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Environmental Cooperative Sciences Center

Lonnie with student
NCCOS works with NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center to: 1) Increase the number of highly qualified scientists and managers, particularly from under-represented minority groups entering NOAA's workforce; 2) Improve the scientific bases for coastal resource management and; 3) Facilitate community education and outreach on coastal ecosystems and services. Above, a NCCOS scientist in the program studies how land use affects fish health in the Chesapeake Bay, and is developing assessment tools for Maryland's Department of Natural Resources. He will continue working with NCCOS after he completes his Ph.D.

NCCOS partners with the Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) to educate students from under-represented minority groups in marine sciences. Their students employ natural and social science tools that look at the whole picture of ecosystem health, known as "integrated assessments." The center offers a diverse pool of students and an impressive array of academic programs that provide quality educational and research experiences to prepare students in NOAA-related sciences. Their faculty and staff are committed to develop students who are ideal candidates for careers supporting NOAA's ecosystem research.

The ECSC collaborates with NOAA scientists and perform scientific fieldwork in many National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) from the Gulf of Mexico to Delaware. These special places provide excellent study areas upon which to focus their research, education, and outreach activities central to their educational experience. The director of NCCOS is a technical monitor of ECSC and helps guide the center's strategic direction. In turn, select students develop skills that transform them into researchers at NCCOS.

NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) was established in 2001 as part of NOAA's Education Partnership Program to address ecological and coastal management issues at specific National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

ECSC's students take on projects throughout much of the southeastern and mid-Atlantic coasts. Student projects take advantage of specific sites because of the critical nature of their habitats, their proximity to ECSC member institutions, or because they present ideal opportunities to expand existing research, education, or outreach activities.

ECSC directs significant efforts to benefit both the economic and social systems of coastal communities and also their relationship with their natural surroundings in order to overcome some inherent conflicts between these two important and interrelated priorities.