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NOAA EPP/MSI CESSRST Scholar Jahnelle Howe Virtually Defends her Master’s Thesis

Posted on December 17, 2020

NOAA EPP/MSI CESSRST Scholar Jahnelle Howe Virtually Defends her Master’s Thesis

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NEW YORK—December 16, 2020- NOAA EPP/MSI CESSRST Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing graduate scholar, Jahnelle Howe successfully defended her master’s thesis on Friday 4, December 2020, in a virtual presentation to The City College of New York, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Jahnelle’s master’s thesis was entitled ‘Ecosystem health in Guánica Bay and La Parguera, Puerto Rico: Remote sensing of ocean color and metal analysis of coral tissue and surficial sediments?’ Jahnelle’s thesis topic aligned with her interests, strengths, and NOAA’s mission. “I struggled to find a research topic and advisors who understood my research interest. My mentors, Dr. Shakila Merchant and Karin Block, worked with me to develop an ideal project.”

For her research, Jahnelle highlighted coral reef vulnerabilities that contribute to the widespread degradation in and near Guánica Bay in Puerto Rico. The threats from land-based sources through agricultural practices, lead to nutrient and chemical pollution and anthropogenic related increased sediment and nutrient discharge to the Puerto Rico shelf. Using techniques like X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Direct Mercury Analyzer 80 (DMA-80) and remote sensing of water quality and sediment inputs into Guánica Bay, Jahnelle investigated how the discharge from Guánica Bay in Puerto Rico influenced the levels of mercury and other metals in coral tissue and surficial sediment in and near Guánica Bay.

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About NOAA CESSRST NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CESSRST), a Cooperative Science Center (CSC), was established in 2016 through a national competition and is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-EPP/MSI Grant # NA16SEC4810008). It's a National leader in STEM workforce development and supports NOAA missions related to Earth Systems observations, monitoring through application of environmental satellites and ground-based remote sensing technologies. The Center’s mission is to educate, train and graduate a new generation of diverse and competent cadre of students, and to create a diverse and skilled workforce in NOAA mission-aligned STEM and social science disciplines through participation in state-of-the-art research. For additional information, please visit cessrst.org

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