After Florida A&M University was awarded $15.4 million in part from a 2016 grant by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the award has been doubled. The resulting funds include FAMU’s largest donation ever! Get the full story from Byron Dobson at the Tallahassee Democrat below.

“This is FAMU’s largest grant,” President Larry Robinson said.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration — the federal government’s environmental sciences agency — is bolstering its investment in Florida A&M University, giving the historically Black public university a five-year, $30 million grant to support science studies.

In 2016, NOAA first awarded a $15.4 million grant to FAMU and five other universities included in the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems, which is based at FAMU.

FAMU is the lead institution and President Larry Robinson is the center’s director and principal investigator of the project. NOAA is a lead agency on climate change, among other initiatives. 

“This is FAMU’s largest grant. This NOAA grant is representative of the research that is carried out at FAMU,” Vice President for Research Charles Weatherford said.

The center’s goal is to introduce students from under-represented minority populations to studies in coastal and marine ecosystems education, science and policy.

The new $30 million grant is an extension of the original agreement. Robinson said the extension allows FAMU and the other universities to mentor and train minority students in studying climate change and other issues critical to coastal communities. 

He said in a release Wednesday that “having underrepresented minorities who are experts not only enhances diversity but also ensures that we stay attuned to the needs of our most vulnerable populations as solutions are developed.” 

Robinson, a nuclear chemist by training and distinguished professor and researcher in the School of the Environment at FAMU, served as director of the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center also at FAMU 2001-10. His research interests include environmental chemistry, environmental radiochemistry, and environmental policy and management.

The center focuses on three primary areas: Place-based conservation, coastal resilience and coastal intelligence. Students get exposed to courses in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, genomics and environmental justice. Other university partners are: Bethune-Cookman University, California State University Monterey Bay, Jackson State University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.