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FAMU Environmental Science Student Engaged in Research at NOAA

Daryl Sibble Among First Students in the Nation to Receive 45K Scholarship

While many college students are relaxing during the summer, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) doctoral candidate Daryl Sibble is taking a different route. Sibble is spending his summer wrapping up groundbreaking research at an internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

A student in the School of the Environment, Sibble is one of only two students to receive NOAA’s first Educational Partnership Program (EPP) Graduate Research and Training Scholarship. This national scholarship program affords him $45,000 to support his participation in extensive research opportunities with NOA

Sibble’s research focuses on yielding information that will help develop optimum practices for the application of fertilizer in agriculture, specifically fertilizer that uses ammonium nitrate, which can be a threat to human health. This threat occurs when plants do not use all of the fertilizer added to soil and as a result some of the nitrate is removed with rainwater runoff and some of the ammonium becomes ammonia. The ammonia leaves the soil as a harmful gas and enters the atmosphere.

His internship and the majority of his research is being conducted at the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division of the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Air Resources Laboratory, located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. He also spent time measuring weather and ammonia flux data at the University of Illinois’ energy farm

As a result of his research, Sibble recently co-authored the article, “Understanding the Role of Ammonia in Air Quality” in the Southern Climate Monitor with his NOAA advisor LaToya Myles, Ph.D., a FAMU alumna and physical scientist at NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory and fellow FAMU student Jason Caldwell.

Sibble describes his experience as “priceless” and attributes his success at NOAA to the mentorship of Myles and to the foundation laid for him at FAMU, the lead institution of NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC).

“FAMU prepared me for this internship in multiple ways,” said Sibble. “My advisor Dr. Elijah Johnson, who is very proficient in environmental computer modeling and conducted research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is using his academic and work experience to advise me on multiple facets of this internship.”

Sibble also credits FAMU Professor Marcia Owens, Ph.D., and ECSC Director Michael Abazinge, Ph.D., for supporting his application and helping him develop as a research professional.

“FAMU and the ECSC faculty have helped me develop in many ways, such as teaching me the key to building strong professional relationships and working as a team to conduct research,” he said.

Sibble also uses the knowledge he has gained to help others. He recently provided training to Oak Ridge teachers at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Center for Science Education on how to use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to enhance the classroom setting.

“I knew from looking at his application that he was the kind of student who would do really well in the School of the Environment,” said Johnson. “Since he arrived at FAMU, his work has basically confirmed what I saw from his application. He was very well-trained, and with his current experiences, should have a very good career.”

Sibble is a native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and received his bachelor’s degree in meteorology in 2011 from Florida State University. He will return to FAMU, from the 11-month internship at NOAA, in the fall.
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