Administration

  • The NOAA LMRCSC has put in place and administrative structure to fulfill its goals and objectives. Below you will find a description of Center Personnel Roles and Responsibilities and the Center Administrative Components, such as committees and advisory boards.

    View our Organizational Chart 


    Center Personnel Roles and Responsibilities


    Paulinus ChigbuCenter Director:  Paulinus Chigbu, Ph.D., is Professor of Marine and Fisheries Science and Director of the NOAA LMRCSC at UMES. He will devote 50% of his time to lead the LMRCSC. The Center Director is responsible for providing executive leadership, strategic communications and visibility of the LMRCSC; managing, planning, coordinating, organizing, implementing, reporting, and monitoring LMRCSC finances; overseeing administration, education, scientific research, engagement and recruitment, retention and graduation of students at the Center; developing comprehensive reports for all LMRCSC sponsored activities, and securing leveraged funding to help make the LMRCSC sustainable. 

    Paulinus Chigbu is Professor of Marine and Fisheries Sciences and Director of the NOAA LMRCSC at UMES, a position he has held since 2006. He provides executive leadership, strategic communications and visibility, and manages, plans, coordinates, organizes, implements, reports, and monitors LMRCSC finances. Further responsibilities include administration, education, scientific research, engagement and recruitment, retention and graduation of students at the center. He develops comprehensive reporting for all LMRCSC sponsored activities, and secures leveraged funding to make the LMRCSC sustainable. He is also Project Director of an REU site in Marine and Estuarine Sciences funded by NSF, geoscience bridge program funded by NSF, and the NSF CREST Center for an Integrated Study of Coastal Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic region, all of which were leveraged with NOAA LMRCSC funds. He received his Ph.D. degree in fisheries from the University of Washington, Seattle, through a Fulbright Scholarship, and currently serves on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.

    Margaret-Sexton-2Interim Assistant Center Director: Dr. Maggie Sexton assists the Center Director in the administration of the LMRCSC, and allocates 100% of her time to the LMRCSC activities and acts on behalf of the Center Director as needed. Dr. Sexton is responsible for day-to-day Center administration, budget tracking, oversight of coordination for execution of all Center Plans and timelines, meetings, engagement with internal and external groups to promote the Center; development of key messaging for Center accessibility and visibility, and robust matrix communication within the Center; lead institution with partner and NOAA; coordinating planning and logistics for Center meetings, including annual science meetings, Advisory Board meetings, monthly center-wide PI meetings, quarterly meetings with NOAA Line Office and the Student Seminar Series;  coordinating the flow of information between Center Director and Co-PIs; acting as budget liaison between LMRCSC and Office of Sponsored Research and Programs at UMES and those at LMRCSC partner institutions; coordinating processing of subcontracts between UMES and LMRCSC partners; oversee tracking of budget; compiling data that can be used to describe Center activities; tracking student progress; coordinate the annual LMRCSC science meetings, RFP and proposal review process; identify and disseminate internship opportunities for students; coordinate planning and execution of Virtual Campus events; and coordinate LMRCSC scholarships and graduate student contracts; assist the Center Director in student assessment, purchasing equipment, maintaining equipment inventory, and maintaining center records. 

    Dr. Maggie Sexton received a B.S. degree in Marine Science and Biology from Coastal Carolina University in 2003 and a Ph.D. in Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Science from the University of Maryland in 2012. Her dissertation research,  conducted at the Horn Point Laboratory, sought to characterize inter-annual and intra-annual variability in the abundance of the sea nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha in Chesapeake Bay and the environmental conditions that cause this variability.  She joined  the LMRCSC in 2013. Her current research interests include the biology and ecology of gelatinous zooplankton in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Coastal Bays, particularly the early life stages of C. quinquecirrha.  

    Bradley StevensDistinguished Research Scientist: Dr. Bradley Stevens is the Distinguished Research Scientist (DRS) at the LMRCSC. He will allocate 100% of his time during a 9 month period to the Center-wide level coordination, leadership and management of Center research at all levels. The DRS is responsible for developing and managing significant research projects for the LMRCSC, including its partnering academic institutions, leading the development and assessment of the LMRCSC Science Plan, coordinating the annual science meeting; facilitate and coordinate scientific research between NOAA and LMRCSC scientists, including scientists at other NOAA EPP Cooperative Science Centers, leading, organizing and conducting scientific meetings, secure funding from external sources, and mentor students, teaching graduate level courses; and publishing in scholarly journals.

