Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium was awarded a three year, $1.5 million grant through the National Science Foundation to serve as the lead institution for establishing the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation: Marine Science Laboratory Alliance Center of Excellence.
Known as LSAMP MarSci-LACE, the grant will provide nexus training, resources and support for other marine research institutions, degree granting institutions, LSAMP students, and science mentors and faculty.
Mote is the only non-academic institution to receive the LSAMP Center of Excellence award.
Michael P. Crosby, Mote president and CEO, will serve as the principal investigator and will be responsible for the overall project and oversight to ensure the long-term sustainability of MarSci-LACE as a national asset. Aly Busse, Mote’s assistant vice president for education, will serve as the co-principal investigator and program coordinator.
MarSci-LACE’s will work to provide research and training opportunities beyond traditional degree-granting institutions for underrepresented, minority students; increase the number of minority students earning undergraduate degrees in marine science and other natural resource fields; create resources and develop the best practices for students, academic faculty and independent martine research staff for improved academic and career retention; and share the vital role of independent marine research institutions.
Institutions such as the College of the Florida Keys, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, Smithsonian Marine Science Station, and Perry Institute for Marine Science will collaborate with Mote on the grant.
“This new partnership builds on the unique Mote model for undergraduate research experiences and will strategically leverage specialized, non-degree-granting, marine STEM research institutions to engage with LSAMP universities,” Crosby said in a press release. “We’re thrilled for what will be a paradigm-changing approach for increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM, especially in marine science, technology and natural resource fields that have high demands for a skilled workforce.”