical regions, and to understand the cause of the survival and or decline of coral reefs, which is presently a global serious concern.