This site is optimized for use with Firefox version 3.6 or higher and Internet Explorer version 7 or higher.

For an optimal user experience, please utilize a newer version of either of these browsers.

Highlights Archive
NOAA Office of Education NOAA Office of Education NOAA Homepage


Highlights Archive


Notes from the 2015 Harmful Algal Cyst Sampling Cruise: An EPP/MSI Student Blog

Published Dec 2015

Eric Gulledge (back left) with his sampling shift team, Dave Kidwell, Steve Kibler, and Leslie Irwin. Credit: NOAA.

By Eric Gulledge, Ph.D. candidate at Jackson State University
I am a NOAA-Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) Fellow supported by the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI). I’m currently pursuing an Environmental Science Ph.D. at Jackson State University. The NOAA-ECSC strives to train and develop student’s skills related to interdisciplinary science in support of coastal management. In keeping with NOAA’s mission, NOAA-ECSC afforded me an opportunity to participate in the 2015 Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) cruise in the Gulf of Maine. The HAB cruise is used to forecast a potential algal bloom caused by the algae Alexandrium fundyense.

A sunset view from the upper deck of the NOAA ship Bigelow in the Gulf of Maine. Credit: NOAA.

Working with NOAA scientists and traveling aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow was an experience to remember. The Henry B. Bigelow is a state-of-the-art research ship that carries equipment and systems to conduct fisheries, oceanographic, and hydrographic research. I was given a tour of the whole vessel with my colleagues. Along with the fascinating vessel, the opportunity to work with NOAA scientists and engineers was inspiring. The NOAA crew was highly skilled, educated, and passionate about their work, and were willing to explain and teach scientific techniques employed to forecast Alexandrium blooms. The NOAA team demonstrated the use of various disciplines such as meteorology, statistics, oceanography, marine biology, and physics to obtain a complete harmful algal bloom forecast product. The experience was insightful and beneficial to my own research. The most rewarding part of the HAB cruise is that our collaborative efforts to produce a forecast model will benefit the local community.

Back to top


Hollings Alumni Spotlight: NOAA Corps Officers

Published July 2015

Have you ever considered a career with the NOAA Corps? Several Hollings undergraduate scholars have progressed into exciting careers with the NOAA Corps after completing their degrees. These Hollings alumni have had the opportunity to build a strong foundation of scientific and leadership skills while advancing mission critical research and traveling the world’s oceans. NOAA Corps Officers are trained in ocean sciences, meteorology, engineering, as well as other NOAA-related fields, and play a critical role in NOAA’s scientific and environmental missions.

The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, or ‘NOAA Corps’, is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. Tracing its history back to the Survey of the Coast established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, today’s NOAA Corps Officers operate specialized research vessels and aircraft, facilitate research projects and conduct diving operations. Applications for the next class of NOAA Corps Officers are due July 1st, 2015 and Basic Officer Training begins in January 2016.

Brian Yannutz: Prior to Brian’s Hollings internship experience, he traveled on a sailing vessel for 15 days, which whetted his appetite for life at sea. Brian was a 2009 Hollings scholar from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where he earned his B.S. in marine science. During his summer internship, Brian conducted research in Seattle, WA, at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (part of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research). Brian was engaged in water quality sampling from hydrothermal vents aboard the R/V Atlantis, using the ALVIN submersible from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He used high definition video from another remotely operated vehicle to measure the relationship between hydrogen sulfide concentrations and shrimp densities in hydrothermal vent communities near the Juan de Fuca Ridge. While in Silver Spring, MD, for final presentation week, Brian learned about the NOAA Corps, and began considering the Corps as a potential career path. In the summer of 2012, while he was doing field work on a marine debris cruise in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, Brian decided it was time to apply. He graduated BOTC training in fall of 2014 with Chris and Kyle. Brian says that the NOAA Corps is the ‘best kept secret’ of NOAA.

Brian began his first assignment in December 2014 aboard the Oregon II. He will be based in Pascagoula, MS, and mainly serving on research cruises in the Gulf. His field season began in March and this season he will serve on groundfish cruises during the summer and fall, as well as a few shark longline cruises. Brian hopes to become a confident ship driver and navigator, and is very excited that his vessel facilitates NOAA’s shark research. Within 3-5 years, Brian hopes to become a NOAA Working Diver, and eventually a Dive Master. Brian serves as the Environmental Compliance Officer on his ship, and he hopes other NOAA vessels will implement some of his ideas to become more environmentally sustainable.

Christopher Pickens: Chris Pickens was a 2012 Hollings Scholar and graduated with a double major in biology and geology from Oberlin College. As a Hollings Scholar, Chris interned with the phytoplankton monitoring program at the NOAA Kachemak Bay Laboratory in Seldovia, Alaska, under Kris Holdereid. He spent many days out on small boats doing phytoplankton tows, CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) casts and water sampling in the Gulf of Alaska to investigate seasonal and inter-annual patterns in phytoplankton growth related to ocean chemistry. Chris enjoyed working on a hands-on project that required significant time in the field and was determined to pursue a career with NOAA after the 2012 summer internship. He learned about opportunities with the NOAA Corps during a presentation by a recruiter at Hollings orientation. Following his growing interest in field work and ambition to be a NOAA diver, he applied and was selected for the NOAA Corps.

Chris participated in the 124th class BOTC (Basic Officer) Training at the Coast Guard Academy, and his first assignment was in Charleston, SC, aboard the NOAA Nancy Foster, which facilitates monitoring of National Marine Sanctuaries, habitat characterization, oceanographic monitoring and coral reef monitoring in the Caribbean. Chris is the newest junior officer on the NOAA Nancy Foster and spent the winter months learning emergency procedures and training for the upcoming field season. During Chris’s first field season as a NOAA Corps Officer, he hopes to apply his scientific education in the field and become confident in facilitating all kinds of scientific research projects. Christopher hopes to build a fulfilling career with the NOAA Corps and eventually pursue his PhD in science.

Kyle Cosentino: Ensign Kyle Cosentino reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center in August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Kyle graduated from Eckerd College in May 2014 with a B.S. in marine science and a minor in chemistry. During his time at Eckerd, he developed a strong interest in understanding the fundamental components and mechanisms of the natural world.

Kyle was also a 2012 Hollings Scholar, and conducted his summer internship with the NOAA NWS Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO. He co-authored a publication for the Journal of Geophysical Research entitled "Characterizing Interplanetary Shocks for Development and Optimization of an Automated Solar Wind Shock Detection Algorithm", which was the result of his work with Dr. Michele Cash. His interest in a career in the NOAA Corps developed after attending a NOAA Corps recruitment session for Hollings scholars in Boulder.

Kyle’s first assignment is aboard the Oscar Elton Sette, home-ported in Honolulu, HI. So far, he has traveled to American Samoa for a Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program cruise and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on a cruise to study endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals. Later this summer, Kyle will return to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for an annual marine debris cruise. Kyle is very interested in entering the NOAA dive program and is considering the NOAA aviation program as a potential career path after his initial sea assignment. His recreational interests include fishing, windsurfing, running, and traveling.

Brian Kennedy: Brian attended the Honors College at the College of Charleston (C of C) in South Carolina, where he majored in Marine Biology and minored in Marine Geology. While at C of C, he had the opportunity to sail on multiple research cruises aboard two different National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessels and was selected as a NOAA Hollings Scholar. As part of the Hollings Scholarship, Brian completed his summer internship with NOAA’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2008. The majority of Brian time as an intern with CRED was spent assisting with the Automatous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) program. Brian was involved in the logistical support of an ongoing operation and the analysis of preliminary data. This was a nascent project to monitor the effects of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms. Through this project, Brian learned about and influenced the first steps of experimental design and participated in numerous brainstorming sessions with researchers from around the county on how best to monitor this aspect of global climate change.

After completing his Hollings internship and graduating with honors from C of C, Brian wanted to continue his connection with NOAA and gain more experience in operational science, which brought him to the NOAA Corps. He was selected for a commission as part of BOTC 125 and was in one of the last classes to complete their training at the US Merchant Marine Academy at King Point, NY.

Brian’s first NOAA sea assignment was as a Junior Officer aboard NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer, America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration. During this assignment, Brian participated in more than 25 expeditions of exploration taking him to two oceans (Atlantic and Pacific), three continents (North America, South America and Asia) and through the territorial waters of more than five countries (Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Indonesia). After two wonderful years aboard the Okeanos Explorer, Brian was able to continue his work in ocean exploration while on a land assignment with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER). During his more than three years on assignment with the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research, Brian has taken on more responsibility, advancing from an expedition coordinator for OER-led Expeditions to presently serving as the Acting Deputy Program Manager for the Okeanos Explorer Program.

Back to top


Educational Partnership Program -- Building Diverse Capacity by Providing Hands-on Training Experiences

Published Mar 2015

The Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Cooperative Science Center (CSC) students participate in NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO). These 21st Century students are preparing for the future workforce at NOAA, other science-mission agencies, and the Nation.

