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October Digest

Dear Lucy,

I am interested in going to a conference in early November. What are the steps I need to take for this? Can I apply for funding even if I am not presenting at the conference?

Networking Nelly

Dear Nelly, 

Two weeks before you travel you need to complete a Travel Authorization form. If you are employed by the college you can access this through your employee tab on MyCharleston. If you are not employed at the College of Charleston, email Lucy Davis at to access a travel authorization form. This form must be signed and approved in order to receive any reimbursements. A Travel Reimbursement form must be filled out within ten days after you return from your travels in order for your reimbursement to get processed. If you found out you received funds after this date, you are still able to turn in a reimbursement form. 

You are able to apply for funding through the College of Charleston for research supplies, conferences regardless of whether you're presenting or not, and for other professional development opportunities. Funding is available through a variety of avenues.

The Graduate School Office has three different funding opportunities for students: 
  1. Research Grants: $250 - $500 per student per semester. 
  2. Presentation Grants: $250 - $500 per student per semester.
  3. Professional Development Grants: Up to $250 per student per semester. 
To learn more about these opportunities and to access the grant application visit the Graduate School Grants Webpage.

GSA Research and Travel Grants
The GSA Awards grants of up to $500 per student per academic year to be used towards conducting or disseminating research done as part of a student's thesis or capstone project. First, you have to join GSA Cougar Connect  and once you are approved, a link will populate on the forms tab for you to access the travel grant applications.

MESSA offers a small amount of funding for students in need of research or travel assistance. Awards are disbursed as a reimbursement following the research or travel event. Applicants should fill out the Grant Application Sheet and provide a brief justification as to how the MESSA Grant will benefit their career as a graduate student. The completed application and funding justification should then be emailed to Find more information here.
You must volunteer for 2 MESSA events for the semester that you are applying for funding in order to qualify.

If you have any questions about this process or need help with the travel forms, please reach out to Lucy Davis in the MES Office, SSMB 254,
Lucy Davis
MES Program Coordinator

We need information from our students! If this applies to you, please email Nicole ( or Amanda ( in the office with the below information. Thank you!
  • Conference attendance: If you have or are planning to attend a conference this year (2019-2020), please let us know a) the name of the conference, b) the title of your presentation and presentation format (if you are presenting), and c) the date and location (city, state) of the conference.
  • Special award: If you have received a special award since May 2019, we need to know a) the name of the award, b) the date awarded, and c) who the award was given by.
  • Publications: If you have published a paper, since May 2019 please let us know a) title, b) journal name, and c) date published.
If at any point in the future you attend a conference, receive a special award, or publish a paper, please let the office know. 

Graduate School Calendar

  • Check out the Graduate School's revamped CALENDAR. This calendar contains networking opportunities, workshops, and professional development events that may be of interest to any graduate student.
  • If you are aware of an event that should be added to the calendar, email 
Southeastern Estuarine Research Society (SEERS)

Charleston Area Just Ministry (CAJM) Student Community Meeting
  • Wednesday, October 2nd at 7 PM
  • Discuss how we can make Charleston more safe, affordable, accessible, and equitable
  • CAJM is a coalition of Charleston organizations that work toward a more just community
Fort Johnson Seminar Series
  • October 4th at 4:00 pm
  • Melissa Griffin (SCDNR): The Carolinas Precipitation Patterns and Probabilities Atlas
  • MRRI Auditorium, Fort Johnson
Charleston Green Drinks
  • Monday October 14th, 5 - 7 PM
  • Location: Palmetto Brewing Co.
  • Speaker: East Cooper Land Trust
  • 5:30 pm (Networking), 6:15 pm (Info Sharing), 6:30 pm (Networking)
Drink for the CAWS - Charleston Waterkeeper
  • Thursday, October 10 at 5:30 pm
  • Fat Pig Brewing Co.
  • On the second Thursday of each month, Charleston Waterkeeper gathers at a local brewery and raises a glass for the Cooper, Ashley, Wando, and Stono Rivers (CAWS). Come out, grab a drink, meet your hard-working Charleston Waterkeeper team, and celebrate our beautiful river and creeks.
  • A portion of the proceeds will support Charleston Waterkeeper's mission to protect and restore your waterways so you can enjoy them without fear of pollution.
  • See their event page or website for more information.
Soul Sessions
  • October 2 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm
  • Yeti Charleston (360 King Street)
  • Soul Sessions is a free event that brings together dynamic speakers from local businesses and organizations to discuss their work and how it’s an expression of their deep connection to Lowcountry land and water.
  • Grab a drink and mingle with fellow conservationists as our speakers share their deep connection to the Lowcountry. We will have speakers from Saltwater ChartersEmerger Strategies and Lowcountry Land Trust discussing how their businesses intersect with conservation efforts. Our generous hosts, YETI Charleston, will be slinging happy hour-priced drinks and Uneeda Sicilian will be serving tasty pizza snacks for everyone to enjoy.
  • Register here.
Student Workshop: Ecological Masculinities & Climate Change/Global Warming with Dr. Paul Pule
  • Friday, October 4th from 12:30 - 2:30 pm
  • Location: 14 Greenway (Knox Lesesne House, CofC)
  • RSVP to Dr. Todd LeVasseur ( (first come, first serve; space is limited)
  • In this workshop, we'll unpack the gendered constructions of our times and will use conceptual and embodied practices to understand, seek solutions, and find our way beyond separation and ecocide. 
  • Click here for more information.
  • If you can't make the workshop, Dr. Pule will also be giving a campus talk on Wednesday, October 9th from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in RSS 235, open to all.

