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NOAA Marine Sciences Scholarship Expanding


By ANDREW MILLER
Daily Sitka Sentinel Staff Writer

NOAA Fisheries leaders in Alaska and Sheldon Jackson College educators met in Sitka this week to focus on NOAA’s Future Fishery Management Leadership Project.

“In collaboration with the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, we started this fisheries scholarship program two years ago, said NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator Doug Mecum. “This week we met at Sheldon Jackson College to focus on expanding the program to include post-graduate work with the University of Alaska and strengthening our summer internships with NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center.”

An objective of Future Fishery Management Leadership Project is to enhance the preparation of under-represented Alaskan populations for careers in marine resource fields, Mecum explained. As the oldest continuously operating school in Alaska, Sheldon-Jackson has been educating Alaskans since 1878.

“Sheldon Jackson’s geographical location, research infrastructure, diverse student body, and environmental sciences program make the school an excellent partner to build institutional links providing the marine science needed for fisheries management in Alaska, said Steve Ignell, Deputy Director of NOAA Fisheries’ Auke Bay Laboratory in Juneau.

“As part of our continuing effort to expand graduate student opportunities in marine sciences in Alaska, we heartily endorse the collaborative efforts between Sheldon Jackson College and NOAA in the area of education and training,” said Dr. Michael Castellini, Associate Dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “We look forward to having graduate students selected through this program conduct their graduate work in our School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. This program provides exactly the types of opportunities that students need to move into areas of professional development.”

“This partnership will open the door to many exciting opportunities for Sheldon Jackson College, NOAA and the UAF that will benefit not only each organization, but also most importantly, the students that will be involved. We at Sheldon Jackson College are excited to be a part of these collaborative efforts and look forward to working with our partners in creating a successful program,” added Dr. M. Keith Cox, of Sheldon Jackson College’s At-Sea Professorship of Fisheries Biology .

Sara Roa graduated from Sheldon-Jackson College as the first scholarship recipient in the Future Fishery Management Leadership Project. She interned at Auke Bay Laboratory during summer 2005, focusing on habitat, and on eel grass beds in particular. Another scholarship recipient, Sarah Lyn McConahay, will be filling a similar role for Auke Bay Laboratory this coming field research season.

In order to apply for the scholarship, students must meet program criteria including United States citizenship, academic standing and status, enrollment in an environmental/marine sciences program, and financial need. Students selected for the scholarship receive full payment of housing, a monthly stipend, tuition, fees, and books. They also participate as paid interns in fisheries-related organizations such as the NOAA Fisheries Regional Office, the Auke Bay Laboratory, or NOAA Fisheries’ Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute (under construction) in Juneau. Interns may also participate in a two or three week research project on board one of NOAA Fisheries research vessels.

For more information about the Future Fishery Management Leadership Project. contact John Gorman at NOAA Fisheries’ Regional Office in Juneau at 907-586-7641 or [email protected]

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, please visit our websites at www.fakr.noaa.gov and www.afsc.noaa.gov.