Joint UMES-NOAA education-science forum Oct. 26-29

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD- (Sept. 10, 2014) - Marine, environmental, atmospheric and remote sensing sciences and technologies, social sciences faculty, students, early career professionals and their collaborators at state and federal agencies will converge on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) campus this fall for a national conference. Topics will include challenges presented by climate change, weather and the impact of human activities on coastal resources, habitats, communities and their economies.

    NOAA research vesselThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at UMES will co-host the 7th biennial Education and Science Forum Oct. 26-29. This year's forum's theme is "Developing a Premier Future STEM Workforce to Support Environmental Sustainability."

    Organizers describe the event held every two years as "a vibrant environment for students, professionals and the general public seeking opportunities for learning, networking and career development in NOAA mission-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics" - known collectively as "STEM" fields.

    The 2014 edition kicks off with a series of student development workshops and then an evening networking event on Sunday, Oct. 26.

    The following day, the forum opens with plenary sessions featuring invited members of Congress and senior NOAA officials including Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the agency's newly confirmed administrator.  Dr. Sullivan, a distinguished scientist, holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space.

    In addition to nationally recognized researchers, the forum typically attracts several hundred participants, including college students, postdoctoral fellows, academic and community leaders, government officials and private-sector representatives interested in promoting future workforce diversity in STEM disciplines.

    The Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center is a consortium of seven academic institutions with UMES as the lead institution. Since 2001 when the Center was established, it has produced 438 graduates - 320 undergraduate degrees, 99 master's degrees and 19 doctorates - in NOAA-related disciplines.

    Education and research at member institutions support NOAA's mission of Resilient Ecosystems, Communities, and Economies, with a focus on marine ecosystems, their living resources and the human communities that depend on them.

    "We support the NOAA goal of maintaining healthy oceans, and the fisheries, habitats, and biodiversity within them, by fostering research on essential fish habitats, aquaculture and seafood safety, quantitative fishery science and socio-economic aspects of marine fisheries," said Dr. Paulinus Chigbu - LMRCSC Director, a UMES professor who is coordinating the forum.

    Technical sessions at this year's forum are organized around four long-term NOAA goals: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Weather Ready Nation, Healthy Oceans, and Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies.

    Presentations during lunch will feature guest speakers selected for their support of STEM education and with interests in assuring a viable and sustainable future for planet Earth. Student-oriented activities will focus on strategies for finding post-graduation employment as well as providing network opportunities with peers, alumni of N