Ecological Project and Program Manager - Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (Buffalo, NY)
  • Work with a high energy, 26+ member, full-time, professional staff team, ranging multiple disciplines and who all share a passion for water issues, restoration, and making positive change
  • Innovative and ambitious project portfolio is growing, with ~$10 million worth of projects in the queue over the next 3 years
  • No official job posting yet, more information here or please contact executive director Jill Jedlicka for more information (
Senior Gender and Agriculture Specialist - EnCompass (Rockville, MD)
  • EnCompass is a women-owned global consulting business that addresses topics such as climate, culture, and diversity
  • Manage and oversee the Feed the Future Advancing Women's Empowerment (AWE) Project
  • Seeking applicants with skills and experience in project mobilization, quality assurance, and problem-resolution
  • More information and to apply, click here
Florida and Caribbean Regional Marine Debris Coordinator - Freestone Environmental Services, Inc (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • Freestone Environmental Services, Inc., a multi-disciplinary consulting firm, is seeking to hire a Florida and Caribbean Regional Marine Debris Coordinator for the Office of Response and Restoration (ORR). The individual will work with NOAA's Marine Debris Program (MDP).
  • Core responsibilities include: oversee and/or provide support to marine debris related projects, participate in meetings, workshops, and media events, provide expertise and oversite for MDP-funded projects; coordinate with federal and state partners, work closely with the fishing industry and education community on marine debris prevention, participate in Congressional briefings and media events.
  • Qualifications: master's in biology or environmental science, strong verbal and writing skills, strong computer and analytical skills, experience working on and leading interdisciplinary teams, Spanish language proficiency is preferred, and experience working in the Florida and the Caribbean region through collaborative partnerships is preferred. 
  • For more information and how to apply, click here.
Associate Coastal Economist - NOAA (Silver Spring, MD or Charleston, SC)
  • CSS, Inc., under contract to NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM) is seeking an experienced Economist to provide economic data and information to meet the needs of NOS’s Office for Coastal Management work.
  • Responsibilities include: 
    • Developing, analyzing, and communicating socioeconomic data and trends
    • providing timely, accurate, and relevant economic data and information to partners and the interested public via web pages and other relevant portals
    • Co-leading economics trainings that educate partners and the public on gathering economic indicator data and understanding and doing economic analyses
    • Conducting research on economic phenomena
    • Developing materials (reports, presentations, brochures) to convey socioeconomic information
  • Qualifications include: 
    • 2+ years of experience conducting economic research including collecting and analyzing data and presenting results to diverse audiences
    • knowledge of marine economy estimation methods domestically and internationally
    • Experience using SAS and Python
  • Click here for more information.
Coastal Resilience Specialist - North Carolina Sea Grant (Raleigh, NC)
  • The resilience specialist will provide technical assistance for coastal communities to identify immediate and long-term impacts of natural hazards and will help local leaders to consider research-based strategies to reduce vulnerabilities, based on their particular ecosystems and infrastructure.
  • The specialist will lead planning, implementing and evaluating extension programming regarding a range of resilience issues.
  • Preferred experience includes work in extension or education, GIS or other mapping programs, design and visualization tools, securing external funding, and developing partnerships and collaborations.
  • Salary is commensurate with qualifications.
  • For more information, click here.
  • Questions should be directed to Frank Lopez, 919-515-3012,

Visit the MES website here for a complete list of job announcements!

