URI’s marine biology program celebrates 25th anniversary with conference on marine turtle conservation, November 5 – URI News

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KINGSTON, RI – October 25, 2021 – The 25the The anniversary of the founding of the University of Rhode Island’s Marine Biology program will be celebrated on November 5 with Dr. Stanley Cobb’s first lecture, a presentation on marine turtle conservation by former URI Callee Veelenturf.

The free program will start at 4:00 p.m. at the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences and will be followed by a reception. The program will also be broadcast via Zoom. To register, contact Ann Weston at the URI Alumni Engagement Office at [email protected]

Veelenturf’s conference is entitled “Making a difference for nature, one sea turtle at a time”. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Leatherback Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Leatherback Sea Turtle through research, education and advocacy to mitigate fishing bycatch, to reduce plastic pollution and fight climate change. Her advocacy for marine turtle conservation caught the attention of the government of Panama with which she recently worked to draft key legislation that would recognize the rights of nature.

The URI Marine Biology program, which Veelenturf graduated from in 2014, annually attracts top students from dozens of states and other countries to experience what the faculty calls its ‘sea of ​​opportunity’. It has become one of the main draws for those interested in marine science and has earned a reputation as one of the North East’s most prestigious marine biology programs.

“Our marine biology program is a major destination,” said Professor Jacqueline Webb, George and Barbara Young Chair in Biology and Program Director. “This is what attracts students to the University, and its popularity grows mainly through word of mouth. “

The program was founded in 1996 after the URI’s zoology and biology departments merged and Professor Stanley Cobb and colleagues recognized the need for a marine biology degree program. Following Cobb’s retirement, Webb took over management of the program in 2006. The program’s website, web.uri.edu/marbio, describes the many opportunities students have to immerse themselves in marine biology activities, courses and internships on ships researching around country and study abroad opportunities in Bermuda and elsewhere in the world.

Every year for the past 11 years, at least one sophomore marine biology student has received a Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship for marine science students. Since 2005, 33 URI students have won Hollings scholarships, the highest total of any New England institution and one of the highest among four-year public institutions in the country.

“Over the past 15 years, we’ve had a 99 percent satisfaction rate among our senior graduates,” said Webb. “They say they would do it again if they had the chance.”

Graduates of the Marine Biology program have obtained graduate degrees at over 50 universities across the country and several overseas. Most of those who do not continue their education immediately get jobs in aquariums or zoos, work as federal fisheries observers, become teachers or laboratory technicians, or work for nonprofit environmental organizations after graduation. . Many alumni also work for federal and state wildlife and environmental agencies.

The celebration of the 25 of the programe anniversary began last spring with a series of thematic panel discussions with notable graduates offering career opportunities to current students. This anniversary and the Cobb Marine Biology Conference will kick off a renewed effort to raise funds for the Cobb Marine Biology Endowment, which supports undergraduate research in marine biology.

For more information on the Marine Biology program, visit the program’s website or write to [email protected]


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