    Dr. Bradley Stevens is the Distinguished Research Scientist (DRS) at the LMRCSC, a position he has held since 2009. He received his doctorate in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington. From 1984 to 2006 he worked for the NOAA/NMFS in Kodiak Alaska, where he was Task Leader for Bering Sea Crab stock assessment. In 2006 he joined the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he developed and taught a class in Fisheries Survey Sampling, and in 2009 he joined the LMRCSC at UMES. He allocates to the Center-wide level coordination, leadership and management of Center research at all levels. He is responsible for developing and managing significant research projects for the LMRCSC, including its partnering academic institutions; leads the development and assessment of the LMRCSC Science Plan, coordinates the annual science meeting; and facilitates and coordinates scientific research between NOAA and LMRCSC scientists, including scientists at other NOAA EPP Cooperative Science Centers. Additionally, he leads, organizes and conducts scientific meetings, secures funding from external sources, and mentors students.


    Alex Kessi

    Coordinator for Budget and Data Management: Alexander Kessie is currently the Coordinator for Budget and Data Management for the LMRCSC. Prior to his time with UMES, Mr. Kessie served 13 years at Jackson State University, in Jackson, MS., where he held the title of IT manager for the Environmental Science PhD Program, in addition to serving as Webmaster for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He later joined the Research Center for Minority Institutions – Center for Environmental Health, where he served as the Program Manager for a year and a half.

    Mr. Kessie received his MM degree in Management from Limburg University, Diepenbeek in Belgium and his MS degree in Computer Science from Jackson State University is Jackson, MS.



    Tanesha Hankerson

    Communication and Outreach Specialist: Tanesha Hankerson serves as the Communications and Outreach Specialist for the LMRCSC. She is responsible for communicating center achievements for high visibility with internal and external stakeholders; managing the center web site, as well as  web sites of leveraged programs; facilitating the department newsletter and increasing public access to results from LMRCSC research. 

    Initially joining the UMES team in the summer of 2018, Ms. Hankerson held the position of Food Nutrition Assistant within the university's Extension program before joining the LMRCSC team in the fall of 2018. Holding a master's degree in communications from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C., Tanesha has experience working in numerous fields, including emergency management and the medical arena. 


    Dr. Young Photo

    Education Expert: Dr. Victoria Young is serving as the Education Expert for the LMRCSC. She is responsible for the center-wide level leadership and coordination to ensure that all LMRCSC supported students are successfully following the Center’s Education Plan including, education, training, experiential and professional development to attain the working skills and competencies for the agency mission future workforce.

    In 2013, Dr. Young became the camp coordinator for the Coast Camp program and outreach coordinator for the Marine and Environmental Science department at Savannah State University.  In this position, she developed innovative curriculum and employed instructional strategies for camp participants. In January of 2018, Dr. Young became the Education Expert for NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center. Located at Savannah State University, she monitors the matriculation of program fellows through academic progress and early career.

    In the fall of 2017, Dr. Young received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  The topic of her dissertation was Marine Science Summer Camp’s Impact on Ocean Literacy for Middle School Students.


    Ida Tilghman

    Administrative Assistant: The LMRCSC Administrative Assistant is Ms. Ida Tilghman. Ms. Tilghman is responsible for processing all requests for travel, purchase, and maintenance of facilities; maintaining budget records including available balance, expenditures, vendor records and communications; preparing and tracking all NOAA LMRCSC scholarships, student contracts, and staff contracts; maintaining personnel records for all staff and students participating in the activities of the NOAA LMRCSC.




    LMRCSC Technical Monitor: Cisco Werner, Ph.D., Director, Science Programs and Chief Science Advisor, NOAA Fisheries 

    LMRCSC Technical Advisor: Mr. Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs


    Center Administrative Components


    Center Directorate: The Center Directorate is composed of Key Management Positions; Center Director, Assistant Director, Data, Information and Communication Manager, Education Expert and Administrative Assistant. The Center Directorate is the hub through which all communications and decisions regarding the NOAA LMRCSC pass. It is the point of contact for all matters pertaining to the NOAA LMRCSC and its programs at the collaborating institutions, and the administrative center for the research, education and training programs of the Center.

    Executive Committee (EC): The EC is chaired by the Center Director and is comprised of the Center Director, Assistant Center Director Distinguished Research Scientist, Education Expert, Data, Information, and Communication Manager and the Project Directors from each Center institution. The EC represents the programmatic interests of each of the collaborating institutions and the Center Directorate addressing the progress towards meeting programmatic objectives at each institution. The EC provides direct oversight and advice to the Center Director. EC meetings are used to discuss and develop center-wide strategies for recruiting students and placing them at NOAA Labs for internships. Internal quantitative and qualitative assessments of the Center institutions are made individually by the Project Directors at each institution and collectively by the EC.