GIS Mapping Intern - Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic (Charleston)
  • 12 month internship
  • Contact Dr. Adem Ali for information (
Upstream Geophysicist Intern - BP (Houston, TX)
  • Qualifications: Graduating in December 2020-May 2021 from a masters or PhD program, must be available for a continuous 12 week period for the duration of the internship
  • Our internship program provides hands-on, career-specific experience working full-time, usually during summer breaks. You will work on real projects that deliver tangible benefits and measurable results. You will experience genuine teamwork, and work alongside highly qualified and experienced colleagues, while you work on live projects and operations, using the latest equipment and technology. 
  • Responsibilities typically include planning and execution of at least one well through operations, monitoring real time drilling data, construct a framework structural model to calculate bulk rock volume, interpret 2D/3D seismic, investigate the variation of seismic attributes and volumes.
  • Click here for more information.
Upstream Geophysicist / Imaging Developer Intern - BP (Houston, TX)
  • Qualifications: Graduating in December 2020-May 2021 from a masters or PhD program, must be available for a continuous 12 week period for the duration of the internship
  • Our internship program provides hands-on, career-specific experience working full-time, usually during summer breaks. You will work on real projects that deliver tangible benefits and measurable results. You will experience genuine teamwork, and work alongside highly qualified and experienced colleagues, while you work on live projects and operations, using the latest equipment and technology.
  • Responsibilities typically include Geophysicist duties (see above), contribute to the development of seismic processing and imaging workflows, develop/build-on cutting edge ideas and algorithms to improve performance or efficiency, work collaboratively with STC and HPC staff to identify and evaluate future opportunities of resource use.
  • Click here for more information.

American Association of Geographers Annual Conference
  • April 6-10, 2020 at Denver, CO
  • Accepting abstracts SOON
  • More information on registration here
NOAA Marine Debris Program: "Marine Debris Prevention" Federal Funding Opportunity
  • This opportunity provides funding for projects that actively engage and educate a target audience (such as students, teachers, industries, or the public) in hands-on programs designed to raise awareness, provide practical approaches, reduce barriers, and encourage and support changes in behaviors to ensure long-term prevention of marine debris.  
  • The Letter of Intent (LOI) submission period for prevention projects will extend from September 17 to November 5, 2019. Applicants who submit successful LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal following the LOI review period.
  • For more information on this FY 2020 grant opportunity, please visit and the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website.

CCRI Graduate Student Research Assistant - NASA (New York City, NY)
  • The NASA GISS Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) is a year-long opportunity for Graduate Student Research Assistants to work directly with NASA scientists and lead research teams in a NASA research project associated with the science related to climate change.
  • Graduate Student Research Assistants must be willing to commit to the year-long fall, spring and summer program whose dates are defined below. This opportunity will not conflict with the graduate student’s coursework or class schedule during the fall and spring semesters and is considered to be a part-time position that supports the graduate student’s major area of study.
  • Program requirements: 10 hours per week for 10 weeks in the fall and spring semesters, 40 hours per week for 8 weeks in the summer
  • Stipend: $11,700
  • Click here for more information.
US Fish and Wildlife Services Research Opportunity - Wadmalaw Island, SC
  • Investigate the effectiveness of artificial oyster reef research
  • Mix of field work, sample collection, and lab analysis
  • Potential thesis work, but can be scaled to the student's preference
  • For more information, view this document
Antarctic Microplastics Research - Airbnb
  • Apply by 11:59pm EDT on October 8, 2019
  • Be one of 5 volunteers to join environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition investigating the presence of microplastics
  • More information here