The NOAA EPP/MSI was established in 2001 to increase the number of students, particularly from underrepresented communities, who are trained and graduate with degrees in disciplines that support NOAA’s mission.  An important requirement of the EPP/MSI program is the engagement of program sponsored students in hands-on research and training activities at NOAA facilities.  Students compete for internships where they are immersed in research alongside NOAA scientist and managers.     EPP/MSI graduates are available to bring diverse and innovative talent to NOAA.

Maria Cardona-Maldonado - NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS), University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, is a PhD. student in Biological Oceanography.   During February 23 – March 11, 2015 Maria participated in a research cruise aboard the R/V Okeanos Explorer Cruise to Puerto Rico.  In September 2014, Maria sailed on the E/V Nautilus Seamounts Cruise to the British Virgin Islands.  During both research cruises Maria sought to improve her skills in the management and processing of acoustic data from different sonars and use of different data processing and analysis software. The internship has strengthened previously acquired concepts while integrating them with her current bio-optical and remote sensing knowledge and experience.  Her interest in habitat mapping at various scales using acoustic systems was reinforced. Additionally, hands-on experience with various onboard instruments enriched her practical experience with oceanographic field techniques.  Maria found the opportunity to work and learn from leading experts in this area an invaluable experience.  The interaction with research scientists and other interns also led to new contacts with the potential for new collaborative efforts as well as possible points of contact for future professional opportunities at NOAA.  Maria will share the value of her internship experience, as she did after her 2014 E/V Nautilus Expedition, through conferences and at schools in Puerto Rico. She plans to write articles for local newsletters and magazines such as Sea Grant’s Marejadas. Internship Supervisor: Derek Sowers

Maria Cooksey of the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) at the University of Texas - Brownsville, competed successfully for an EPP/MSI internship onboard the R/V Okeanos Explorer.  As a graduate student working on her Master’s in Biology, Maria is studying the benthic invertebrate communities of 5 hard bottom banks on the South Texas continental shelf.  Her research is closely related to NOAA's Ocean Exploration mission.   Maria’s graduate thesis research involves data from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to record video data of the soft coral and invertebrate communities at the South Texas Banks.   While her work depends heavily on multibeam maps, she has not had the opportunity to learn how to collect or georeference a multibeam sonar image.   Maria believes this internship on the R/V Okeanos Explorer will give her that valuable experience, not only in multibeam data collection and processing, but also develop valuable skills required to work on a research expedition.   Ultimately Maria hopes to correlate invertebrate population data to benthic terrain data from multibeam sonar images to create a habitat suitability model.   Maria is very excited to be able to work for some of NOAA's most prestigious scientists and researchers.  After the expedition, she will share her experience and new skills via webinars/ presentations hosted by the NOAA ECSC. Internship Supervisor: Derek Sowers

Melinda Martinez – Environmental Cooperative Science Center is a Master’s student at Texas A&M University – Corpus ChristiHer research topic focuses on short-term wetland sediment accretion rates on Mustang Island, Texas where she is examining sedimentation rates over a range of time scales to provide insight into the factors that control marsh elevation and sedimentation processes.   Melinda’s interests include coastal research, using Geographic Information System, remote sensing, and field techniques for inventory and monitoring of the coastal environment.  During her internship on the R/V Nautilus she will learn how to process digital data to help create useful information.  Melinda will learn how the multibeam echosounder sonar collects data, such as surface sediment characteristics, and how it is used these data to locate hydrothermal vents or oil seeps. She is also interested in ROV deployments and dive planning.   Melida’s research will contribute to the fields of coastal research by providing modern accretion rates and assess the major influences that may be used to improve models used to predict evolutionary changes of coastal wetlands, such as the Sea-Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM).   While aboard the R/V Nautilus, Melinda will share information about her experiences through a daily blog that will also be disseminated through the NOAA ECSC website and Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies webpage through the Coastal and Marine Geospatial Lab blog. Internship Supervisors: Nicole Raineault & Allison Fundis

Kafayat Olayinka - NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) is a graduate student at Howard Univerity, who participated in the  NOAA CALWATER2 Cruise aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown from January 14 – February 13, 2015.  As a student scientist, Kafayat had the opportunity to collaborate with NOAA scientists investigating the atmospheric river and its impact on the northern United States.  The focus of the cruise was to validate the satellite imagery of the “Atmospheric River”.   Kafayat was responsible for launching weather balloons attached to a RS92 &/ Ozonesonde to investigate the condition and composition of the atmosphere particular points.   This internship was a good opportunity for Kafayat to strengthen her knowledge and experience in air quality monitoring. The internship increased her interest in the importance of satellite validation and data analysis.It is also an opportunity to learn the usefulness of scientific instruments onboard a research vessel and to measure the composition of the atmosphere and ocean. Meeting other scientists from NOAA who were conducting atmospheric research was a great opportunity for this budding scientist to conduct collaborative work and to better prepare her for her professional career – perhaps at NOAA.  Kafayat shared her experiences along with data retrieved from the cruise with colleagues and faculty at NCAS.  She plans to present results from the cruise at the Howard University Research Day in April 2015 and write articles on the Ozone climatology in land versus ocean. Internship Supervisor: Vernon Morris

Sabrina Persaud, is a NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC), Florida A&M University College of Law second year student, pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree.  As a NOAA ECSC (Human Dimensions focal area) student, Sabrina’s eyes and mind were opened to the field of environmental law as an area in which she will consider practicing. Sabrina has accepted the offer from the Office of General Council Southeast Section (GCSE) as an Educational Partnership Program Legal Intern. During this 10-week summer internship, Sabrina will be immersed in: developing an annotation to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), creating an office manual on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; other assignments that may include reviewing MSA actions, and rules, reviewing Endangered Species Act rules and consultations; and have the option to attend meetings of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils.  Sabrina expects to hone her research skills, learn more about fisheries management and the rules and regulations that govern fisheries, and be exposed to some aspects of international environmental law.  Internship Supervisor: Mara Levy.

Back to top


Highlights from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Educational Partnership Program, 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum

Published Nov 2014

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator, gave the keynote address at the NOAA EPP 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum
From October 26-29th 2014, NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program (EPP) cosponsored the 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum with the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Nearly four hundred students, alumni and scientists participated in the Forum, the theme of which was “Developing a Premier Future STEM Workforce to Support Environmental Sustainability”. Highlights included:

1.) An inspiring keynote address from Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, on the critical role of science in fostering ecological, social and economic resilience and environmental intelligence.
She emphasized the role of the NOAA Cooperative Science Centers in driving regional scientific knowledge and providing tangible benefits to society. Other distinguished guest speakers included Dr. Joann Boughman, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Maryland System, Dr. Juliette Bell, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Representative Andy Harris (R-MD-1st), and Dr. Richard Spinrad, NOAA Chief Scientist. A press conference was held to allow the media to ask questions of NOAA, university and policymakers.

2.) Plentiful and diverse networking and professional development opportunities for students. The Forum began with a professional development session, as well as a ‘speed mentoring session’, during which students received career advice from NOAA and Cooperative Science Center professionals, along with their peers. Interactive sessions were held during the week on how to build collaborative relationships, preparing for opportunities in the public and private sectors, writing successful research proposals, and more. Students learned both in formal professional development sessions and through networking opportunities.

3.) Outstanding oral and poster presentations by students from all four NOAA Cooperative Science Centers. Technical sessions were held for each of NOAA’s long term goals: healthy oceans; weather-ready nation; climate adaptation & migration; and resilient coastal communities and economies. Students from undergraduate to Ph.D. level and post-doctorates presented their NOAA-related research, and there were lively discussions and ample opportunities for the cross-pollination of ideas. As NOAA has a broad mission of understanding and predicting the earth system and managing and conserving natural resources, the agency depends on interdisciplinary collaboration. Learning to think collaboratively early in the career will be an advantage for students to compete in the STEM workforce and solve the complex problems of tomorrow.

Kevin Williams, II, a master’s student at Florida A&M University, presented his research during the poster session at the NOAA EPP 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum. Photo Credit: Kristen Lycett

Equisha Glenn, a research fellow at The City College of the City University of New York, presented her project during the poster session at the NOAA EPP 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum. Photo Credit: Kristen Lycett

4.) Invaluable advice from alumni. NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) alumni from each of the four Cooperative Science Centers and the undergraduate and graduate scholarship programs participated in the event and were excellent resources for the students. Many alumni served as panelists or led professional development sessions. Lonnie Gonsalves, an alumnus of the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC), co-led a session on how to initiate and build professional relationships, based on his experience at the NOAA Oxford Cooperative Laboratory. Emily Tewes, an LMRCSC alumna, spoke to students about her experience as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and gave advice to those considering applying for the Fellowship. EPP alumni Drs. DaNa Carlis and Ayeisha Brinson gave inspiring presentations about their career journeys and the challenges they overcame. And, most importantly, alumni sat with current students during meals and networking sessions to talk and answer questions from the students.

5.) Final award presentation. At the conclusion of the Forum, Dr. Jennifer Keane-Dawes, Dean of Graduate Studies at UMES, and Dr. Juliette Bell, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, presented awards for outstanding oral and poster presentations in each technical session. All students received constructive feedback from the judges on their presentations, which they may use to prepare for national conferences and to enter the STEM workforce. At the end of the ceremony, all of the award winners were presented certificates and posed for a photo on stage with Dr. Juliette Bell.

