Texas Sea Grant awards $29,000 to graduate students for research

June 17, 2014

By Mona Behl, Ph.D.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University has awarded $29,000 in research funding to 21 graduate students at three Texas A&M University System institutions.

The funding comes from Texas Sea Grant’s Grants-in-Aid of Graduate Research Program, which is intended to promote scientific excellence and achievement by providing small grants to graduate students enrolled at Texas A&M University (TAMU), Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) or Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) whose marine- or coastal-related research in any field of study is relevant to Texas, though not necessarily based in Texas.

“Supporting graduate students as they are learning how to develop and test hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and communicate their findings is important to Texas Sea Grant because it contributes to workforce development and training of these early career researchers,” said Dr. Pamela Plotkin, Texas Sea Grant Director. “This program also provides the students with hands-on experience finding funding, writing competitive grant proposals, navigating the peer-review process and conducting funded research within a timeline and budget — important professional skills that are not covered in the classroom.”

After a rigorous peer review process, 21 graduate students were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for the period beginning on June 1, 2014, and ending on May 31, 2015. Under the terms of the grant program, funds must be applied to expenses directly related to a student’s thesis work, such as fieldwork, laboratory analysis and purchase of testing materials.

The 2014-2015 awards include eight students who received $2,000 grants. The names of the students, along with their affiliation and the graduate degrees that they seek, are:

• David Brankovits, TAMUG, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate,
• Emily Cara, TAMUCC, Life Sciences, Doctoral Candidate,
• Anne Marie Gavlas, TAMUCC, Life Sciences, Master’s Candidate,
• Christopher Hollenbeck, TAMUCC, Marine Genomics, Doctoral Candidate,
• Erin Mattson, TAMUG, Marine Biology, Master’s Candidate,
• Ryan Rezek, TAMUCC, Life Sciences, Doctoral Candidate,
• Matthew Streich, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate, and 
• Allison Wilkes, TAMU, Biology, Doctoral Candidate.

Another thirteen students received $1,000 grants. The names of the students, along with their affiliation and the graduate degrees that they seek, are:

• Mohammad Almukaimi, TAMUG, Oceanography, Doctoral Candidate,
• Joshua Cullen, TAMUG, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Doctoral Candidate,
• Lauren Gorski, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate,
• Chien Hsiang, TAMUCC, Life Sciences, Doctoral Candidate,
• Riaz Khan, TAMUCC, Physical and Environmental Science, Doctoral Candidate,
• Luz Angela Lopez De Mesa Agudelo, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate,
• Melinda Martinez, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Master’s Candidate,
• Kathryn Mendenhall, TAMUCC, Life Sciences, Master’s Candidate,
• Dara Orbach, TAMUG, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate,
• Avery Schrer, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate,
• Jason Selwyn, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Master’s Candidate,
• Bradley Weymer, TAMU, Geology and Geophysics, Doctoral Candidate, and
• Kevin Wolfe, TAMUCC, Marine Biology, Doctoral Candidate.

More information about the Grants-in-Aid of Graduate Research Program is available online at http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu/WhatWeDo/Grants-In-AidofGraduateResearchProgramRequestForm.html, or by contacting Dr. Mona Behl, Texas Sea Grant’s Research Coordinator, at monabehl@tamu.edu (979) 458-0449.

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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.