Coastal Conservation League
  • The Coastal Conservation League is a local non-profit that advocates for environmental issues in coastal South Carolina. 
  • The Coastal Conservation League's project manager for Berkeley County, Dr. Lisa Randle, has been approached by a council-member who is concerned about his constituents having access to clean drinking water.
  • The problem: many people in rural Berkeley County choose to remain on well water despite having a water line in their area. The council-member is looking for a study that will (1) identify people who have access to city water but choose to remain on well water, (2) identify people who have shallow wells and those who have deep wells, (3) identify the factors for remaining on well water, (4) identify if there are any health issues related to using well water, and (5) identify the factors for not choosing to tap into city water.
  • This could be an excellent thesis project for a student looking to get involved in the community and whose work will have important impacts. 
  • Please note, this is not a paid research project.
  • If interested, please contact Lisa Randle, PhD (Berkeley County Project Manager) at or (843) 723-5127.
Dr. John Weinstein: Adjunct Faculty, CofC
  • Dr. John Weinstein, one of our adjunct faculty members for biology, has recently received funding for a grant that tracks microplastic pathways into waterways within Charleston.
  • Dr. Weinstein is currently seeking a new graduate student to help tackle this project.
  • If you're interested, contact Dr. Weinstein at

SC Sea Grant Student Funding Opportunities

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
  • Application Deadline February 21, 2020
  • For current students!
  • Spend a year in a legislative or executive host office in the D.C. area
  • More information here
Coastal Management Fellowship
  • Application Deadline January 17, 2020
  • For recent graduates!
  • Work at state level management
  • More information here
Kathryn D. Sullivan Earth and Marine Fellowship
  • Application Deadline January 31, 2020
  • Conduct research relevant to NOAA and NASA
  • For current students!
  • More information here

2019 Delaware Resilient and Sustainable Communities League Annual Summit

  • November 15th from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Location: Del-One Conference Center, Delaware Technical Community College, Dover, Delaware
  • Student admission: $5
  • Description: Surf and Turf - Implications for Future Management of Our Lands and Waters
  • This all day Summit takes a comprehensive look at land use practices that integrate wetlands, green infrastructure, and other strategies to help coastal and inland communities manage our changing climate. 
  • The day will feature plenary and panel sessions as well as opportunities to network with subject matter experts and planning practitioners.
  • Registration closes November 6th
  • Click here for more information and to register.

Check out the following organizations for upcoming volunteer events: GIVE - Volunteer Abroad Opportunities
  • Opportunities to volunteer abroad in Nepal, Tanzania, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Nicaragua to conduct meaningful, sustainable work, empower communities, and experience new cultures.
  • As a GIVE volunteer, you can teach English to all different age levels, work alongside our host communities to build schools out of eco-friendly materials, practice sustainable agriculture, and support wildlife conservation of Asian elephants, sea turtles and other endangered species. 
  • Traveling with GIVE takes you off the beaten path and truly immerses you in the local culture. You’ll also take part in epic adventures like an African safari, trekking with elephants, sand-boarding down an active volcano, scuba diving, swimming with wild dolphins, trekking to Everest base camp, whitewater and bamboo rafting, and so much more.
  • Watch our video to see GIVE in action. 
  • Visit their website and apply online at
The next Stono Student Garden volunteer day is on Sunday, October 6th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. This will count as a MESSA workday, fulfilling one of your two required volunteer events to be eligible for MESSA funding. We are always in need of volunteers and would love it if you could come out and join us! For this workday we will be working on the pollinator and turtle beds followed by pumpkin carving. (Bring your own pumpkin; carving kits will be provided.) If you would like to volunteer with us, email Michael Cranford at or sign up on the Google spreadsheet here.

We are currently collecting empty soup cans for an upcoming event with the Green Heart Project. Please bring cleaned cans to the Lounge by October 15th.

Check social media for upcoming workdays and events:
Facebook: The Student Garden at Stono Preserve
Instagram: @cofc_studentgarden

A big thank you to everyone who came out to Beach Sweep on September 21st! We collected 250 pounds of trash (20 trash bags) in a quarter mile along Waterfront Park. We couldn't have done it without everyone's help!

Upcoming Events

October 6th: Volunteer workday at Stono Preserve (2:00 - 5:00 pm) - Workday followed by pumpkin carving! (Bring your own pumpkin; carving kits will be provided.) Sign up here if you plan to attend.

Looking Ahead
October 20th: Stono Volunteer Workday & Bonfire (2:00 - 5:00 pm)
November 2: Adopt-a-Highway volunteer day (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
November 15: Fundraiser at Workshop (5:00 - 9:00 pm)

You can see a full calendar of all our upcoming events on our website ( or our event flyer.

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College of Charleston MES Program · 66 George St · Charleston, SC 29424-0001 · USA

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