Texas Sea Grant awards $1.7 million in research to support Texas coast

February 14, 2018

By Cindie Powell

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University is announcing new grants totaling $1.7 million for seven two-year research projects at universities around the state to support coastal and marine ecosystems, communities and economies.

“Following a competitive and rigorous peer-review process, we have selected the seven best research projects that will advance knowledge, integrate research and extension, and result in broader impacts that benefit society,” said Dr. Pamela T. Plotkin, Director of Texas Sea Grant. “These research investments will generate substantial social, economic and environmental impacts, help develop the workforce and contribute to the sustainability of Texas’ natural and built environments.”

Awards for the 2018- 2020 period are:

  • “The effects of shifting coastal wetland plant communities on the food webs that support coastal living resources,” Dr. Anna Armitage, Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston;
  • “Influence of floods and droughts on particulate organic matter quality in a subtropical estuary, Texas,” Dr. Amber Hardison, Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute;
  • “Predicting salinity and temperature dynamics in Copano Bay, Texas,” Dr. Robert Hetland, Department of Oceanography, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University;
  • “Resilient adaptation of interdependent built, ecological, and governance systems to sea-level rise impacts in Texas coastal communities,” Dr. Ali Mostafavi, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University;
  • “Evaluating the relative habitat value of intertidal and subtidal oyster reefs to improve restoration methods,” Dr. Jennifer Pollack, Department of Life Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi;
  • “Development of in situ oyster setting for stock enhancement and restoration purposes in Texas,” Dr. John Scarpa, Department of Life Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; and
  • “Green infrastructure plans for flood and storm water hazards reduction in the Texas coastal region,” Dr. Shannon Van Zandt, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University.

The overarching goals of Texas Sea Grant’s research program are to support outcome-oriented research that spans broad areas of natural, physical, social, behavioral and economic sciences and engineering, and to make research investments that will generate substantial positive impacts for the people, economy and ecosystems of Texas. Projects must also fit within one of the program’s four focus areas: Resilient Communities and Economies, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Education and Workforce Development.

A partnership of the State of Texas and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Texas Sea Grant conducts a competitive research grant program every two years that draws on the expertise of the state’s top scientists. The program’s coastal extension agents and specialists working in the field translate and communicate research results to stakeholders to meet the real-world needs of Texans.

For more information, contact Dr. Pamela T. Plotkin, Texas Sea Grant Director, at plotkin@tamu.edu or 979-845-3902.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.