NOAA chief to attend UMES’ national Education & Science Forum

PRINCESS ANNE — Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, visits the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Monday, Oct. 27, to participate in a national education and science forum that the university and the federal agency are co-hosting.

Sullivan will deliver a keynote address at NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program Forum, a biennial event that brings together science, technology, engineering and mathematics students, faculty and NOAA collaborators from around the country.

NOAA’s Education Partnership Program works closely with a network of Minority Serving Institutions – UMES among them – to build education and research capacity as well as train future scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology professionals drawn from underrepresented populations.

UMES is the lead institution of the NOAA-funded Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, one of four such centers that work to advance collaborative research in NOAA-mission sciences. Each center focuses on one area of NOAA’s mission, including weather, satellites, coastal management and marine ecosystems.

Flanked by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, UMES’ center conducts research on marine and estuarine ecosystems while training students for careers in research, management and public policy in those specialized, NOAA-mission science fields.

Among Sullivan’s top priorities since being nominated by President Obama to lead the agency has been to diversify the pipeline of students in NOAA-mission sciences for the future workforce.  Another priority is providing environmental intelligence to help citizens, businesses and governments make smart choices.

Earlier this year, Time magazine named Sullivan one of its 100 Most Influential People. Retired U.S. Sen. John Glenn, a former astronaut, penned the magazine’s tribute under the headline “World’s Weatherwoman.”

“Kathy is not just an ivory-tower scientist,” he wrote. “She was part of NASA’s first class of female astronauts, selected in 1978, and went on to fly three shuttle missions. She is the first American woman to walk in space and served aboard the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.”

Glenn called Sullivan “the right person for the right job at the right time.”

An accomplished oceanographer, Sullivan served as NOAA’s Chief Scientist in 1993, during which time she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity.

Her bachelor’s degree in earth sciences is from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She earned her doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.

Congressman Andy Harris, whose district rings much of the Chesapeake Bay, has accepted an invitation to attend the forum with Sullivan.  Sullivan is expected to highlight the successes of UMES’ collaboration with NOAA and address the sustainability of Chesapeake Bay resources.

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