NOAA awards a total of $10.8 million to four minority serving institutions to train next generation of scientists

Awards may grow to $15 million for each university over five years

November 16, 2011

Students pursuing applied research in NOAA-related scientific fields.

Students pursuing applied research in NOAA-related scientific fields.

(Credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s Office of Education announced that it has awarded grants totaling $10.8 million to four lead minority-serving institutions across the country to train and graduate students who pursue applied research in NOAA-related scientific fields.

Awards were made to four lead universities — City College of New York, Florida A&M University, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, and Howard University — which partnered with 20 other schools to form four cooperative science centers. The centers will train students in remote sensing, environmental science, living marine resources, and atmospheric science — all core scientific fields for NOAA.

The awards may grow to $15 million over five years for each lead center, depending on performance and appropriations.

“These awards enable us to develop a strong, well trained, diverse workforce for NOAA and the nation,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “These grants recognize the importance of STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — to the future of America’s ability to innovate and compete in the global community.”

The awards were made through NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions. Since the first awards were made in 2001, NOAA cooperative science centers have trained 1,766 students, with 921 of them earning degrees in NOAA-related fields. NOAA has hired 100 center-trained graduates.

The long term goal of NOAA's Educational Partnership Program is to increase the number of students, particularly from underrepresented communities, who attend minority serving institutions and graduate with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“America's future ability to compete and succeed globally depends on the investments we make today in science, technology, engineering and math education,” said Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the Appropriations subcommittee which funds NOAA. “I am proud that this grant from NOAA will give minority students across the country additional building blocks they need to focus their education and jumpstart their careers. I will continue to fight for federal investments to support the innovation and scientific research that has the power to save lives, create prosperity and keep America competitive in the global arena.”

The awards were announced in a ceremony on Capitol Hill attended by Under Secretary Lubchenco and representatives of the lead and partner institutions, and co-hosted by U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania, and U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano of New York, as well as.

All center awards were made after a rigorous competitive peer review process by external reviewers from academia and other federal agencies.

FY 2011 NOAA EPP Center Award Recipients

NOAA Center for Remote Sensing Science and Technology
Lead institution – City College of New York.

NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center
Lead institution – Florida A&M University

NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences
Lead institution – Howard University (D.C.)

NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center
Lead institution – University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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