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Florida A&M University (FAMU) hosted its 10th Biennial Education and Science Forum recently. The virtual event, themed “Two Decades of Excellence: Nurturing Future Leaders in STEM,” was presented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI).

The forum is led by the FAMU-based NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Coastal Ecosystems and its director, FAMU President Larry Robinson.

The two-day event featured oral and poster presentations by students, faculty, NOAA scientists and managers, and invited speakers.

“Florida A&M University and the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems are honored to host this important education and science forum once again. The theme of this year’s forum reflects our commitment to preparing STEM leaders who will make impacts for generations to come,” Robinson said in a statement.

“HBCUs and minority-serving institutions are sources of largely untapped STEM talent. This forum gives students at these institutions an opportunity to showcase their talent and to hear from professionals about how to prepare for the challenges ahead,” he added.

The keynote speaker for the Opening Plenary Session was former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who currently serves as Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. Jackson led the EPA during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013.

Benjamin Friedman, the deputy undersecretary for operations, also spoke during the event. Friedman serves as the agency’s chief operating officer and is responsible for the day-to-day management of NOAA’s operations for oceanic and atmospheric services, research, and coastal and marine stewardship.

“NOAA’s best asset is its people, and the Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions supports the development of a diverse, talented workforce ready to tackle our biggest environmental challenges,” said Friedman. “I look forward to continued collaboration between NOAA, FAMU, and EPP/MSI student participants as we advance opportunities for tomorrow’s science leaders.”

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