National Science Foundation Awards two Prestigious Research Internships to SCeMFiS Graduate Students

HATTIESBURG, MS / ACCESSWIRE / August 22, 2019 / The Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS) is proud to announce that two of our graduate students, Laura Solinger and Kathleen Hemeon, have been awarded non-academic research internships with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The internships, valued at about $45,000 each, will support each student for a 6-month position at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. There they will be working on surfclam and ocean quahog research, two of the most valuable shellfish fisheries in the U.S.

“The NEFSC is thrilled to host Laura and Kathleen and support their burgeoning careers while conducting good science,” said Dr. Mike Simpkins, Division Chief at NEFSC. “This is a win-win for NEFSC, as a scientific agency and a member of SCeMFiS, these internships are the best of both worlds for us.”

The internships are part of NSF’s mission to promote a globally competitive and diverse research workforce, and to advance American scientific and innovation skills. SCeMFiS, which, as an industry/university cooperative research center (I/UCRC), is partially funded through an NSF grant, is also part of that mission.

“Receiving two NSF internships in 2019 demonstrates the quality of graduate student participants in SCeMFiS research,” says Dr. Eric Powell, Director of SCeMFiS. “We are particularly excited in expanding our collaboration with scientists at the NEFSC, while providing important career training for our most promising graduate students.”

SCeMFiS works with its industry partners to fund groundbreaking research around pressing scientific issues in finfish and shellfish fisheries, including a recent study examining how surfclams have adapted to climate change. We are pleased that two of our graduate students will now be able to conduct similar research in their internships with NSF.

“Providing our students with the opportunity to work across the spectrum from science theory to practical application in management is critical as we strive to responsibly and sustainably manage critical fishery resources,” said Dr. Roger Mann, SCeMFiS Site Director at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “These awards are at the leading edge of that spectrum.”

“The research conducted by SCeMFiS graduate students provides essential knowledge for many critical fisheries,” said Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director of the Garden State Seafood Association and Chairman of the SCeMFiS Industry Advisory Board. “The industry is proud to support their work, as well as the work of our scientific partners at the NEFSC.”

About SCeMFiS

SCeMFiS utilizes academic and fisheries resources to address urgent scientific problems limiting sustainable fisheries. SCeMFiS develops methods, analytical and survey tools, datasets, and analytical approaches to improve sustainability of fisheries and reduce uncertainty in biomass estimates. SCeMFiS university partners, University of Southern Mississippi (lead institution), and Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, are the academic sites. Collaborating scientists who provide specific expertise in finfish, shellfish, and marine mammal research, come from a wide range of academic institutions including Old Dominion University, Rutgers University, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, University of Maryland, and University of Rhode Island.

The need for the diverse services that SCeMFiS can provide to industry continues to grow, which has prompted a steady increase in the number of fishing industry partners. These services include immediate access to science expertise for stock assessment issues, rapid response to research priorities, and representation on stock assessment working groups. Targeted research leads to improvements in data collection, survey design, analytical tools, assessment models, and other needs to reduce uncertainty in stock status and improve reference point goals.

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SOURCE: Science Center for Marine Fisheries

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