WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (all D-Md.) announced $2,822,789 in federal funding for an innovative environmental workforce training program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The funding, provided through the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program, invests in the next generation of scientists by implementing a thesis-master’s program focusing on Chesapeake Bay’s socio-ecological challenges. Students will conduct research projects advised by external scientists as well as faculty and participate in applied research internships. Approximately 30 master’s students will participate directly in the program, while another 150 master’s and doctoral students are expected to benefit from the courses developed and implemented through this program.
“We need more highly trained scientists to solve the climate change crisis we are facing today and long into the future. I’m proud to see UMBC leading in this effort to build up the skills of the next generation of scientists,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Comprehensive, interdisciplinary environmental research efforts are critical for the development of climate change policy.”
“Climate change is a clear and present danger to the entire world – and we must ensure we have a workforce trained to tackle the challenges that it creates and better protect our environment for future generations,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “UMBC is committed to making that goal a reality, and I’ll keep fighting in the Senate to support that work.”
“Environmental issues touch every single American, posing ever more complicated challenges. We must train the next generation of scientists to meet these challenges head-on,” said Congressman Cummings. “Baltimore’s Inner Harbor faces unique socio-ecological challenges, and I applaud UMBC’s commitment to providing their students with the education and training needed to empower them to work to protect our Harbor and our environment.
The NRT Program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, potentially transformative models for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduate education training.