Living Marine Resources Science Center Director Dr. Paulinus Chigbu (Photo credit: UMES)

MD - University of Maryland Eastern Shore Receives $30M NOAA Grant to Diversify Marine Sciences Workforce

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- NOAA has announced that it will continue its two-decade commitment to support the next generation of marine scientists and researchers at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The agency, through its Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions, renewed an agreement that will provide $30 million in grants over five years to support the Living Marine Resources Science Center at UMES.

UMES’ LMRCSC is one of two NOAA Cooperative Science Centers at historically Black colleges and universities that train and graduate students in coastal and marine ecosystems and in living marine resources science and management—core science fields for the federal agency.  Its mission is to educate and provide research opportunities related to NOAA Fisheries and NOAA’s healthy oceans research and management, while the Cooperative Science Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems at Florida A&M University focuses on resilient coastal communities and economies.

“These grants will strengthen the federal workforce by promoting and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” said Dr. Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator. “This funding will directly benefit students at minority serving institutions who we hope will join the future NOAA workforce and who will contribute to U.S. global economic competitiveness.”

“We are excited about this new center award and are deeply grateful to NOAA for its continued confidence in this endeavor,” said UMES President Dr. Heidi M. Anderson. “This investment will be invaluable in enabling the University of Maryland Eastern Shore together with its partner institutions to build on its excellent record of training and graduating a diverse future STEM workforce, particularly in marine and fisheries science."

The LMRCSC, led by UMES, is a consortium of seven partner educational institutions that also includes Delaware State University, Hampton University, Oregon State University, Savannah State University, University of Miami and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.  Scientists and students collaborate on research and educational projects related to NOAA’s mission.

In the past five years, the LMRCSC has trained 60 graduate students and 64 undergraduates, and graduated 18 undergraduates and 24 graduate students, while another 48 students are currently pursuing degrees, said Dr. Paulinus Chigbu, director.

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