A group of students and Dr. Dionne Hoskins from Savannah State University, part of the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center.

Dr. Juliette Bell, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, posed for a picture with all of the outstanding oral and poster presentation award winners.

Back to top


NOAA Hollings and EPP Undergraduate Scholars Complete Summer Internships

Published July 2014

Kyle Nolan, Hollings Scholar interning at Macdill Air Force Base in St. Petersburg, FL

At the end of July, 125 NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholars and 18 Educational Partnership Program (EPP) Undergraduate Scholars will finish their summer internships. They will travel to Silver Spring, MD, to present their projects at the Education and Science Symposium, held July 28-31st. The Hollings and EPP Scholars have spent the past ten weeks working at NOAA facilities across the country under the guidance of a NOAA mentor. Here's what some of the scholars had to say about their experience:

Jennifer Johnson, Hollings Scholar interning with the National Ocean Service in Silver Spring, MD

"My experience thus far has given me confidence in what I want to do as I move forward in developing my career goals. I am excited to take the first few steps to building a successful and fulfilling career path." - Olivia Poon, EPP Scholar, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

"This has been a fantastic internship all around. I managed my own project and developed real-world software that will be used long after I leave. Wherever I work in the future, it will be somewhere engaging and challenging, where I have the opportunity to affect positive and meaningful change." - Kyle Nolan, Hollings Scholar, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

"During my internship, I have improved my troubleshooting skills. I have been challenged in a way that has led me to think critically and utilize all sources of information that are available to me." - Jennifer Johnson, Hollings Scholar, National Ocean Service

"My mentor let me tag along on a damage survey after a tornado, and a man who lost his home told us the warning we issued saved his life. That may have been an exaggeration, but it was still pretty powerful."- Ryan Connelly, Hollings Scholar, National Weather Service

"I am proud to be a NOAA EPP Undergraduate Scholar, because this scholarship explores my career interests, allows me to conduct research under the guidance of NOAA scientists and to be a part of the NOAA team" - Autumn Chong, EPP Scholar, National Ocean Service

"During my internship, I was able to gather graduate school advice from NOAA employees and academic research scientists. These discussions have affirmed my interest in marine studies and encouraged me to pursue a Master's degree in marine conservation or coastal management." - Ashley Gordon, Hollings Scholar, National Marine Fisheries Service

Ashley Gordon, Hollings Scholar interning at the Sandy Hook Lab in Highlands, NJ

Kelly Nunez, EPP Scholar interning at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab in Miami, FL

In addition, NOAA scientists benefit greatly from the Hollings and EPP Scholarship Programs. NOAA offices hosting interns are able to increase their research productivity. One NOAA mentor stated,

"Our intern hit the ground running on day one and has made great progress. We have had to expand the scope of the internship because she has worked so hard and learned so quickly. She has contributed a great deal in a short period of time."

Another mentor said, "Our intern is doing an excellent job and we have offered him co-authorship on the resulting paper."

Congratulations and good luck to all of the Hollings and EPP Scholars!

Back to top


1st Cohort of NOAA-EPP Graduate Research & Training Scholars Selected

Published March 2014

PhD students Daryl Sibble and Marisa Litz have been selected as the first cohort for a new graduate pilot program with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program (EPP). The two students are the first to be awarded the EPP - Graduate Research and Training Scholar (GRTS) award, which is designed to support graduate students during extensive research opportunities at NOAA facilities and other research institutions.

Daryl is a Ph.D. candidate majoring in Environmental Science at Florida A&M University (FAMU) - the lead institution of the NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC). His research focuses on how the fluxes and deposition of ammonia (NH3) affect the health and functionality of certain ecosystems. His dissertation research is advised by Dr. Elijah Johnson and co-advised by Dr. Marcia Owens, both of FAMU. Daryl will be interning and conducting the majority of his research at the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division of the NOAA OAR Air Resources Laboratory, located in Oak Ridge, TN. Daryl's NOAA mentor is Dr. LaToya Myles, a physical scientist with an extensive background working with ammonia. LaToya is also a former EPP Graduate Scientist and FAMU graduate, and will serve on his graduate supervisory committee.

Dr. Myles and Daryl will be part of a research team collaborating with the University of Illinois to measure NH3 concentrations above and within a vegetative canopy in an agricultural environment. Measurements will be used to calculate the fluxes and deposition rates to compare actual values to the predicted values calculated through modeling. The goal is to improve the overall accuracy of the models for areas where environmental conditions and/or lack of resources render traditional sampling methods impracticable and to support large scale watershed management.

