Ocean Springs, MS — Dr. Sharon Walker has been named the new Director of Education for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) announced Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, Director of the Consortium. Dr. Walker will coordinate the development and evaluation of the entire spectrum of Sea Grant marine education programs in Mississippi and Alabama. She will work in fund raising activities and developing proposals in education-related training, advisory and outreach activities. In addition to performing her Director's duties, Dr. Walker will be a member of Sea Grant's National Marine Education Theme Team, and a MASGC member in the Sea Grant Association.
"I have worked closely with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium for the last 18 years and have a strong passion for teaching precollege teachers, their students, and the general public in areas related to ocean science," says Dr. Walker. "Water is a wonderful medium from which to teach not only science, but also math, geography, literature, economics, history, music, and technology."
Dr. Walker brings with her more than 20 years of marine science education and experience. Starting as a science teacher in Ocean Springs High School, she has held positions as the Consortium's Marine Education Specialist, Coordinator of Education's Programs for the Gulf Coast Research Lab, and Program Director of Education for the National Sea Grant College Program. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of several education grants including: The Consortium for Oceanographic Activities for Students and Teachers (COAST); Operation Pathfinder: Oceanography and Coastal Processes for Elementary, and Middle School Teachers; Project Marine Discovery: On The Road; and various environmental habitat workshops for teachers. Dr. Walker has also been responsible for precollege curriculum development in the areas of global climate change, oceanography, coastal processes, and coral reefs.
"I look forward to working more closely with Mississippi and Alabama teachers and their students, as well as the Sea Grant Advisory Service Programs, and the faculties of the Consortium's eight member institutions," she says.
Dr. Walker is currently serving as a Board Member for the Ocean Springs School System, President of the Mississippi Science Teachers Association, Membership Secretary for the National Marine Educators Association, Educational Chair for the Marine Technology Society, and Board Member for the Council for Environmental Education. She has helped raise more than $6 million in grants in the last six years. In addition to her role as MASGC Director of Education, Dr. Walker will continue to act as Associate Dean for Outreach at The University of Southern Mississippi's Institute of Marine Sciences, Professor in the Institute's Department of Coastal Sciences, and Administrator of the Scott Aquarium.
Dr. Walker is married to Dr. William Walker and they have a 20-year old son, Scott, who will be a senior at The University of Mississippi this fall.