Department of Commerce will award William & Mary and Virginia Institute of Marine Science with the highest status any Sea Grant program can achieve
On Thursday, December 18, the Department of Commerce will award William & Mary and Virginia Institute of Marine Science with the highest status any Sea Grant program can achieve: College Status. br>
“I am so proud of Virginia Sea Grant staff and partners,” says Troy Hartley, Director of Virginia Sea Grant (VASG). “Everyone worked so hard for this. College status is a great validation of where we’re going and that’s really important, but we’re not stopping. We are committed to continued improvement, and excellence through integration and innovation.”
The announcement came after a multi-year restructuring process after VASG went from a dispersed organization with satellites in multiple institutions in the state to a centralized program headquartered at Virginia Institute of Marine Science at William and Mary.
The application process to transition from an Institutional program to a College Status program involved years of preparation that culminated in a site visit and review in fall of 2013. According to the letter from the Department of Commerce to William and Mary, the program has “clearly shown a high level of dedication to the responsibly management and development of the Nation’s marine and coastal resources, and they have demonstrated a commitment to continue this record of quality science and service.” br>
The VASG program began in 1984. VASG works to enhance the ecological, economic, and social sustainability of coastal and ocean communities and the ecosystem services they depend upon through university-based research, extension, education, and communication that provide science-based information to decision makers.
The National Sea Grant College Program is a national network of 33 Sea Grant programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, Lake Champlain, and Guam. These programs serve as the core of a dynamic, national university-based network of over 300 institutions involving more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, educators, students and outreach experts. The network engages the power of academia and a wide variety of partners to address issues such as coastal hazards, sustainable coastal development and seafood safety. Sea Grant is a program of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the U.S.
Department of Commerce.