    Center Core Administration (CCA): The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at UMES serves as Chair of the CCA. The CCA discusses, identifies and resolves administrative affairs that pertain to the Center. The CCA functions to integrate NOAA LMRCSC administratively and physically into UMES operations and ensures that the Center has the necessary resources to achieve its mission and meet its programmatic objectives. 

    The CCA is composed of the following at UMES Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Representative from the Office of the President, Vice-President for Administrative Affairs, Dean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, LMRCSC Director, LMRCSC Assistant Director, Distinguished Research Scientist, Data, Information, and Communication Manager.

    Board of Visitors (BOV): The BOV develops the MOUs, reviews Center policies and procedures, and work plans for each year. They also address and resolve higher level administrative issues associated with cooperative arrangements between academic institutions. Finally, the group facilitates inter-institutional course offerings by helping to execute the Articulation Agreement of LMRCSC. As a result of the Articulation Agreement, a student enrolled at one center institution can register for courses offered at another center institution.

    The BOV is composed of the Presidents of Center institutions or their designees, NOAA representative from NMFS, Center Director (ex-officio member), Assistant Director, NOAA EPP Representative. The President of UMES or the designee serves as chair of the BOV. The BOV meets once a year in October or November.

    Education Committee: The Education Committee helps to Implement at each of the partner institutions and monitor the center-wide Student Development Plan that includes center-wide framework for core competencies, literacy in NOAA related sciences, and center-wide framework for social science integration. The committee helps to develop a comprehensive timetable for center wide seminars and courses offered through the Virtual Campus; makes suggestions on how the LMRCSC course curricula can be modified; and seeks external funds to support new center-wide educational and training programs.

    This is composed of the LMRCSC Education Lead, Dr. Margaret Sexton (UMES), CREST-CISCEP Associate Director and REU Program Coordinator; Dr. Ligia DaSilva (UMES), CREST-CISCEP Program Coordinator; Ms. Cy'Anna Scott (UMES), Coordinator, Geosciences programs; Dr. Patricia Goslee (UMES) - CREST-CISCEP Education Lead; Center Director, Assistant Director, and Project Directors of the partner institutions or their designees

    Research Committee: The Research Committee helps to foster research collaborations, develop center-wide research projects and lead Center efforts to develop proposals to seek funding for research from various agencies. The committee is comprised of representatives from each of the Center partner institutions and is chaired by the LMRCSC DRS.

    Technical Advisory Board: The TAB reviews and provides recommendations to the Center Director on the Center’s science plan and research proposals, and by so doing, ensures that the research conducted at the Center is of high quality and in line with NOAA Fisheries research priorities.

    The TAB is comprised of scientists with various areas of expertise in NOAA related sciences working at various NOAA Laboratories. The TAB is chaired by the LMRCSC Technical Monitor. Selection of TAB members is made by the LMRCSC Technical Monitor based on research record and expertise in NOAA-related fields. Membership is for a period of 5 years. Replacement of members is made after discussions between the LMRCSC Technical Monitor and the Center Director. Learn more about the TAB process

    External Advisory Committee (EAC): The EAC participates in the LMRCSC annual Science meetings, reviews center research thematic areas, RFPs, and Strategic Plan document and offers suggestions for improvement of the Center. The committee members include Dr. James Nance, Chair of the committee (NOAA Galveston Lab), Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce (University of New England), Dr. Michael Fogarty (NOAA NEFSC Woods Hole, MA), Dr. Jeffrey Silverstein (USDA, Beltsville, MD), and Mr. Doug Wilson (NOAA Chesapeake Bay Lab). 

    Center Core Administration (CCA) at UMES: The purpose of this body is to discuss, identify and resolve administrative affairs that pertain to the Center. The CCA meets quarterly or as needed. Decisions of the CCA are reported to the EC. The CCA is chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and consists of a representative from the Office of the President, the UMES’ Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Dean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, LMRCSC Director, DRS, and the Assistant Center Director. Through CCA meetings, the Center Director interacts directly with the offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Administrative Affairs, the Dean and the Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at UMES. 

    Board of Visitors (BOV): The BOV develops the Memorandum of Understanding, reviews Center policies and procedures, and work plans for each year. Additionally, the Board addresses and resolves higher-level administrative issues associated with cooperative arrangements between academic institutions. BOV membership consists of Presidents of Center institutions or their designees, NOAA representatives from NMFS, and the Center Director who is an ex-officio member and a resource person. The BOV meets once a year at the general Center meeting. The BOV is chaired by the President of UMES. 




  • NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center
    University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Lead Institution)
    (410) 651-7870
    Award numbers: FY 2016 Award #NA16SEC4810007 
    Funding Agency: NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI)
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