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NOAA EPP/MSI CESSRST Graduate Scholar Creates Science Related Learning Opportunities for Students from Underrepresented Minority Communities

Posted on February 22, 2021

CESSRST Scholar Creates Learning Opportunities for Students from Underrepresented Communities

Lautenbacher Fellow (2020-2021) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (NOAA EPP/MSI) Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Graduate Scholar, Andrea Fenner, Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology, San Diego State University (SDSU) creates science-related learning opportunities for students from underrepresented minority (URM) communities in San Diego and engages in community outreach programs. She also continues her NOAA mission-driven doctoral research under NOAA CESSRST faculty mentors Dr. Walter Oechel, distinguished professor, Department of Biology and Director, Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology, and Dr. Donatella Zona, assistant professor of Biology. The research is titled, ‘Effects of Drought, Fire and Stand Age on CO2 Flux in Semi-arid Chaparral Ecosystems.’

Andrea’s passion for public service and recognition of duties towards society inspires her actions. She has been involved in several community outreach programs including Upward Bound at CSUSM, the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program at CSUSM, and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Through creating science-related learning opportunities for students from URM communities in San Diego, Andrea aims to increase the rate at which those students graduate from college with post-secondary degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and further pursue careers in the field. Observing what motivates her, Andrea said, “The idea of representation encourages me. Being a biracial, African American, and Filipino American and a female in science, I understand the importance of representation. It serves as a constant source of motivation to see my students whom I work with feel confident about my achievements in STEM goals and thus believe in theirs.”

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