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Blue chip dividends

Sound investment in a technically trained labor force is critical to economic growth and the protection of Florida’s coastal resources. Through support for Florida’s university students, Florida Sea Grant identifies the emerging talent to meet this long-term need.

A statewide, university-based research and education program, Florida Sea Grant provides future marine scientists and other environmental professionals with financial support and valuable, real-world work experience through its network of people, universities, governments and businesses. The investment pays off as students receiving this support emerge to design creative management concepts to protect Florida’s coastal environment for future generations. Meet just a few of the dynamic scholars and alumni of Florida Sea Grant projects.

Austin Todd
The experiences I’ve had with marine science have shown me the importance of oceans to coastal ecosystems and economics and the oceans’ role in the Earth system. I hope to spread these important lessons to as many people as possible.”

An inaugural Guy Harvey Scholar. Investigated ocean circulation dynamics related to grouper spawning in the Gulf of Mexico. Member of the crew that discovered an 18th century shipwreck 2,500 meters beneath the ocean’s surface off North Carolina. Now a senior data scientist and oceanographer with MeteoGroup, a weather organization in Europe.

Jennifer Dupont
What am I doing at a company full of engineers and geologists? The whole idea is that our projects last 30, 40, 50 years — so we have to make sure we’re not negatively impacting communities and environments where we operate.”

Earned her Ph.D. at the University of South Florida in biological oceanography studying the effectiveness of using artificial reefs to help reef fish populations recover from red tide events. 2007 Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas scholar. 2009 Knauss Fellow. Now an environmental and regulatory supervisor with ExxonMobil.

Heather Havens
The Deepwater Horizon incident occurred during my fellowship. Through preparations for committee hearings, I noticed the involvement of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy in the government response efforts. From that experience I became interested in the military’s role in providing what I now know to be called maritime domain awareness.”

Graduate of the University of South Florida. 2010 Knauss Fellow. Now a contract policy analyst focusing on Arctic policy for the U.S. Navy.

Jennifer Adler
The main goal of my research is to understand the most effective ways to communicate about Florida’s fresh water and help create a new water ethic for Florida, specifically the next generation. I am helping these future caretakers understand where their water comes from and why that matters.”

Awarded a NatGeo Young Explorer’s grant for underwater video work on the Florida springs. Ph.D. student in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida. Florida Sea Grant scholar, Florida Outdoor Writers scholar.

Andrew Barbour
I finished a job as a research associate in neonatology working with neurological conditions in newborns before going to medical school. The analytical skills I developed working in fisheries science translated smoothly into the medical field. My motivation is to apply science to improve quality of life for the public and (water) resource users.”

Earned a Ph.D. in fisheries from University of Florida studying the importance of nursery habitat for healthy populations of snook. Florida Outdoor Writers scholar. Named to Forbes “30 Under 30” for postgrad work in neonatology. Now a medical student at Duke University.

Rachel Silverstein
Algal blooms have been threatening Biscayne Bay for more than a decade, yet very few people, including our elected officials, are aware of the Bay’s vulnerable status.”

University of Miami graduate, 2013 Knauss Fellow. Successfully campaigned to rescue threatened corals imperiled by the Port of Miami dredging project. Now teaches citizens how to monitor Biscayne Bay’s water quality as the executive director of Miami Waterkeeper.

Robert Ellis
I think I’m a better scientist by having a background in different aspects of fisheries science and policy.”

At Florida State University, researched the management of the invasive lionfish, a species of considerable economic detriment to Florida’s fisheries. 2013 Guy Harvey scholar, 2015 Knauss Fellow. Now an associate research scientist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Florida Sea Grant manages fellowships, scholarships and research assistantships that broaden the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students.

If you would like to invest in Florida’s future with your gift supporting Florida Sea Grant’s scholarship fund, please visit www.FlSeaGrant.org/donate.