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NOAA EPP/MSI CESSRST Graduate Scholar Defies the Odds to Continue her NOAA Mission Driven Doctoral Research, Receives Awards and Honors

Posted on February 13, 2021

CESSRST Graduate Scholar Defies the Odds to Continue her NOAA Mission Driven Doctoral Research

Lautenbacher Fellow (2019-2020) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (NOAA EPP/MSI) Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Graduate Scholar, Suhey Ortiz Rosa, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez (UPRM) defies the odds to continue her NOAA mission driven doctoral research and receives awards and honors. She is conducting the research under NOAA CESSRST faculty advisor Roy A. Armstrong, professor, Department of Marine Science, UPRM and NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunity (NERTO) mentor, Dr. Christopher Brown, Scientist, NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information/Center for Satellite Applications and Research (NESDIS/STAR). The research is titled, ‘Bio-Optical and biogeochemical characterization of dark water events in tropical oligotrophic waters.’ Suhey said, “It was after two topics and one research proposal submission, with the support of my mentors, I finally discovered a topic that aligned with my professional interests.”

In her research, Suhey identifies that high-resolution satellite imagery from the Landsat-8 OLI and other sensors show frequent occurrences of dark water masses that are hard to detect with traditional one-kilometer resolution from ocean color satellite sensors. She notes that the origin and possible impacts of these dark water masses have been poorly documented for the Caribbean Region as opposed to Florida waters or the Gulf of Mexico. Further, she elaborates the importance of the role of water masses on water column light attenuation and as sources of carbon, and their possible ecological implications on coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems, the primary producers in tropical environments.

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