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FAMU receives $30 million federal grant for minorities in science

What this will do for next-generation scientists
Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 22:56:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "It's really going to fund an influx of multicultural scientists throughout the nation."

$30 million is bringing lots of excitement to the Florida A&M University campus for students like Jordan Roberts. The money from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to help support the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. The goal is to train the next generation of minority scientists.

FAMU President, Dr. Larry Robinson, said the money will help improve issues within coastal communities while opening a whole new world for minority students and faculty.

Dr. Robinson said, "if we're really going to make a serious dent with the problems out there in our coastal communities that's going to take a major investment but also if we're going to make a major dent in the under-representation that's in their workforce and the workforce more broadly in this area that's going to take an investment."

With the money, FAMU will train students for careers or higher education in this field. The 5-year federal grant will help Black and Hispanic students in the areas of climate, environmental justice, and the impacts it has on humans. Dr. Robinson added, "yes, we need to get our hands around these problems that confront us but we have to also realize that if we're not training the next generation of scientists to solve the issues that we have now and the ones we haven't even conceived."

Jordan Roberts is studying environmental science. She's currently working on a project that looks at the impacts of climate change on the Gulf of Mexico. She says without this NOAA grant money, projects like this and beyond, would not be possible.

Roberts said, “to go out there and be a part of literal history and launch our first aquatic sensing buoy that’s solar-powered and sends stuff to the lab in real-time it’s really cool it’s really dope and I’m super excited for other students to have the opportunities that I’ve had because they have literally changed my life.”