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Vol. 1 Issue 2 - Fall 2018

The Coastal Current

The School of the Coastal Environment Newsletter

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A Note from the Vice Dean

I was excited to join Coastal Carolina University (CCU) and an outstanding marine science community in the middle of August. Hurricane Florence offered a bit more excitement than I needed, but discussing  the slow-moving storm and ways to keep our boats safe gave me an opportunity to get to know our captains and other University folk quickly. It was also a chance for my wife and me to get to know our neighbors as we discussed strategies for weathering the storm. By the time school started again, I was more convinced than ever that coming to CCU and coastal South Carolina was the right choice.

I came to CCU because I wanted to be part of a program focused on teaching undergraduates and graduates about coastal and marine science and advancing our understanding of marine systems. My background is in biological oceanography and marine ecology. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spent a lot of time as a graduate student and later as a professor at East Carolina University studying the marshes, seagrass beds, and offshore hard bottom reefs of North Carolina. I was a professor at Bates College for the past 24 years, where I conducted research with undergraduates focused on the Maine coast and Arctic ecosystems. From September 2014 through August 2016, I worked as a program officer at the National Science Foundation. All of this experience convinced me of the importance of marine science education and research. 

CCU plays an important role in advancing our knowledge of coastal and marine systems. Coastal communities and ecosystems are bearing the brunt of climate change, and this is particularly evident in the Southeast United States. CCU students have a natural laboratory for studying the impacts of climate change on coastal systems, an impressive faculty, and excellent resources to help them in their educational journey.  My major tasks as vice dean will be supporting programs and finding the resources necessary to advance the marine educational and research programs at Coastal. Students who graduate from CCU go on to make important contributions in their fields, and the research at CCU is increasing our understanding of marine systems. That is a legacy I look forward to helping continue. 

I would like to get to know as many of you as possible. My door is open, and I typically have tea at 1000 and 1400. Feel free to stop by.

William G. Ambrose Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Dean
School of the Coastal Environment (SCE)

Notes from the Editors

I was excited to join Clare for the second edition of The Coastal Current for the Fall 2018 semester. There have been a lot of new and exciting changes in the School of the Coastal Environment (SCE), and I’m happy to have the chance to share everything with our readers. For this issue, we really wanted to focus on what our students and faculty are doing outside of the classroom and highlight several pathways to working in the field as a marine scientist. I believe opportunities to work in marine science will grow as more global issues arise that require both the critical-thinking skills and the diverse knowledge within the marine sciences, from ecology to geology, that the programs in the SCE foster. So many of our faculty and students are working on diverse and innovative projects, and I can’t wait to continue learning and writing about them. Clare worked hard to help get this newsletter off the ground, and I wish her the best of luck as she takes the next step and graduates this December. 

Make sure to keep an eye out for the spring issue, in which we take a look at the environmental initiatives within the SCE and highlight a few special undergraduates working overtime to help make lasting change in our area!

Charlotte Kollman, Co-Editor

Reflecting on The Coastal Current’s debut last spring, I am honored to announce this semester’s new issue. Though it may not seem different to some, I believe that with the help of co-editor Charlotte and one year of groundwork behind us, this edition is even more sleek and professional. Looking ahead, it is easier to see the growth of this newsletter and its value on CCU’s campus. Something that I have also witnessed through this newsletter is how open and welcoming our fellow SCE members are. There is a charm to the SCE that will always be reflected in The Coastal Current.

I would like to thank Rich Viso, Ph.D., and Karen Fuss for helping guide this project. And a special thanks to Charlotte – she has been a great addition to the newsletter and a great peer to work alongside. I have no doubt The Coastal Current is in good hands with her after I graduate. This newsletter is still in its beginning stages, and my position as co-editor has been a fufilling one. As the SCE program grows, the newsletter will capture its journey and will continue to foster community within the department. I am proud to have helped start it.

- Clare Nolan, Co-Editor