VPAA-Briefs - August 2015
Message From Dr. Louchouarn
"As Jan Baldwin and Bernd Würsig both begin new chapters in their lives, we recognize how the legacies they leave to the TAMUG community exemplify the Aggie Spirit."
Another academic year comes to a conclusion and our story continues to be as upbeat as ever. This may have yet been the most successful year for our campus in the last three years I’ve been in this position. But before I start going through the laundry list of our accomplishments, I would like to recognize two people who have been the heartbeat of their unit and our campus and who have or will soon start new chapters in their lives. While Jan Baldwin, Director of Physical Education and Instructional Associate Professor, retired from TAMUG in December of 2014, Bernd Würsig, Professor of Marine Biology and A&M Distinguished Professor, recently announced that he will retire from his full time position at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. A few lines of recognition cannot do justice to the positive and inspirational influence they have had on our campus, their colleagues and students. I will speak from my own experience and interactions with them. They both came from non-Aggie backgrounds, and yet they epitomize the core values of A&M in their actions and words. I discovered this simple fact about A&M. Stay long enough and this institution will transform you. It will give you a sense of place and a mission. And we are fortunate to have people like Jan and Bernd to act as the standard bearers of this pursuit of excellence and mission of commitment.
In keeping with TAMUG’s tradition to have a Faculty speak at the summer commencement, Jan gave last summer’s commencement address. I found her address to be a summary of her service and contribution to Texas A&M: funny, inspirational, gritty, generous, and emotional. She was honest and direct, as she always is, in her advice to recent graduates about fulfilling one’s personal life goals: “believe in yourself, trust your preparation and know deep inside that you can accomplish anything”. She also gave the following advice, which is fundamental truth about how she lived her life: “give back, give often, give unselfishly. Realize that others are looking to you for leadership”. In fact, Texas A&M is a place where the notion of leadership is central to everything we do. And people like Jan and Bernd are fantastic role models and leaders that inspire all that study or work with them to reach higher grounds. They epitomize leadership through their actions and commitment to excellence, Jan through her commitment to embracing physical challenges as a way of life and education and Bernd through his decades-long definition of the field of marine mammals and his care for his students and colleagues. Both are among the most approachable, respectful, and service-oriented people I know. Both have shown an incredible loyalty to our school, their colleagues and students, and both completed their career with elegance and integrity. Little do they know that their presence and actions not only influenced their students and their peers, but are guiding principles to how I would like to see my career once its in the rearview mirror. I personally thank them for their years of service and inspiration. You will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
Now to the matter at hand, an update on the accomplishments from the past year. First let’s do the numbers. TAMUG passed a milestone with this past weekend’s commencement ceremony. We have graduated over 400 students from TAMUG programs in one year (368 undergraduate and 39 graduate students). This is an increase by 14% and 26% over last year for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively. We also continue our enrollment growth with a projected 2,400 total students for the beginning of the Fall 2015. I thank the Office of Enrollment Services for their hard work. Most significantly, our graduate enrollment will reach over 200 students in graduate students enrolled in all programs (TAMUG students and TAMU students in residence in Galveston), which represents 9% of total enrollment. This indeed is a milestone and is achieved thanks to the hard work of Nicole Kinslow and Holly Richards (in the Graduate Studies Office), and most importantly our exceptional Graduate Faculty who are attracting these students from around the world.
Graduate student recruitment has been supported in part by a fantastic success in awards of research grants (see below) and in the doubling of graduate student fellowships (2 years, fully funded) as part of a strategy to become more competitive in attracting top students and Faculty. This strategy seems to be paying dividends very quickly.
Our growth in number will soon be matched by one in facilities. We recently finalized the design of Phase 1 of our academic complex, and expect to break ground in the first half of the Fall semester. This ~83,000 gross square foot (~52,000 assignable square feet) facility will offer state of the art teaching environments (labs and dynamic teaching rooms), one stop shop for student services (from bursar, to registrar, to advising and mentoring), study spaces in every possible nook, a visitor center, and office suites housing the upper administration, academic affairs, and research and graduate studies. The campus anticipates a Spring 2017 completion of Phase 1. In addition, and thanks to the generous support of the State Legislature, TAMUG anticipates starting the design of Phase 2 of the academic complex this fall and should be ready to break ground in Fall 2016 once the legislative funds are appropriated. This phase of the academic complex will include a large multipurpose space to support our academic mission and has a tentative completion date of Spring 2018 These two buildings will give our campus the full capacity to reach our enrollment target of 3,000 upon completion. Finally, the completion of Texas A&M Maritime Academy Hall remains on schedule for mid-November with midshipmen occupancy no later than the first day of Spring 2016 classes
A number of new initiatives took place in the last year and will help our campus better integrate in Texas A&M University and meet its dual mission of maintaining the high standards of an Association of American Universities institution and those of a Land Grant University. Admiral Smith was instrumental in their support and authorized requested funding in support of advancing our research outcomes
Faculty Promotions & New Faculty Members
New faculty hires and promotions serve TAMUG's efforts to enrich the understanding of and offer applied solutions to systemic grand challenges in ocean sciences, maritime affairs, technology, and the liberal arts as they relate to marine studies.
Dr. Rainer Amon (MARS), promoted to Full Professor.
Janetta Baldwin (LIST), Kinesiology granted Instructional Associate Professor Emerita status.
Dr. Carol Bunch Davis (LIST), English granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor.
Dr. Juan Horillo granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor.
Debra Maceo (LIST), Kinesiology promoted to Instructional Professor.
Dr. Chaouki Boulahouache joins the MARS department as the Physics Lab Director and Instructional Assistant Professor. His field of expertise is Experimental Particle Physics which spans a wide area of research interests, including the Physics of Particle Detectors with a strong expertise in Data Acquisition and Data Analysis Techniques. He received his Ph.D. in Physics (2002) from Syracuse University, and has been teaching as an Adjunct Professor at San Jacinto College and Houston Community College. He held leading positions while working as a Research Associate at both Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh, and as a Research Scientist at Rice University.
Joseph Bosquez joins LIST in Fall 2015 as an Instructional Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and he will be teaching for our Dive program. Joe has a B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston. He has over 1,000 diving hours logged at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and he has worked as a Diving Technician for TAMUG providing support for research projects per AAUS standards for NOAA, Texas Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and as a research project diver.
Capt. Thomas Brown joined the MART department Spring of 2015 as an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Marine Transportation. He graduate from Maine Maritime Academy in 2000 with a B.S. in Marine Transportation Operations and University of Maryland School of Law in 2009 with a J.D. He is a former Navy Officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps with previous maritime experience in vessel operations for the U.S. intelligence community after 9/11, combat as Rule of Law officer in Afghanistan, in litigation of various maritime cases, and as a merchant marine aboard the Liberty Ship SS John W. Brown. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Maryland Journal of International Law.
Dr. Edward Clancy joins TAMUG as the new Head of the Department of Marine Engineering Technology (MARE). Dr. Clancy held previous tenured Full Professor positions while serving as Department Head at two U.S. institutions. From 1985–1988, he served as Head of the Department of Engineering at the California Maritime Academy (Mechanical Engineering and Marine Engineering Technology degrees). From 1989–1994, he served as Chair of the Department of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona (Five degree options: Mechanical, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Electronic & Computer, and Construction Engineering Technology). Among his senior service, Dr. Clancy also counts serving as Program Director of the National Science Foundation’s Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, and as commissioner of the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET). In addition to his expertise in engineering technology, Dr. Clancy holds licenses as professional engineers in two states, a as U.S. Coast Guard license as Chief Engineer, and a license as patent attorney. Dr. Ed Clancy graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in marine engineering (BS). He has graduate degrees in mechanical engineering from Columbia University (MS), Stanford University (D.Eng - Degree of Engineer) and a graduate degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering (MS) from University of Southern California. Professor Clancy also has his MBA degree (Golden Gate University) and his JD degree from Western State University, College of Law.
Dr. Okan Duru joins MARA an Assistant Professor of Maritime Finance and Logistics at the Department of Maritime Administration, Texas A&M University at Galveston and received his Ph.D. from Kobe University, Japan on the Economic analysis on the long term assessment of dry bulk shipping. His research interests are in shipping asset management, behavioral economics of shipping business, forecasting, judgment and decision making. He is the current Editor–in–Chief of The Maritime Economist Magazine.
Dr. Amir Gharehgozli joins MARA as an Assistant Professor. He earned his Ph.D. from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmas University Rotterdam in 2012 and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow there and is collaborating with the Port of Rotterdam. His research interests include maritime logistics, transportation and supply chain management.
Dr. David Hala joins MARB an Assistant Professor. Dr. Hala received his PhD from the Institute for the Environment at Brunel University in the UK , his MS from the University of Plymouth in the UK and his BS from the University of Wales in the UK. Dr. Hala’s research focuses on reproductive and toxicological effects in fishes caused by environmental changes.
Dr. Elizabeth Nyman joins LIST in the Spring 2016 as an Assistant Professor in Political Science and Coordinator of Maritime Studies (MAST). Dr. Nyman has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Florida State University and a B.A. in International Relations from The College of William and Mary. Dr. Nyman's research focuses on international maritime conflict, piracy, and environmental issues. She is particularly interested in oceanic resources, such as fish or offshore oil and gas, and how those impact state desires to control ocean spaces.
Dr. Lene Petersen joins MARB as an Instructional Assistant Professor. Dr. Petersen has a PhD in Biology from the Oceans Sciences Cente, Memorial University, Canada, as well as BS and MS degrees from the Institute of Biology at the University of Southern Denmark. Her research investigates the physiological responses of marine fishes to environmental stimuli.
Dr. David Retchless joins the MARS department in Fall 2015 as a tenure–track Assistant Professor. He is interested in the cartographic communication of sea level rise and other climate hazards. His work draws on research from GIScience, human–environment geography and psychology to consider how map interaction mediates risk perceptions for climate change and related hazards. He received his PhD in Geography (2015) from The Pennsylvania State University. In his dissertation, he explored how exposure to an interactive sea level rise map affected risk perceptions for this hazard in Sarasota, Florida.
New Postdoctoral Fellow Joins TAMUG
Dr. Ge Yan has been selected from 13 applicants from around the world to work with Dr. Karl Kaiser in the Marine Science Department as a recipient of the TAMUG Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Fall 2015.
Dr. Yan conducted his graduate work at Seoul National University under the supervision of Dr. Guebuem Kim. His research has focused on the chemical characterization of atmospheric organic matter and nutrient cycling in coastal ecosystems. At TAMUG, Dr. Yan will conduct research on controls of hypoxia on the Texas shelf, and he will also participate in research
focused on the development of novel biomarkers for vascular plant and microbial sources. His expertise will boost existing biogeochemistry research and will raise TAMUG's national research profile.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, TAMUG's Faculty have done an outstanding job at moving our institution significantly closer to meet the scholarship goals of Texas A&M University. Last year, I reported that TAMUG researchers had been awarded over $4.1M in new research awards from Federal, State, and Private sources for Fiscal Year 2014 (an increase of 24% from the prior year). In FY15, the total for research grants is $17.6M, which amounts to more than a fourfold increase from last year. This extraordinary achievement is due in part to the award of a number of very large grants from GoMRI (totaling ~$9.1M), NSF ($3.6M), and CONACYT ($~1M). Such large awards speak to the preeminence our Faculty have on their field. But in addition, TAMUG researchers received funding from highly competitive Federal programs (NSF, NOAA, DOE) leading to the most successful year of research fundraising in TAMUG’s history. Congratulations to our Faculty, graduate students, and research staff, for such an outstanding effort and well deserved success. See a full list of awards on the VPAA website.
An additional measure of research success is the diversity and continued rise in peer-reviewed publications and scholarship productivity from TAMUG Faculty (see updated list on website). Scholarship productivity has increased by ~75% in the last four years, from 120 in 2011, 142 in 2012, 185 in 2013, and 200 in 2014. I encourage you to browse the list of publication and feel amazed by the breadth and depth of our research and scholarship on campus.
Dr. Douglas Klein, MARS was the invited Keynote Speaker at the Computers in Scientific Discovery7 (CSD7), Computational Methods for Carbon Nanostructure Research (July 19-23, 2015), Virginia Commonwealth University, VA, USA and the invited Plenary Speaker at the International Conference on Graph Theory and Applications (August 17-20, 2015), Middle Tennessee State University, TN, USA
Dr. Peter Santschi, MARS was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2014) and was an invited Keynote Speaker at The International Conference on Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Ecotoxicology and Engineering, ContaSed 2015 (March 8-13, 2015), Congressi Stefano Franscini in Monte Verità, Switzerland
Dr. William Merrell, George P. Mitchell '40 Chair in Marine Sciences received the BAHEP’s (Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s) 2015 Quasar Award for Exceptional Leadership in Economic Development
Dr. William Seitz, MARS elected to membership in the International Academy of Mathematical Chemistry
Dr. Melanie Moser, MARS elected as 2015 Vice-chair of the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) of the American Chemical Society (ACS)
Dr. Ching-Yun Suen, LIST recipient of the 2015 Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards for Teaching.
Dr.Luke Nyakiti, MARE received the 2014 Japan Society of Applied Physics Outstanding Research Paper Award.
Dr. David Wells, MARB received the Montague-CTE Scholar Award 2015-2016.
Dr. Kyeong Park, MARS was selected as a visiting scientist at Chungnam National University in Korea by the Brain Pool Program of the Korean Research Foundation (KRF) and was invited Keynote Speaker at the Workshop on Environmental and Ecological Modeling in terms of Coastal Environmental Management in Geum River Estuary (April 30, 2015), Myongi University, Korea
Bernd Würsig, MARB received 2015 Association of Former Students, Distinguished Achievement Award: College Level Teaching Award.
Congratulations Graduate Student Graduates 2014-2015 - 48 total
Jeff Frazier, MMR MARM (Linton)
Cathy Bacon, MMR MARM (VonZharen)
Nick Bowling, MMR MARM LO (VonZharen)
Cari Koelsch, MMR MARM THO (von Zharen)
Nathan Johnson, MS MARB (Schulze)
Warren Minter, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Daniel Pessa, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
William Cline, MMR MARM (Linton)
Abdlirazag Elhadi, MML MAAL (Mileski)
Benjamin Towner, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Tracey Powell, MMR MARM (von Zharen)
Yan Zhao, PhD OCNG (Quigg)
Fangyuan Qu, PhD OCNG (Rowe)
Nick West, MS OCEN (Figlus)
Josh Williams, PhD OCNG (Dellapenna)
Paul Laverty, MS OCNG (Dellapenna)
Kara Armstrong, MML MAAL (Mileski)
Lawrence Ghoram, MML MAAL THO (Mileski)
Jamie Gilman, MML MAAL (Mileski)
Tawny Knudsen, MML MAAL (Mileski)
John Laudun, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Whitlee Baimbridge, MMR MARM (von Zharen)
Ryan Gay, MMR MARM (Highfield/Dellapenna)
Russell Grandbois, MMR MARM (Santschi)
Kendra Kopp, MMR MARM THO (Louchouarn)
Timothy Kraemer, MMR MARM (von Zharen)
Sequoia Riley, MMR MARM (Brody)
Kirsten Stokes, MMR MARM (Linton/Highfield)
Rachel Susen, MMR MARM (Rooker/Highfield)
Paul Olivier, PhD MARB (Davis)
Brittani Slimp, MS MARB NTO (Schwarz)
Kalie Garretson, MS MARB NTO (Schwarz)
Fahad Al Senafi, PhD OCNG (Anis)
Abhishek Sharma, PhD OCEN (Irish/Panchang)
Jeff Pulver, MS MARB (Liu)
Michelle Cortez, PhD MARB (Davis)
Mithriel MacKay, PhD MARB (Wursig)
James Nash, MML MAAL (Mileski)
Tiffany Woodcock, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Andrew Shults, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Thomas Rowe, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Chris Strojan, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Brian Kuhn, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Jon Larson, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Jose Brito-Aleman, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
Tariq Alrushaid, MS OCNG (Dellapenna)
Craig Harter, MS OCEN (Figlus)
Alicia Shepard, OCNG PhD (Quigg)
Dr. Carol Bunch Davis, Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies, will serve as the first Administrative Leadership Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year. This unique program will enable participants to immerse themselves in the culture, policies, and decision-making processes of our institution and become key figures in our shared governance structure. The program condenses years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year, and seeks to ensure that our future academic leaders are ready to build a network of information and connectivity across our multiple units on campus and support strategic planning and management beyond a single Department. Please help me welcome Dr. Davis in her new capacity.
TAMUG 2-Year Competitive Graduate Student Fellowships (for incoming students):
MARB IDP Graduate Assistantship Award (for incoming students):
TIO Summer Graduate Student Fellowship 2015 (for current students):
Boost Continuing Graduate Student Awards 2015 (for current students- new for 2015):
Graduate Studies has an ongoing program for current graduate students - Graduate Ambassadors. These six students represent the various programs and majors of our Galveston Graduate student population. They help the Graduate Studies Office with events for current and prospective students throughout the year as representatives of their programs.
The 2015-2016 Graduate Ambassadors:
Where “In the World” were our Faculty this summer…
Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio‐Lutz, Cambodia, archival research on the Khmer Rouge and field research on gender and genocide memorials/mass graves, June 20‐July 2, 2015.
Dr. Frederic Pearl, conducted research on Archaeological Investigations at Visne Angar, an Abandoned Iron Age Settlement in Gotland, Sweden, June, 2015.
Dr. Daniel Traber, presented a research paper "The Transnational Dandy in Redburn." International Melville Conference. Tokyo, Japan. 25‐29 June 2015.
Dr.Joan Mileski, Michael Donelan and Thomas Fitzhugh led the UK Maritime Study Abroad Class to London from May 16 to May 30th.
Dr. Niko Mykonaitis and Steve Conway led the Greece Maritime Study Abroad Class to Athens and other Greek maritime sites from June 7 to June 20th.
Dr. Joan Mileski participated in a panel on “creating and Publishing High-Quality Research on Women and Gender at the Academy of International Business Annual Meeting in Bangalore, India, June 26 ‐30th.
Dr. Randall Davis taught MARB 415, Coastal Marine Biology and Geology of Alaska in Prince William Sound, Alaska
Dr. Ron Eytan attended a conference in Curacao – Dutch West Indies, participated in two research cruises, and collected specimens in US Virgin Islands.
Dr. Tom Iliffe taught MARB 340 Tropical Marine Ecology in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico and conducted cave diving research in Bermuda.
Dr. Maria Pia Miglietta conducted research and taught at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
Dr. Jay Rooker taught a MARB graduate course in Italy and Greece and conducted research in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean region.
Dr. Anja Schultze conducted invertebrate research in Iceland and the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. R.J. David Wells taught Research and Conservation in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece and researched sharks and sportfish in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Bernd Würsig led a workshop in Hong Kong on the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin in the Pearl River estuary and prepared a report on dolphin-aquaculture interactions for the New Zealand government.
Dr. Luke Nyakiti attended the summer faculty research program at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. This program was partially funded by power electronics and Materials Section of NRL.
Dr. Rainer Amon visited a) Sweden as part of an NSF delegation to discuss bilateral collaborations for Arctic oceanography in April 2015, b) Ensenada, Mexico, to discuss the Conacyt project with CICESE colleagues and give a seminar in June 2015, c) went to Siberia for field work and to attend a meeting to coordinate international collaborations in the Yenisei River watershed in July 2015, and d) will visit Tuxpan, Mexico to join a research cruise to the Gulf of Mexico as a part of the Mexican Conacyt project for four weeks in August 2015.
Dr. Tim Dellapenna visited Korea to participate in fieldwork to investigate the impact of the Geum River estuarine dam and sediment dispersal on the shelf and lower estuary in June 2015.
Dr. Tom Linton was invited to give a presentation at the World Water Congress XV in Edinburg, Scotland in May 2015.
Dr. Kyeong Park was invited to give a presentation and participate in a panel at two workshops in Seoul, Korea in May and July 2015.
Dr. Peter Santschi was invited as Keynote Speaker at the International Conference on Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Ecotoxicology and Engineering, ContaSed 2015, in Monte Verità, Switzerland in March 2015.
Dr. William Seitz was invited to a) work on two projects with scientists at Institut Rudger Boskovic in Zagreb, Croatia in June 2015, b) give lecture and inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Mathematical Chemistry in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia in June 2015, and c)o present colloquium at ZALF in Berlin, Germany in June 2015.
Dr. Pete van Hengstum visited Bermuda in March 2015 to conduct field work to examine the impacts and sedimentary signature of Hurricane Gonzalo (October 2014) on Bermuda’s coastal environments (coastal caves, inland ponds, rocky coastlines).
Dr. Yuxuan Wang, visited China to a) collaborate with her colleagues at Tsinghua University in Beijing in April 2015 and b) was invited to give a presentation on her air quality modeling work at a workshop in Shanghai, China in April 2015.