North Carolina Space Grant announces that Susan White will serve as the program’s interim director. White also serves as executive director of North Carolina Sea Grant and the state’s Water Resources Research Institute. All three statewide programs have headquarters at NC State University.
N.C. Space Grant, which receives funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a consortium of 13 academic institutions to develop and support aeronautics and space-related science, engineering, and technology education and training statewide. Partners include industry, nonprofit organizations and state agencies.
Chris Brown previously served as N.C. Space Grant director during his tenure at NC State as well as when he was a vice president for the UNC system. Brown recently joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham as vice president of research.
“Dr. White will bring exciting and innovative partnerships across the state and federal agencies that can propel the NC Space Grant program forward,” notes Jobi Cook, N.C. Space Grant associate director. “She also understands the federal and statewide partnership concept of the organization.”
Sea Grant receives funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, while WRRI is funded by the U.S. Geological Survey. Those programs support targeted research, outreach and education projects to address critical coastal, ocean and water-resource issues in the state and within the region.
“I am eager to work more closely with Space Grant’s vibrant programs that are equipping the current and future workforce,” says White, who has served on the consortium’s advisory council since 2014.
“Synergies exist among our program operations, as well as among many research topics for our Space and Sea Grant programs, and WRRI,” she adds. “We also look to learn from the Space Grant research component that features excellent partnerships at varied universities and industries across the state.”
Space Grant and Sea Grant programs already co-sponsor graduate research fellowships that fund research within North Carolina’s nearshore environs and coastal watersheds, by utilizing relevant measurement instruments and data from NASA and NOAA.
All three applied-research programs also reach into community colleges, K-12 schools, and informal educational institutions, such as museums, observatories and marine centers. This year, Space Grant outreach programs will include events related to the total solar eclipse this summer.
White previously was director of NOAA’s Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C. Formerly the national research coordinator for NOAA’s Estuarine Reserves Division and National Estuarine Research Reserve System, she has served on national and regional steering committees on topics including technology transfer, integrated drought monitoring and early warning, and climate’s connections to health.
North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast