Inside USD Highlights MARS Graduate Student

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Student’s Expertise Aids Virgin Islands Project

Inside USD -- Sarah Gray, PhD, has dutifully worked on a funded research project since 2007 to study the impact of watershed development on coral reefs in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The research project, which casts a wide net on assessments, has enabled Gray, a USD Marine Science and Environmental Studies professor, to utilize more than a dozen USD students and to put their research skills to work.

Gray’s environmental sustainability project, annually funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has included a few undergraduates, but mostly students in USD’s Marine Science graduate program. The project gives them valuable, hands-on experience and data that gets published. In one instance, a student’s research helped nonprofit organizations in this tropical community reap nearly $3 million in stimulus funding to build and repair the watersheds and reduce the amount of sedimentation going in the coral reefs.

The latest student to get involved Gray’s project is Robert “Bobby” Harrington, a second-year Marine Science graduate student who arrived after earning his undergraduate degree in geology at the University of Maine. Prior to that, he served six years in the U.S. Navy. (Full Story

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