The RTR Program is bringing top graduate students, funding, jobs, and exciting research opportunities to the University of Florida. As a result of UF hosting the Program, Florida is playing a greater role in the research and sustainable management of economically important living marine resources.
Combining the expertise of National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biologists and the University of Florida Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program, the NMFS – RTR Program is the first of its kind in the country. The Program has three objectives, as captured in its name, RTR:
- Recruiting: To recruit top undergraduates into the field of fisheries population dynamics and careers with NMFS.
- Training: To present continuing education courses for NMFS employees.
- Research: To conduct population dynamics and stock assessment research in support of the NMFS mission in a unique collaboration of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral associates, university faculty, and NMFS biologists.
What distinguishes this RTR from other cooperative programs of NMFS and other agencies is its primary mission of recruiting young professionals into the field. The management of fisheries resources is heavily dependent on the work of highly-skilled quantitative biologists. The need for these individuals is increasing as with workload and agency retirements. Unfortunately, there is not a suitable pool of qualified applicants for these positions. The RTR program was created to solve this problem by identifying excellent undergraduate prospects and providing them with training and encouragement to enter the field of population dynamics and ultimately, careers with NMFS. Graduate student opportunities will also be part of this RTR program at UF.
For more information on the NMFS RTR Program, contact Dr. Jim Berkson (firstname.lastname@example.org).