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School of the Environment
1515 S Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
FSH Science Research Center
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) Student Completes her Doctorate Degree in Environmental Science

NOAA's Office of Education, Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce that Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) student April N. Croxton completed her Doctorate Degree in Environmental Sciences from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in December 2008.  Dr. Croxton is a full-time employee at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Milford Laboratory in Milford, CT. April’s dissertation, entitled "Trophic transfer and immunotoxicology of microphytobenthic-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the eastern oyster, /Crassostrea virginica/”, investigated the role of benthic microalgae in the trophic transfer of contaminants to bivalve species, and the subsequent effects of this exposure on the immune system of bivalves. Since her youth, Dr. Croxton has had an interest in the aquatic ecosystems and continued to pursue this passion by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Union University. Upon graduating, April entered FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute graduate program where she majored in environmental sciences with a concentration in aquatic toxicology. April was introduced to NOAA's GSP through her participation in research projects in the EPP sponsored NOAA Environmental Cooperative Sciences Center (ECSC) at FAMU and former GSP participants.
 In her new position as a Fishery Biologist at the Milford Lab, April will continue to study the role of environmental stressors on the immune defense functions of bivalve species.
The NOAA GSP <http://educationalpartnership.noaa.gov/grad_science/welcome.html> is designed to provide opportunities for students in NOAA related fields to pursue research and educational training in atmospheric, environmental, and oceanic sciences and remote sensing technology at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), when possible.The GSP’s primary objective is to increase the number of graduate students who undertake course work and graduate with post-graduate degrees in the targeted areas integral to NOAA's mission.
NOAA provides program participants with tuition, a housing allowance, travel expenses and a salary for an annual 16-week work period at a NOAA facility. Students are also mentored by NOAA scientists while conducting research. After completing their academic requirements, participants commit to employment at NOAA based on the length of their training. To date, the NOAA Office of Education EPP <http://educationalpartnership.noaa.gov> has placed 42 graduate students majoring in NOAA-related sciences throughout NOAA.