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News & Notes – Spring 2016
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VOLUME 29, NUMBER 2, SPRING 2016            

By Joey Holleman                                                                       back to main story  

News and Notes

Taylor re-elected as board chair

Col. Alvin A. Taylor, director of S.C. Depart­ment of Natural Resources, has been re-elected chair of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s Board of Directors. Taylor began his second one-year term on January 1, 2016. “I am pleased to continue working with the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium by supporting research, education, and outreach to conserve coastal resources and enhance opportunity for the people of South Carolina,” said Taylor.

Taylor serves as the chief administrator for the state’s natural resources agency with a staff of over 900 located across South Carolina. He graduated from Clemson University in 1976 with a bachelor’s in zoology. He completed training at the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Training Center in Yorktown, Va., in 1976, and graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in 1977.

“I look forward to working with Col. Taylor again this year in his role as board chairman,” said Rick DeVoe, executive director of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium. “His leadership has been instrumental to the Consortium as we seek to further advance our programmatic efforts.”

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium highly rated by National Site Review Team

A National Sea Grant Site Review Team visited the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium on September 1-2, 2015. The purpose of the site visit was to evaluate our Sea Grant program’s management and organization, stakeholder engagement, and collaborative network activities. The Consortium was highly rated by the Site Review Team (SRT), which determined the Consor­tium meets the “standards of excellence” expected of all Sea Grant programs.

The SRT praised the Consor­tium as being the go-to agency in the state for coastal and ocean information and assistance, for developing a huge reservoir of involved stakeholders, and for serving as a neutral party capable of brokering solutions to issues. Particular commendation went to Consortium Executive Director Rick DeVoe and his staff for their ability to build partnerships that integrate research, outreach, and education on coastal issues. According to the SRT, the consortium model—while not typical for Sea Grant programs—is extremely effective and creates a culture of collaboration to address the needs of stakeholders within the state and Southeast region in partnership with other organizations.

The SRT also applauded the Consortium for stepping up when federal support was eliminated for the highly successful Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence. The Consortium filled that void in South Carolina with projects such as “From Seeds to Shoreline,” a student-driven salt marsh restoration education effort, as well as a new Amazing Coasts curriculum aligned to South Carolina standards for grades three through five.

Three Best Management Practices (BMP) were identified by the Site Review Team. One was for the “study groups” initiative in which small grants were used to fund integrated teams to work on practical, emerging issues for the benefit of local communities. The teams consist of a Consortium extension specialist, a graduate student, a researcher, and a community organization member.

Another BMP is the Consortium’s visioning exercise, currently underway, which is engaging a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss what they foresee the future to be like 20-30 years from now. Of particular importance is how the Consortium should position itself to remain relevant and responsive to the needs of our stakeholders in areas such as technology, economic development, and societal changes in population and diversity.

The third BMP cited was the development of the S.C. Coastal Information Network, which brings together outreach professionals from 18 organizations and works in “an atmosphere that escapes the notion of competition, focuses on collaboration, and avoids duplication of effort,” according to the SRT.

To read the National Sea Grant Site Review Report, which contains the Consortium’s Briefing Book as an addendum, visit

Sea Grant celebrates 50-year anniversary

An inspiration popped into the bright mind of oceanographer Athel­stan Spilhaus in 1963, and he shared it just a few hours later at the 93rd meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Ocean and coastal researchers, he said, should come up with their own version of the land grant college model that had been so successful in taking academic-based agricultural research from colleges into the fields.

Thus began an effort that bore fruit three years later when Congress passed the National Sea Grant College Act, designed to unite the academic power of the nation’s universities with public and private sector partners. Fifty years later, the 33 Sea Grant programs support work in Puerto Rico, Guam, and every state that has an ocean or Great Lakes coastline.

The 33 programs, including the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, work together and with their partners to encourage productive and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources. They not only perform research on topics such as fisheries management and land use but also transform the results into real-world applications through educational programs that range from grade-school curriculum materials to training sessions for coastal planners and the marine industry.

Spilhaus, who passed away in 1998, was a prolific inventor of everything from children’s toys to complex oceanographic measurement equipment. But none of those have had, or will continue to have, the impact of his notion that led to the Sea Grant College Program.

Visit to learn more about the history and accomplishments of Sea Grant.

DeVoe inducted into The Citadel’s Academy of Science and Math

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Executive Director Rick DeVoe was inducted into The Citadel’s Academy of Science and Mathematics in a March 17 ceremony at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston.

The Academy induction recognizes alumni and non-alumni who play major roles in the research and educational accomplishments of The Citadel’s School of Science and Mathematics. DeVoe was honored for his work at the Consortium, which supports research and outreach through eight member institutions, including The Citadel, and the agency’s staff. DeVoe has been the Consortium’s executive director since 1997.

The Consortium has provided more than $225,000 in competitive grants and development funds to The Citadel for coastal research, education, and undergraduate training. The grants have allowed the school’s faculty members to study toxicology, rice field impoundments, and microplastics in the environment.

The Consortium also has provided startup funds and assisted faculty in establishing the networks and partnerships that fuel careers. In addition, the Consortium recently announced its support for the new Citadel Undergraduate Research Experience.

DeVoe was inducted into the Academy in the non-alumnus category. He was joined in the 2016 class by faculty inductee Dena P. Garner, an associate professor of exercise science and associate director of the Honors College, as well as alumni inductees Dr. William H. Bowers, an orthopedic surgeon who recently joined the faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Dr. J. Patrick Johnson, a neurosurgeon from Dixon, California.

Last updated: 5/26/2016 1:51:42 PM
News & Notes – Spring 2016


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