The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) mission is to train a new generation of environmental scientists in NOAA-related sciences, particularly from under-represented minority groups, and to develop the natural and social science tools for integrated assessments of ecosystem health in support of coastal environmental decision making…read more about the ECSC
NOAA ECSC Hosts a Pair of Workshops by National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Scientists on “Bioindicators of Ecosystem Health”
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL, September 9-12, 2014
Univeristy of Texas-Brownsville, Brownsville, TX, September 15-17, 2014
Drs. Lonnie Golsalves and Gretchen Messick from the NCCOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR) Cooperative Oxford Laboratory (Oxford, MD) facilitated two “Bioindicators of Ecosystem Health” workshops for ECSC students and faculty. The first workshop took place September 9-11, 2014, in Tallahassee, Florida, at Florida A&M University (FAMU), and the second was September 15-17, 2014, at the University of Texas-Brownsville (UTB). These workshops highlighted specific protocols and analysis tools used by NCCOS scientists to assess ecosystem health. These tools focus on using indicators of organismal well-being to estimate population-level health, habitat quality, and ecosystem change in response to environmental factors. As proposed, the workshop will encompass 1) field sampling of live organisms and health observations, 2) lab-based techniques to assess animal health, and 3) incorporation of bioindicators into biogeographic assessments and modeling. The learning objectives for these workshops are as follows:
- Increase student knowledge of bioindicators used in NCCOS programs to characterize ecosystem health. Focus on living resources and observations of gross pathology, histopathology, disease markers, biochemical and molecular techniques, and ecotoxicology
- Improve student understanding of how to incorporate these techniques into ecosystem characterization and ecological processes. In addition, provide real examples of how NCCOS incorporates bioindicators into biogeographic, forecasting/modeling, and ecosystem services data products
- Promote the transfer of NCCOS technology/capabilities to ECSC students/faculty for use during ongoing and future research initiatives
Special guest speakers for the 2014 Bioindicators Workshop included:
- Dr. Paul Montagna (ECSC Institutional Lead, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)
- Dr. John Schalles, (ECSC Institutional Lead, Creighton University)
2014 Bioindicators Workshop Photos
From August 3rd through the 9th, the NOAA ECSC hosted the intensive training Center Wide Core Competency (CWCC) course for undergraduate and graduate students with partnering institutions- Florida A&M University, Creighton University, Delaware State University, Jackson State University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and University of Texas-Brownsville. The week-long course was organized by ECSC faculty members with leadership from Dr. Jennifer Cherrier (FAMU Associate Professor) who brought in numerous experts in their respective fields to lead portions of the course held at FSU’s Marine Laboratory located in St. Teresa, Florida.
The CWCC course exemplifies the NOAA Educational Partnership Program’s mission by increasing the number of students from underrepresented communities who are educated, trained and graduated in fields that directly support NOAA's mission and STEM disciplines. The CWCC coursework included coastal and marine ecosystem dynamics (classroom based) and field research methodologies (field based) with a focus on the five research areas of the Center – Ecological Processes, Ecosystem Characterization, Forecasting & Modeling, Policy & Decision Tools, and Socio-economic Processes.
To cohesively tie all five major research areas together, the final project was a Problem Based Learning (PBL) group assignment where groups of students took an environmental issue (a proposed residential development community in Franklin County, Florida) and approached it from different stakeholder groups point of view including environmental activists, land developers, fishermen and the local government. This PBL activity challenged the students to think outside of the box when it comes to real world decision-making, demonstrate knowledge of the local system, and integrate what they learned from the course's focus area activities.
Special guest speakers for the 2014 NOAA ECSC CWCC included:
· Dr. Geoffrey Scott (Chair of the Department of Environment Health Sciences, University of South Carolina; former Director of NOAA NOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Bimolecular Research(CCEHBR))
· Steve Leitman (Environmental Scientist and Expert on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River System)
· Lee Edmiston (Former Manager, Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve)
2014 CWCC Photos
Congratulations to Rebekah Rodriguez,NOAA ECSC UT-B Graduate Student-accepted to join 2014 Okeanos Explorer Research Cruise
Congratulations to Rebekah Rodriguez ,NOAA ECSC graduate student at University of Texas-Brownsvile,on her selection as the FY 14 EPP Intern on the NOAA Research Vessel Okeanos Explorer. Rebekah will join the Seamounts Cruise from August 9th-August 30th.
Rebekah's research interests include deep sea corals and their associations with bathymetry and habitat.
(photo courtesy of Oceanexplorer.noaa.gov)
The Florida A&M University School of the Environment Summer Camp is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC). The camp is a three-week day camp for eighth through eleventh grade students with an interest in NOAA related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines.
The SOE Summer Camp plays a vital role in preparing its students for their pursuit of careers not only in the sciences, but in all facets of professional life requiring leadership, critical thinking, and understanding of our multi-disciplinary world.
This year the students were exposed to hands on laboratory experiments, guest lectures, and several field trips with a focus on "Anthropogenic Stressors". Lectures and labs was centered around several subjects including:storm water runoff, plastic consumption, and rain gardens.
Two additional sessions were added to the students’ daily activities this year: Career Development and “Keep it Moving”.
o The Career Development component required each student to research the career of their choice: skill set needed, degree required, and salary range. This component included several self -assessment quizzes and a final powerpoint presentation about the students’ dream career.
o The “Keep it Moving” component gave the students a chance to get out of the laboratory and classroom settings to experience physical activities outdoors. Activities included gathering samples for laboratory experiments, kick ball games, and team races.
Final student projects included individual Career Development power points and a Group scientific poster addressing one of the topics from the summer camp theme” Anthropogenic Stressors”.
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