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

Dr. Richard McLaughlin

Dr. Richard McLaughlin has served as the Institutional PI for TAMUCC since the inception of CCME in 2016. He currently supervises two Ph.D.-level CCME Student Scholars, Elizabeth Del Rosario, who is researching how freshwater environmental flows into Texas Bays are being managed; and Anthony Lima, who is examining policies and planning efforts relating to oyster aquaculture in Texas. In addition to participating in the Coastal Resilience, Place-based Conservation, and Social Sciences Focus Areas, he has helped organize and served as a faculty member at the Center-wide Core Competency Courses in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 2017 and South Padre Island, Texas in 2019.

He also served as a Co-Convener of a session that highlighted CCME students and faculty entitled Educational Partnerships in Coastal and Marine Science at the 25th Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference, Mobile, Alabama, November 3-7, 2019. He plans to retire at the end of the Fall 2020 semester and to move to his family home in San Diego, California. He will continue to serve on several graduate committees and collaborate with colleagues at CCME and elsewhere across the globe after he retires.

Dr. McLaughlin has been instrumental to the success of students at TAMUCC and across CCME as well. He provided intelligent prospectives and insights that contributed to the growth of CCME and could be counted on for his active engagement.

NOAA CCME Scholar Rhamira Corbett interviews renowned NOAA CCME Distinguished Research Scientist Dr. Steven Morey, current School of the Environment faculty professor at Florida A&M University. Dr. Steven Morey explains what exactly is the Sargasso Sea as well as how humans have effected this natural wonder overtime.

This video is a part of Environment Florida's Ocean Conservation efforts and in recognition of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystem in order to raise awareness to the maritime and the ways they're currently effected.

Virtual Interview on the Sargasso Sea with Dr. Steven Morey

[view video on YouTube]

Corey Garza

The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce that 14 new members will join the ranks of the Academy Fellows, a governing group of more than 450 distinguished scientists and other leaders who have made notable contributions to science or science education and communication. Nominated by their colleagues and selected by the Board of Trustees, the Academy Fellows are partners and collaborators in the pursuit of the Academy mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. The new members will be inducted during the Fellowship's next virtual meeting on October 13, 2020. They will join such well-known Academy Fellows as Sylvia Earle, Paul Ehrlich, Jane Lubchenco, Zeray Alemseged, John McCosker, Jill Tarter, and Andrea Ghez.


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The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship provides funds for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that directly support NOAA's mission. Participants conduct research at a NOAA facility during two paid summer internships. Since 2001, over 186 students have completed the program and over 75% go on to graduate school.

Students attending Minority Serving Institutions as defined by the US Department of Education (Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaskan-Native Serving Institutions, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions) are eligible to apply for the program.

Important update: Starting in 2019, U.S. nationals are eligible to apply for the EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, internships and planned events, such as scholar orientation and the scholar symposium, may be held virtually. The Office of Education will review precautionary guidelines provided by the CDC in advance of events and internships, and will notify scholars when a decision is made whether to hold them virtually or in person. 

To learn more about the opportunity, visit NOAA's EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program page or view the video from NOAA CCME below.

NOAA EPP/MSI Undergrad Scholarship Opportunities Webinar

[view video on YouTube]


Dr. Erin E. Easton

Dr. Erin E. Easton, a former CCME doctoral fellow, is now an assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences, where she is establishing a Benthic Ecology and Evolution Lab ( to explore the biodiversity and evolution of marine benthos (fauna that live in, on, or in association with the seafloor) from the coast to the deep sea. Research in the Easton Benthic Ecology and Evolution Lab focuses on the study of epibenthic megafauna on hard-bottom habitats and meiofauna of soft-bottom habitats. To study these benthic communities, they use a variety of tools to conduct biodiversity surveys, to explore biogeographic and community assemblage patterns, to identify potential drivers of these patterns, and to understand the phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships of select taxa. Of particular interest are the benthic communities of mesophotic and deep-sea habitats in the South Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

She obtained her BS in Biology from Indiana University (Bloomington) in 2002 and her MS and PhD in Oceanography from Florida State University in 2009 and 2014, respectively. She completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands in Coquimbo, Chile, where she studied the benthic communities the seamounts and oceanic islands, including Rapa Nui (known as Easter Island), of the southeast Pacific. In 2017, she joined CCME as a postdoctoral fellow at UTRGV. During this fellowship, she focused on the mesophotic coral ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico in collaboration with Dr. David Hicks. This research included genetic studies on the octocorals of these reefs in collaboration with Dr. Peter Etnoyer and Thomas Greig of NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean Science in Charleston, South Carolina.