Daryl Sibble, PhD student at Florida A&M University

Marisa Litz, PhD student at Oregon State University

Marisa is a PhD student in Fisheries Science at Oregon State University (OSU), a partner of the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC). The LMRCSC was established at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to support the research priorities of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the goals of EPP through cutting edge research and training of students for careers in fisheries.

Marisa will spend her internship conducting research at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), a facility located on the Oregon coast approximately 50 miles from OSU's main campus. Marisa will work with NOAA senior scientist Dr. Richard Brodeur of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Estuarine and Ocean Ecology Program on a bioenergetics model to better understand how juvenile salmon growth rates respond to climate change. To accomplish this goal, Marisa will rely on a data-rich NOAA time series of juvenile salmon diet and environmental variables collected between 1980-1985 and 1998-2012. The model will be developed with input from additional NOAA sponsors from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Salmon Team. Marisa's research contributes to the overall goal of better understanding some key relationships between climate, oceanography, and biology that largely determine the fate of salmon entering the ocean during specific years.

Science and research training opportunities such as the EPP-GRTS pilot program that Daryl and Marisa participate in are critical to enhancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences for students, particularly from underrepresented communities. Training opportunities such as the GRTS are essential to increasing the number of students who successfully select and pursue STEM degrees and careers.

Back to top


2013 Student Science & Education Symposium Winners

Published August 2013

On July 30-August 1, NOAA Office of Education held our annual Student Science and Education Symposium. These exciting 3 days of sessions and information sharing are the culmination of internships at NOAA locations around the United States for 133 Ernest F. Hollings and Educational Partnership Program (EPP)/Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) student scholarship recipients.

These highly talented undergraduates selected scientific projects designed by NOAA scientists, and spent 9 weeks this summer contributing to research and analysis associated with these projects. During their 10th week, all of them participate in this opportunity to share a summary of their results with the NOAA community.

2013 Student Science & Education Symposium Winners.
2013 Student Science & Education Symposium Winners
Left to Right: Amanda Tine, McKenna Stanford, Elizabeth Smith, Derrick Jones, Gretchen Stokes, Mali'o Kodis, Michelle Frazer, Jacquelyn Ringhausen, David Kennedy (NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations), Paige Pruisner, Alexander Jensen, Grace Young, Ariana Meltvedt Snow, Conor McNicholas, Marlene Kaplan (Dep. Director of Education)
NOAA scientists and policy staff judge each oral and poster presentation. Scholar presentations were grouped in concurrent sessions according to NOAA's long term goals and enterprise objectives: healthy oceans; resilient coastal communities and economies; a weather-ready nation; climate adaptation and mitigation, and science and technology enterprise.

The event is conducted in the same manner as numerous professional conferences, providing many of these students their first opportunity to experience an oral or poster presentation before an audience. To see the topic of each student's research, please click here. The judging process has clearly-defined criteria, with numeric scores awarded. Winning presentations for each category are based on the highest point score, and first place winners receive a cash award. These scores, along with judges' comments and suggestions are subsequently provided to each student, to assist them in improving their presentation skills. Furthermore, each year, students are surveyed about their experiences during the summer internship and at the Symposium, to ensure that each subsequent gathering provides the best possible experience for these ambitious student scholars!

David Kennedy, NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. He provided a summary of NOAA accomplishments during the 9 weeks of the students' internships, helping them envision how their dynamic summers were contributing to NOAA's achievements. He congratulated all the student scholars for a job well done, gave kudos to Office of Education staff for a successful scholarship program, and posed for a photo with each student award winner.


Poster Presentations

Weather-Ready Nation
1st Place - Elizabeth Smith, Californis University of Pennsylvania, California, PA

Healthy Oceans
Honorable Mention - Gretchen Stokes, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Science & Technology Enterprise
Honorable Mention - Derrick Jones, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS

Oral Presentations

Weather-Ready Nation
1st Place – Jacquelyn Ringhausen, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Honorable Mention – McKenna Stanford, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
1st Place – Mali'o Kodis, Brown University, Providence, RI
1st Place - Conor McNicholas, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, Norman, OK
Honorable Mention – Michelle Frazer, Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH

Resilient Coastal Communities
1st Place – Amanda Tine, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Buzzards Bay, MA
Honorable Mention – Ariana Meltvedt Snow, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Healthy Oceans
1st Place - Paige Pruisner, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO
Honorable Mention – Alexander Jensen, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Honorable Mention – Grace Young, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Back to top


Derek Somo

Published July 2013

The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to highlight Ernest F. Hollings scholarship program class of 2010-2012 alumnus Derek Somo! Derek completed his undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, where he graduated in May of 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, having concentrated in ecology and evolution.

