CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A total of 38 marine science students in the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have benefited from a unique internship opportunity program managed by the Harte Research Institute and funded by the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) for the past 12 years.
Interns learn how to conduct surveys on water quality and collected organisms found in Texas bays and estuaries. This data allows the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Coastal Fisheries Management Resource and Harvesting Program to monitor the health of our local bays.
This summer, the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was awarded a $38,000 scholarship for internships from the CCA, Mr. Big Fish, and Mrs. Big Fish. The 2014 summer marked the 12th year CCA and TPWD have collaborated with the Island University to provide marine science students with the opportunity to get their feet wet in the field working with state agency staff.
“This is a little known, but long-term commitment by the Coastal Conservation Association of Texas, and now the Mr. and Mrs. Big Fish Tournaments, to help assure that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has access to the best and brightest fisheries biologists,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, HRI Executive Director. “This internship opportunity is a great cooperative program between the Harte Research Institute and these outstanding organizations to make sure the fisheries resources of Texas are in good hands.”
The 2014 CCA scholarship recipients and work locations are:
Each of the 2014 CCA students received a stipend of $6,500 for the three-month internship.
The 2014 Mr. and Mrs. Big Fish scholarship recipients and work locations are:
Each of the 2014 Mr. and Mrs. Big Fish students received a stipend of $6,000 for the three-month internship.
Past interns also include:
2013: Clinton S. Witherell, Danielle R. Zimmermann, David R. Norris, Gloria E. Acaraz, and Erin E. Buschfort
2012: Zaida F. Hager, Nathan Huysman, Elliot M. Briell, Nicole F. Poluson, and Michael L. Birchfield
2011: Amanda L. Gruber, Nathan M. Gurierrez, Aaron M. Otero, James A. Sanchez, and Marci D. Durocher
2010: Lee A. Schoech, Bobby J. Johnson, Jeffrey J. Long, Abigail J. Lashbrook, and Colin W. Nash
2009: Daniel R. Pritchard, Brian M. Witherell, Abigail J. Lashbrook, and Cynthia A. Kelly
2008: Paul D. Cason and Sunnie L. Hart
2007: Elani K. Morgan
2006: Adriana Leiva
2005: Aaron S. Baxter
2004: Brian L. Bartram
2003: Kevin J. Kolodziejcyk
2002: Steven E. Dial
Since 2002, the program has provided more than $239,000 in funding and given students the opportunity to work with TPWD coastal fisheries biologists in the Texas bay systems. The partnership was originally started by Dr. David McKee, retired Professor of Biology and Mariculture at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who works with the TPWD in the selection process. Many interns have become full-time employees after completing their internships with TPWD.