Funded by the NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions Cooperative Agreement Award #NA16SEC4810009

Dr. Erin E. Easton

Dr. Erin E. Easton, a former CCME doctoral fellow, is now an assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences, where she is establishing a Benthic Ecology and Evolution Lab ( to explore the biodiversity and evolution of marine benthos (fauna that live in, on, or in association with the seafloor) from the coast to the deep sea. Research in the Easton Benthic Ecology and Evolution Lab focuses on the study of epibenthic megafauna on hard-bottom habitats and meiofauna of soft-bottom habitats. To study these benthic communities, they use a variety of tools to conduct biodiversity surveys, to explore biogeographic and community assemblage patterns, to identify potential drivers of these patterns, and to understand the phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships of select taxa. Of particular interest are the benthic communities of mesophotic and deep-sea habitats in the South Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

She obtained her BS in Biology from Indiana University (Bloomington) in 2002 and her MS and PhD in Oceanography from Florida State University in 2009 and 2014, respectively. She completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands in Coquimbo, Chile, where she studied the benthic communities the seamounts and oceanic islands, including Rapa Nui (known as Easter Island), of the southeast Pacific. In 2017, she joined CCME as a postdoctoral fellow at UTRGV. During this fellowship, she focused on the mesophotic coral ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico in collaboration with Dr. David Hicks. This research included genetic studies on the octocorals of these reefs in collaboration with Dr. Peter Etnoyer and Thomas Greig of NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean Science in Charleston, South Carolina.

Congratulations to all of our recent Summer 2020 graduates!


NOAA CCME Summer 2020 Graduates

Edith Gonzalez, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Marine Biology

Javier Navarro, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Environmental & Marine Sciences

Queriah Simpson, Florida A&M University, Environmental Science

Alexandra Thomsen, California State University Monterey Bay, Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy, CSUMB


Congrats to former NOAA CCME Scholar Shan Guruvadoo!

Shan Guruvadoo

Shan Guruvadoo was a Master's student at Bethune-Cookman University who graduated in May of 2019. As of May 2020, he has accepted a position as a Data Scientist at Channel Logistics, LLC dba Space-Eyes. Read more below about his position.

"My internship with NOAA Tides & Currents made me a good candidate for the position, and I enjoyed being in the CCME program during my time at Bethune-Cookman.

My job as a Data Scientist is to integrate machine learning into product features, such as ship detection within satellite imagery and anomaly detection in vessel traffic patterns. I build neural networks for deep learning, and support team members on development of the data pipeline."


The three sub-watersheds within the Nova canal watershed in relation to the Halifax River (image source: St. Johns River Water Management District)
The three sub-watersheds within the Nova canal watershed in relation to the Halifax River (image source: St. Johns River Water Management District)

The four living shorelines research projects will be assessed for potential impacts related to:

  1. Sea Level Rise – effects in target areas, effects of proposed shorelines;
  2. Impact on local economies – oyster industry, economic impact, water quality, flooding;
  3. Mitigation – flooding, extreme weather events, erosion; and the
  4. Intersection of these ecological and economic impacts.


Student activities

With guidance from NOAA CCME faculty and the use of the NOAA Restoration Atlas tool selected student participants will:

  • Investigate local sites for living shoreline green infrastructure
  • Investigate and identify current site-specific physical and social vulnerabilities of thetarget coastal communities
  • Measure local ecological effects of living shoreline green infrastructure
  • Assess potential socioeconomic effects of living shorelines in each location
  • Analyze the effectiveness of living shorelines in mitigation of sea level rise, erosion,nutrient loading, extreme weather event impacts, and assess potential impacts on the localeconomy through modeling and data analysis.

Funded by the NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP/MSI), four NOAA CSC Centers bring together 29 University Partner Institutions across the country engage in NOAA mission science and create a divers NOAA mission enterprise workforce.

Goals of the CSC Education Webinar Series

  • To expand cross communication and collaborations among the four CSC communities of practice
  • To extend training and access to skills and opportunities that develop core competencies in NOAA mission relevant content and research to all CSC students
  • To invite CSC student presenters to share their experience with all CSCs and NOAA community