During the course of his summer 2011 research internship within NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Derek worked to process muscle samples for a study of the ontogeny of dive capacity in toothed whales. He presented his work at the 2011 NOAA Hollings Science and Education Symposium, in an oral presentation on the influence of life history and ecology on comparative dive capacity between two species of toothed whales.

Derek Somo, monitoring a seal, following a sampling 
Derek Somo, monitoring a seal, following a sampling procedure.
During the course of his summer 2011 research internship within NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Derek worked to process muscle samples for a study of the ontogeny of dive capacity in toothed whales. He presented his work at the 2011 NOAA Hollings Science and Education Symposium, in an oral presentation on the influence of life history and ecology on comparative dive capacity between two species of toothed whales.

In addition to his Hollings scholarship and internship work, Derek earned a National Hispanic Merit Finalist Scholarship from 2008 through his graduation in 2012, and conducted Honors Thesis research at Sabo Lab, the riverine ecology and freshwater sustainability lab at Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability.

Derek has continued his studies in NOAA mission-related sciences, and is expecting to complete his Master of Science degree in biology in May 2014. His current research focuses on comparative physiology and ecology of marine mammals.

Learn more about NOAA Office of Education opportunities, NOAA Fisheries, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFCS), the Conservation Biology Division, and read publications by NWFCS researchers.

Back to top


It's No Mind Trick, Office of Education Hosts Evaluation Internship with a GEDI

Published April 2013

The American Evaluation Association's Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program is a unique opportunity to help to build evaluation's future through fostering the professional growth of an intern from a background under-represented in the field. Interns work two days per week, September through June, on meaningful evaluation project work by applying their inquiry skills to real-life situations in the agency. NOAA Office of Education served as a host site this year (FY2013). Host sites provide meaningful evaluation project work and mentoring to GEDI interns.

Kwamé McIntosh was selected as NOAA's GEDI evaluation intern. Kwame is a graduate student in the School of Social Work at Howard University. His primary interest in evaluation is in its ability to ensure that the mission of organizations are being accomplished by those who work tirelessly to achieve the desired impact.

Kwame Mcintosh
Kwamé McIntosh, graduate student in the School of Social Work at Howard University.

Kwamé's evaluation project is a qualitative analysis of survey data for the Educational Partnership Program (EPP) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) and the Ernest F. Hollings scholarship program. For the project he analyzed exit survey data collected from 2008 to 2012 across over 550 participants and will help to inform program delivery and future evaluations. In addition to the project, Kwame developed program logic models for the USP, Hollings and the Nancy Foster Scholarship program.

In the future, Kwamé plans to use evaluation to ensure that organizations fashioned to impact the fields of education, public health, and human rights are maximizing their abilities to generate change in this world, especially those serving children, youth, and families.

Back to top


Nelsie A. Ramos

Published March 2013

The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce the graduation of Dr. Nelsie A. Ramos, and her pending appointment to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), where she serves as a Meteorologist and Surface Analyst Forecaster!

Nelsie completed her doctoral degree in Atmospheric Sciences and graduated from Howard University, Washington DC, in December 2012. Nelsie was also a student that was supported by the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) that is one of four NOAA Educational Partnership Program's Cooperative Science Centers.

Dr. Nelsie A. Ramos
Dr. Nelsie Ramos, assisting the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU) at NHC as a Hurricane Support Meteorologist (HSM) during Hurricane Miriam 2012.

Nelsie is a Class of 2009 alumna of the NOAA EPP Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), through which she studied in the Howard University Program of Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS), concentrating in Tropical Meteorology.

Dr. Ramos' research involved modeling and data assimilation using the NOAA AOML/HRD experimental Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model, with the aim to find distinguishing factors to better discriminate between possible developing and non-developing African Easterly Waves into tropical cyclones.

Her thesis work, entitled "Structure and Evolution of Developing and Non-developing African Easterly Waves during National Aeronautics and Space Administration African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA)", was conducted as part of collaboration with the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) Hurricane Research Division (HRD).

Among Nelsie's significant accomplishments, she has presented her work internationally in Bologna, Italy and Melbourne, Australia, served as the Principal Investigator of the 1st collaborative research with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Environmental Modeling Center, and participated on a mission flight into a hurricane!

You can learn more about the GSP student experience in NOAA science, from Nelsie's perspective, by clicking the links to see photos of Nelsie's P-3 TDR mission flight into Hurricane Tropical Storm Alex 2010, read the flight log of her mission, view her bio, and get her perspective by reading the Q&A with NHC interview.

