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

Tenth Biennial NOAA EPP/MSI Education and Science Forum

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Oral Presentations

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation

  1. Jennifer Kennedy, University of Maryland
  2. Fambougouri Diane, Bronx Community College
  3. Selena Gibson, University of Maryland

Healthy Oceans

  1. Kelsey Martin, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
  2. Joe Day, Jr., Savannah State University
  3. Nicholas Coleman, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies

  1. Mariana Leon-Perez, Harte Research Institute
  2. Tahirah Johnson, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  3. Marcus Teat, Delaware State University

Weather-Ready Nation

  1. Jessica Chen, CUNY
  2. Foroozan Arkian, Florida A&M University
  3. Pamela Lara, University of Texas at El Paso

Poster Presentations

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation

  1. Leanne Cohn, Oregon State University
  2. Ayo Deas, CUNY
  3. Alessandra Zuniga, San Diego State University

Healthy Oceans

  1. Sena Tay, CUNY
  2. Nicholas Coleman, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  3. Travis Leggett, California State University Monterey Bay

Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies

  1. Keith Sellers, NOAA EPP/MSI
  2. Andrea Pugh-Kelley, Florida A&M University
  3. Edward Gniffke, University Texas Rio Grande Valley

Weather-Ready Nation

  1. Ashley Bailey, CUNY
  2. Sergio Diaz, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  3. Steven Naegele, Pennsylvania State University

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NOAA CCME scholar Lily Walker and faculty members Dr. Paul Montagna and Dr. Michael Wetz were contributing authors on a paper titled A general pattern of trade-offs between ecosystem resistance and resilience to tropical cyclones. The paper, which included over 40 authors from various institutions, highlights a repeated pattern of trade-offs between resistance and resilience in tropical cyclones.

Tropical cyclones drive coastal ecosystem dynamics, and their frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution are predicted to shift with climate change. Patterns of resistance and resilience were synthesized for 4138 ecosystem time series from n = 26 storms occurring between 1985 and 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere to predict how coastal ecosystems will respond to future disturbance regimes. Data were grouped by ecosystems (fresh water, salt water, terrestrial, and wetland) and response categories (biogeochemistry, hydrography, mobile biota, sedentary fauna, and vascular plants). We observed a repeated pattern of trade-offs between resistance and resilience across analyses. These patterns are likely the outcomes of evolutionary adaptation, they conform to disturbance theories, and they indicate that consistent rules may govern ecosystem susceptibility to tropical cyclones.

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Diversity Equity Inclusion and Ocean Justice Webinar

The Monmouth University Institute for Global Understanding (IGU) and Urban Coast Institute (UCI) hosted the virtual panel discussion “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Ocean Justice” on March 9. The event was this year’s first installment of the Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series, which assembles international experts to discuss scientific and policy issues that hold important implications for coastal and marine ecosystems. The discussion was moderated by Professor Randall Abate, director of the IGU, and included the following presentations and speakers:

  • “From Accounting for, to Accountability to: Reciprocity and Restitution in Collaborative Climate Change Research” by Monica Barra, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment and Department of Anthropology
  • “Environmental Justice Impacts of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution” by Juliano Calil, senior fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy and adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • “Preparing the Prospective NOAA-Mission Workforce for a More Just Future” by Sharmini Pitter, assistant director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

See the Monmouth University Institute website for more information -

Phase One of the Forum was held virtually on April 8 - 9, 2021. Save the Date: Phase Two of the Forum will be held in-person on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida on April 6 - 8, 2022. Registration is now open and mandatory for all NOAA CCME Scholars.

The theme of the Forum is “Two Decades of Excellence: Nurturing Future Leaders in STEM” and is jointly sponsored by FAMU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Education, Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI).

The focus of the Forum is expanding academic training in NOAA-mission sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, through partnership activities. The Forum will promote career opportunities for STEM graduates in the public, private, and academic sectors. Through a competitive process, NOAA-EPP’s funding supports development of a diverse STEM future workforce that directly supports NOAA’s mission and expands opportunities for innovation and U.S. global competitiveness.

Why was UTRGV chosen to receive this prestigious certification?

UTRGV's commitment to ensuring the enrollment and success of its students through innovative educational programs, grant initiatives and enrollment strategies has propelled the university to earn the coveted Seal of Excelencia certification.

For its efforts in accelerating Latino student success in higher education, UTRGV was named among 10 universities from across the United States to receive the 2021 distinction. Programs like Tuition Advantage, dual credit, and the College of Sciences STEM initiatives contributed to UTRGV earning the certification. Those programs and other UTRGV incentives have made the dream of a higher education possible for students, of whom 93 percent of the undergraduate population identify as Hispanic/Latino.

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