2014 Center-Wide Core Competency course

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From August 3rd through the 9th, the NOAA-ECSC hosted the intensive training Center Wide Core Competency (CWCC) course for undergraduate and graduate students with partnering institutions- Florida A&M University, Creighton University, Delaware State University, Jackson State University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and University of Texas-Brownsville.  The week-long course was organized by NOAA-ECSC faculty members with leadership from Dr. Jennifer Cherrier (FAMU Associate Professor) who brought in numerous experts in their respective fields to lead portions of the course held at FSU’s Marine Laboratory located in St. Teresa, Florida. 

The CWCC course exemplifies the NOAA Educational Partnership Program’s mission by increasing the number of students from underrepresented communities who are educated, trained and graduated in fields that directly support NOAA's mission and STEM disciplines. The CWCC coursework included coastal and marine ecosystem dynamics (classroom based) and field research methodologies (field based) with a focus on the five research areas of the Center – Ecological Processes, Ecosystem Characterization, Forecasting & Modeling, Policy & Decision Tools, and Socio-economic Processes.

To cohesively tie all five major research areas together, the final project was a Problem Based Learning (PBL) group assignment where groups of students took an environmental issue (a proposed residential development community in Franklin County, Florida) and approached it from different stakeholder groups point of view including environmental activists, land developers, fishermen and the local government. This PBL activity challenged the students to think outside of the box when it comes to real world decision-making, demonstrate knowledge of the local system, and integrate what they learned from the course's focus area activities.


Special guest speakers for the 2014 NOAA-ECSC CWCC included:

  • Dr. Geoffrey Scott (Chair of the Department of Environment Health Sciences, University of South Carolina; former Director of NOAA NOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Bimolecular Research(CCEHBR))
  • Steve Leitman (Environmental Scientist and Expert on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River System)
  • Lee Edmiston (Former Manager, Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve)
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