"Through the EPP Graduate Sciences Program I just not landed a dream job, but I had the opportunity to enrich my career as a Meteorologist in many ways. In a 3-year period, I was able to lead significant scientific and applied research, experienced the fieldwork in a hurricane mission, and learned the operational side of the hurricane science. Moreover, I had the opportunity to communicate my research findings at national and international settings.

To be able to employ my interdisciplinary background, talents and passions to fulfill NHC's mission of saving lives, mitigate property loss and improving economic efficiency is what makes my job meaningful. Among all the experiences that the Graduate Sciences Program brought to my life, one that I enjoy the most is mentoring undergraduate and graduate students so that they can have successful careers." - Nelsie A. Ramos, PhD.

In keeping with her dedication to the next generations of NOAA scientists, Nelsie continues to participate in the NOAA Student Scholarship Programs by serving as a reviewer for the 2013 class of EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program and Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program applications.

Back to top


Lonnie Gonsalves

Published January 2013

The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce the graduation of Dr. Lonnie Gonsalves! Lonnie completed his doctoral degree and graduated from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES), in partnership with the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, in December 2012.

Lonnie Gonsalves
Lonnie Gonsalves (center), with partners from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), and local watermen, collecting striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay as part of his doctoral dissertation research into fish health and disease.

Lonnie is a Class of 2010 alumnus of the NOAA EPP Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), through which he studied Marine-Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES), concentrating in environmental molecular biology and biotechnology. He conducted his research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory (COL) of the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), a part of the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

Lonnie's thesis work, entitled "Nutritional Status and Immune Function of the Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Morone saxatilis", was completed through partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), and local watermen. Among Lonnie's significant accomplishments, he has served as president of the American Fisheries Society, Equal Opportunities Section, and is currently awaiting finalization of his appointment to the NOAA NCCOS National Ocean Service (NOS) as a Research Ecologist in Fisheries Biology.

Back to top


Martin Yapur

Published December 2012

The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Yapur to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Martin is an alumnus of the NOAA Cooperative Center for Remote Sensing Science and Technology (CREST) program, the Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), and the Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) through the partner institution the City College of The City University of New York.

Martin serves as Chair of the Applications Sub-group of the Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS) of CEOS, the "satellite arm" of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), with members and representatives from international agencies operating Earth observing satellites. His projects and related interest groups include the International Directory Network, Land Surface Imaging, Atmospheric Composition, Global Datasets, GEOSS Architecture for the use of Satellites for Disasters and Risk Assessment, and Water Portal.

Among Martin's most significant accomplishments is his work on the CEOS WGISS Integrated Catalog (CWIC) which, once operational, will enable Satellite data never before available to be discoverable and accessible to scientists, application providers, and decision makers who need to synthesize data from multiple sources in order to do their work.

Martin Yapur with collaborators

Martin Yapur (Front Right), in the field with collaborators, at the Joint meeting of the CEOS Working Groups on Calibration-Validation& Information Systems and Services, assembled at the National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, India. September 2012.

Back to top


Micheal Hicks

Published August 2012

Student Picture

The Educational Partnership Program is pleased to announce that Micheal Hicks, a Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) scholar received his Ph.D. from Howard University Program of Atmospheric Science (HUPAS) in May 2012. There he conducted research utilizing LIDAR, radiosonde, and anemometer technologies to analyze the impact of urbanization on atmospheric boundary layer processes. His dissertation is entitled "The Characterization of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Depth and Turbulence in a Mixed Rural and Urban Convective Environment."

As an undergraduate mathematician at Paine College, Micheal was inducted into the United Negro College Fund Mellon-Mays fellowship in 2004, where he was inspired to attain a PhD degree. In addition, as an undergraduate mathematician, he completed two summer internships with NOAA's Education Partnership Program (EPP), where he developed his sustaining interest in the atmospheric sciences. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2006, Micheal then received an academic scholarship to study at NOAA's Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at Howard University. As a participant in the GSP, he was mentored by Joseph Facundo of NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) and now works fulltime for NWS as a Physical Scientist in Sterling, VA.

Back to top


Dominic Hondolero

Published June 2012

Student Picture

The Educational Partnership Program is pleased to announce that Dominic Hondolero, a Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) student, received his Master's Degree in Biology with a concentration in Ecology in December 2011 from San Diego State University. His thesis was entitled, "Physical and Biological Characteristics of Kelp Forests in Kachemak Bay, Alaska."

Read more about Dominic Hondolero...

Back to top


Melanie Harrison

Published March 2012

Student Picture

The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce that on May 20, 2011, Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) student Melanie Harrison completed her Doctoral Degree in Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Read more about Dr. Melanie Harrison...

Back to top