On a trip to the Baltimore area in May of 2018, Acting NOAA Administrator RDML Timothy Gallaudet visited with Maryland Sea Grant and the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) to learn more about their work to advance U.S. aquaculture research and to train students from underrepresented groups in marine sciences.
The groups discussed with RDML Gallaudet the critical national need to increase inclusion and diversity in marine science and enable more minorities to pursue careers in this field. Maryland Sea Grant discussed their marine science programs that reach high school students, summer undergraduate students (NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates), and early stage undergraduate students in Puerto Rico. All of these programs target increasing participation by underrepresented and underserved students in marine science. IMET discussed their NOAA funded Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center which, in collaboration with a number of universities including the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, supports undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups pursuing research in marine science.
The meeting also focused on shell and finfish aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay region. Both oyster success stories for local Maryland watermen and research efforts at IMET in biosecure finfish aquaculture were discussed. Then RDML Gallaudet visited the IMET Aquaculture Research Center to see firsthand IMET’s ongoing studies of economical and sustainable methods for raising high value finfish such as tuna, seabream, and sea bass using recirculating systems and environmentally-responsible fish feeds. The visit was followed by a trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.