Federal grant will help develop more scientists at FAMU – The Famuan


STEM students at work. Photo courtesy of the FAMU School of the Environment.

Ahja Harris is a fourth year biology student at Florida A&M University and is among a select number of eligible students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields to receive future funding from a new federal grant. five years. Funding can provide more opportunities and resources for prospective STEM students.

FAMU recently announced that it has received a five-year, $ 30 million federal grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help train the next generation of scientists of color at the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME).

“I feel like with this grant it would pretty much open doors that were once closed,” Harris said. “I have a financial burden and this grant would reduce that burden and provide more opportunities.”

According to the official website, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a national agency whose mission is to understand and publicize the protection needed to preserve nature while monitoring the global climate and meteorology. NOAA established the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in 2016, which is guided by Florida A&M University and President Larry Robinson, who is both principal investigator of the project and director of the center.

In a press release, Robinson said: “Having underrepresented minorities who are experts not only improves diversity, but also ensures that we remain responsive to the needs of our most vulnerable populations in the world. as solutions are developed. “

Other partnerships with other minority institutions include Bethune-Cookman University, California State University at Monterey Bay, Jackson State University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

CCME’s mission statement is to educate and educate the next generation of scientists, especially minority communities. The agency caters to students enrolled in STEM and social science relevant to NOAA while practicing research in ocean and coastal communities.

The NOAA CCME focuses on three areas of scientific research. Each has a distinct goal to achieve the CCME goal: coastal intelligence, coastal resilience, and place-based conservation. Each area, although different, has a common goal: to study natural infrastructure while using the necessary resources to deal with the various effects that impact on society.

FAMU vice president of research Charles Weatherford said in a statement that the grant is a representation of the various research being conducted at FAMU.

“This is FAMU’s largest grant,” Weatherford said. “The center is a consortium of institutions serving minorities and was formed to address issues facing marine and coastal communities and to help provide a modern and talented workforce in relevant areas of interest. from NOAA. ”

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