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MDMR Awards Young Marine Scientists for Excellence

BILOXI, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) presented five local students with the MDMR Excellence in Marine Sciences Award at the Region VI Science and Engineering Fair held March 5, 2013, at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. The MDMR has sponsored the award for more than 15 years.

The MDMR's Excellence in Marine Sciences Award was established to encourage local students to develop research projects involving Mississippi’s coastal resources. With this award, the MDMR hopes to encourage students to identify and find solutions to the Coast’s environmental problems. Each winner received a certificate and monetary award.

"The winners of the younger classes each receive $100. The older winners each get $200, because they will most likely be advancing to the state competition. The extra money will enable them to enhance their exhibits, so they will have a better chance of winning at that next level of competition," said Jennifer Buchanan, Education Coordinator for the MDMR/Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Class I entries represent students in grades kindergarten through three; Class II, grades four through six; Class III, grades seven and eight; Class IV, grades nine and 10; Class V, grades 11 through 12.

Winners of this year's Excellence in Marine Sciences Award, in order of class:

  • Boyd Driggers, Magnolia Park Elementary, for "Phototaxis in Zooplankton," Class I entry, $100.
  • Myers Hogan, St. James Elementary, for "What Is This stuff?" Class II entry, $100.
  • Adara Binnaz Rutherford, Hancock Middle School, for "Has Bay St. Louis and Mississippi Sound Water Quality Improved Since 2010 Oil Spill?" Class III entry, $200.
  • Isabel Cheney, Ocean Springs High School, for "The Effect of Salinity on the Germination of Inland and Island Slash Pine Seeds," Class IV entry, $200.
  • Noel Campbell, Cedar Lake Christian Academy, for "Taming the Tsunami," Class V entry, $200.

The award is presented by the MDMR to outstanding Region VI science fair entries that address a marine- or coastal-related issue. In consideration for the award, all project titles are reviewed and each student with a marine- or coastal-related project is interviewed and questioned about his or her project. Finally, MDMR judges rate the eligible projects and the ratings are compiled to determine the overall winners.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the MDMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.

PHOTO CREDITS:  Photos courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

PHOTO A CUTLINE: (From left to right) Noel Campbell, Cedar Lake Christian Academy; Isabel Cheney, Ocean Springs High School; Adara Binnaz Rutherford, Hancock Middle School; Myers Hogan, St. James Elementary; Boyd Driggers, Magnolia Park Elementary .

PHOTO B CUTLINE: (From left to right) Noel Campbell, Isabel Cheney, Jennifer Buchanan, Education Coordinator for the MDMR/Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Contact: Syneathia Lett
Phone: (228) 523-4101

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