Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 23, 2008
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) grant will support an 18-month project by the Science and Engineering Alliance, Inc. (SEA) in which the majority of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and some other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) will participate in a survey to assess these institutions' involvement in wildlife science, fisheries and conservation biology (WFCB).
The project primary activities will consist of gaining answers to the following questions: (1) for those institutions that list WFCB as current degree offerings, when did the program commence, how is it funded and what are the enrollment figures for the most recent 3-5 years; (2) for those institutions that do not offer degrees in WFCB, but have matriculation agreements with other schools that do offer degrees, how many students used the agreements over the past 3-5 years; and (3) for those institutions that do not offer degrees in WFCB or have matriculation agreements with institutions that do, what level of interest do they see from their students in WFCB.
"The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has long championed programs to diversify the pool of young professionals entering the conservation field,' said Dr. Mark Shaffer, Program Director for the Environment at DDCF. "We are delighted to support SEA in this important assessment, and hope that it will help focus the attention of these institutions on producing a new generation of conservation leaders."
"This project fits well with the mission of SEA," noted Dr. Robert Shepard, SEA Executive Director and Principal Investigator (PI) of the DDCF grant. "Understanding and evaluating the implications of disturbance of the natural world are critically important to the long-term health of the entire global community and a well-educated and diverse talent pool with knowledge in conservation of biodiversity, natural resource management and the sustainable use of the natural resources is required to maintain and expand the WFCB workforce," noted Shepard.
"As the need for professional and technical talent for the WFCB workforce increases, it is equally important to assess the involvement of HBCUs and other MSIs as the basis for potentially strengthening WFCB educational programs at these institutions and meeting future needs of our nation," noted Dr. Ron Mason, President of Jackson State University and Chair of the SEA Executive Board.
"Broadening the participation of these institutions in exciting areas like WFCB will open new career options for the students and new research opportunities for the faculty," noted Dr. Robert Taylor, Dean of the School of Agricultural at Alabama A&M University.
After the project is evaluated, a report describing the current involvement and/or level of interest in developing curricula at these institutions in WFCB, will be disseminated to DDCF and other potential stakeholders.
SEA is a Washington, DC based non-profit organization established in 1990 to address the challenge of establishing an ethnically diverse technical workforce prepared to compete in today's global marketplace. Its unique program is dedicated to ensuring that historically underrepresented talent plays a vital role in the nation's scientific and engineering future.
SEA members include: Alabama A&M University (Huntsville, AL); Jackson State University (Jackson, MS); Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX) and Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, LA), and two national laboratories--Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, CA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. SEA serves as a "Unique Resource for the Nation®" that focuses on creating opportunities for access and inclusion of its members more fully in the public and private research and development enterprise.
"The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conversation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties."