Through innovative education of talented graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, the I/UCRCs are providing the next generation of scientists with a broad, industrially oriented perspective on research and management practices.

SCEMFIS Funded Students

David Duval: undergraduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi.

David is currently in his senior year of an undergraduate degree at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park, to complete Bachelor of Science in Geography (Geographic Information Technology) specializing in GIS data and Remote Sensing applications including: C++ computer programming, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap (various ESRI products), ENVI Classic, and multiple spatial data platforms.  He is working with Dr. Robert Leaf and funded by an NSF veteran’s supplement through I/UCRC.

Kathleen Hemeon: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Kathleen Hemeon is a PhD graduate student with Dr. Eric Powell at USM. Kathleen has earned a BS degree from Western Washington University and a MS degree from James Madison University. Kathleen joins GCRL from the west coast after working for several years as a U.S. Forest Service fisheries team lead and as a green sturgeon research technician with the University of California Santa Cruz/NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Past experience as a fisheries team lead included the monitoring, protection and restoration of federally listed aquatic populations and their habitat in parallel with local management directives. Green sturgeon research included estimating spawning run sizes for the federally threatened green sturgeon (southern DPS) in the Sacramento River using Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar. Current work with Dr. Powell and SCEMFIS collaborators will include the continued investigation of Mid-Atlantic ocean quahog population dynamics through the generation of an age-frequency probability distribution and applying this distribution to ocean quahog stock projections. 

Alexis Hollander: graduate student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point, Virginia

Alexis Hollander is an incoming graduate student from Portage Wisconsin in Dr. Roger Mann’s lab. She was impressed with the opportunity for industry partnerships and the chance to work directly with finfish and shellfish industry members. For her master’s thesis, Alexis will be aging surfclams to determine where and when they grew and the impacts of temperature change on the growth of clams.

Alyssa LeClaire: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Alyssa LeClaire is a Masters student in Dr. Eric Powell’s Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL). Alyssa received her BS in Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. Working in collaboration with Virginia Institute of Marine Science, her work at GCRL includes collecting C14 samples from shells of Arctica islandica (Ocean Quahog) as a means to determine the time scale of the quahogs range shift across the Mid-Atlantic continental shelf coinciding with historical climate events. 

Leanne Poussard: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Leanne Poussard is starting her first year in the Master’s program at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. She will be working with Dr. Eric Powell studying ocean quahog and surfclam population dynamics and conducting an analysis of dredge efficiency in order to help improve future assessment. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s Degree in biology.

Laura Solinger: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Laura Solinger is a PhD student in Dr. Eric Powell’s Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL). Laura received her BS in Biology with a focus on Marine Science from the University of South Florida, and is currently finishing her MS in Fisheries Biology with Humboldt State University. In her Master’s, she examined how oceanographic conditions in the Pacific relate to spatial heterogeneity in recruitment success of Chilipepper Rockfish. At GCRL, her work focusses on developing a risk-based approach to assess the effectiveness of different management strategies on fisheries resources, including summer flounder and Atlantic surfclam. After her PhD, Laura hopes to work with private and public fisheries organizations to develop stock assessment models, assess their effectiveness and continue advancements to incorporate 
new data sources and environmental variables into models.

Jill Sower: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Jill is entering her first semester as a Master’s student under Dr. Eric Powell at USM. Her primary projects will include creating a population model for quahogs and studying how wind farms could impact surfclam populations along the East Coast. Jill received her Bachelor’s in Wildlife Conservation from Virginia Tech.