FAMU To Host Tenth Biennial NOAA, EPP/MSI Education & Science Forum

March 31, 2022
Richard Spinrad
FAMU To Host Tenth Biennial NOAA, EPP/MSI Education & Science Forum

NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad will address the opening session of the three-day event, which is themed, “Two Decades of Excellence: Nurturing Future Leaders in STEM.”


Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host the Tenth Biennial National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Education and Science Forum, which is expected to bring together more than 400 participants from across the nation to discuss climate change, environmental justice, weather preparedness and other issues.

The April 6-8 event is being held in the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center a year after Phase One was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of the Forum is “Two Decades of Excellence: Nurturing Future Leaders in STEM.” Of the 450 people who have registered, more than 300 are students from all over the country, including California, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some registrants will participate online.

NOAA Administrator Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., will address attendees in the opening plenary session on Wednesday, April 6.

“NOAA is proud of our support of the EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Centers over the past 20 years to educate, train and graduate students for the future NOAA workforce,” said Spinrad. “NOAA’s partnership with the MSI community has resulted in significant changes to the national demographics of graduate degree recipients from traditionally underserved communities.”

Additional speakers in this session include Louisa Koch, NOAA’s Director of Education, and FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME) – one of four NOAA Cooperative Science Centers.

Presdient RobinsonPresident Robinson, a principal investigator for a NOAA EPP/MSI research grant, will welcome Forum participants Wednesday.

“This three-day forum will provide an opportunity to showcase the important education and research being conducted at NOAA’s Cooperative Science Centers and their impact on communities and precious ecosystems around the nation. Students will engage with NOAA scientists and managers through formal processes, typically not found at educational and scientific conferences. The forum also puts into sharp focus the limitless STEM possibilities for our students,” Robinson said. “A year ago, we were unable to meet face to face. I am excited, yet thankful that we can witness in person the high quality oral and poster presentations and the profound science and policy conversations that will take place on FAMU’s campus.”

The focus of the Forum is to showcase collaborative research and generate new engagement opportunities in NOAA-mission sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The Forum will promote career opportunities for STEM graduates in the public, private, and academic sectors. Through a competitive process, NOAA-EPP/MSI’s funding supports development of a diverse STEM future workforce that directly supports NOAA’s mission and expands opportunities for innovation and U.S. global competitiveness.

The Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME), the official Forum host, is led by FAMU in partnership with Bethune-Cookman University (BCU), California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), Jackson State University (JSU), Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC), and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).  Forum planning and implementation are achieved through input from NOAA and all four NOAA Cooperative Science Centers.

“HBCUs, and other Minority Serving Institutions, play a pivotal role in building the talent pipeline needed to support essential STEM careers, producing nearly 20 percent of all Black college graduates and 25 percent of Black STEM graduates,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “As we look to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our country and the world, from the climate crisis to global pandemics, we must ensure that people from all communities have a seat at the table. By partnering with organizations like FAMU, we ensure that our future STEM workforce is strengthened and reflects the rich diversity of our nation.”

Onsite registration is available for those who want to attend the Forum. For further information, visit https://ccme.famu.edu/eppforum2022/