Florida A&M University (FAMU) Environmental Science Institute (ESI) students are featured in the video “From Education to Exploration: Students at Sea,” which is on display at the Smithsonian Ocean Hall of the Museum of Natural History. The video, which has been on display since November, will continue to be available through March.
The video can be viewed at www.oceantoday.noaa.gov/studentsatsea.
Jennifer Cherrier, ESI associate professor and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/FAMU Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) deputy director, produced the video through funding from NOAA and NSF. The video was adapted and is now being shown in NOAA’s Ocean Today Kiosk, a multi-media interactive exhibit that is at 15 museums and aquariums around the country including The Smithsonian-Ocean Hall in Washington D.C. After its rotation, the video will go into the archive and will rotate on-and-off with the rest of the videos.
“Students at Sea” is a three-day research cruise that takes place off the Florida panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of these cruises is to give FAMU students a hands-on field research experience.
The video showcases students and professors carrying out an ecosystem inventory and collecting samples from the water — such as plankton. The video also highlights the group taking part in a sediment grab sample, which helps the students to see what the water column productivity looks like and how it affects the sediments.
“This trip in particular has helped me to realize a couple of things that I hadn’t noticed in the past,” one student said. “It brings me closer to the ocean and allows me to see up close what I study in the classroom and textbooks.”
FAMU’s ESI is one of several innovative programs at the university. Environmental science is a discipline that offers many opportunities for students in the field such as researchers, lawyers, teachers, professors, medical professionals and government and industry workers. The ESI is a multidisciplinary unit that offers a wide range of services to students, governmental agencies, private sector companies, communities and other organizations.