NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center Surpasses an Educational Milestone: 100 Scripps Students Supported since 1960

NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center Surpasses an Educational Milestone: 100 Scripps Students Supported since 1960

NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, have co-supported more than 100 graduate students since 1960.

Because of their co-location in La Jolla, Calif., Scripps and SWFSC have jointly influenced several generations of marine scientists. Over nearly five decades, since UC San Diego first admitted graduate students, SWFSC has provided research opportunities, course offerings, access to data, laboratories and ship time, funding support, and mentoring for more than 100 graduate students. Ten SWFSC scientists at present have joint appointments at SWFSC and Scripps and at least 23 Ph.D. graduate students are currently shared between the two institutions.

Currently, at least 16 SWFSC Ph.D.s are formally involved in research and training of Scripps graduate students as adjunct faculty, research associates, lecturers, and advisors serving on committees, said SWFSC ecologist and science liaison Sarah Mesnick. Many more are involved in graduate education through informal research collaborations and lectures.

"Graduates of Scripps who have received research training from the SWFSC typically pursue careers that are different from those that receive a traditional academic education. Our students blend the world-class strength of Scripps' academics with an understanding of the emergent needs of the federal government and society," Mesnick said. "With this training, many of our graduates go on to particularly rewarding careers in marine conservation and management."

"Basic science is the foundation upon which management and policy are built," said Scripps Professor David Checkley. "Thus, UCSD contributes valuably to NOAA's mission. Simultaneously, Scripps gains from its association with the SWFSC in regard to the real-world needs of management and policy. The strength of our relationship is manifest in the many Scripps graduates employed by NOAA."

"Effective marine conservation and management demands interdisciplinary understanding," said Mesnick. "The graduate research and training that students receive at Scripps and the SWFSC is producing a generation of scientists conversant in the biological, social, economic, cultural, and political issues of marine conservation and equipped with management and communication skills. Together, the two institutions are training professionals who not only can identify the problems, but who can also find practical solutions within ecological, social, and economic constraints."

-- Nicholas Manicelli is a second year student in the lab of geophysicist Peter Shearer
Oct. 3, 2012

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