By: Dawn Harris Young
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) faculty member Richard D. Schulterbrandt Gragg III, Ph.D., is the recipient of a 2015 Gulf Guardian Award.
Gragg recently received the award from the Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) in the Individual Category during the awards ceremony at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Gulf Guardian Awards were initiated in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive.
Diane Altsman, GMP chief of staff, said the Gulf Guardian Awards Program, formally recognizes the very best environmental accomplishments in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The Gulf of Mexico Program partnership works to improve the environmental health of the Gulf, and the Gulf Guardian Awards is an important way for us to recognize these valuable efforts,”Altsman said.
The GMP serves to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways and is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico in concert with economic development.[quote_center author=””]I deeply admire Richard’s community involvement and his desire to help our friends in the community through science and his service. This award lets others in the community know what we already know: that Dr. Gragg is a gifted man and skilled researcher[/quote_center]
Gragg has contributed to the development of FAMU’s School of the Environment, Center for Environmental Equity and Justice, and the education and training of environmental scientists from underrepresented groups on the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. As an associate professor of environmental science and policy, he has demonstrated public service and leadership in higher education spanning across administration, teaching, scholarship, and public service.
Additionally, Gragg has actively promoted environmental justice as a member and in partnership with more than a dozen public and private entities including Florida Department of Environmental Protection-Community Environmental Health Advisory Board; Florida Department of Health, Executive Council and Health and Research Subcommittee; and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council-US Environmental Protection Agency. In collaboration with others, he has secured more than $59 million by identifying and pursuing sources of grant funding to conduct environmental science, justice, health, and policy research, and developing proposals for state and federal agencies and foundations. He has collaboratively designed and executed research plans for 17 projects to date, published 28 manuscripts and technical documents, and participated in 55 local, national, and international presentations. As a result of Gragg’s contributions, the state of Florida has been recognized as being at the forefront in addressing environmental justice issues.
Timothy E. Moore, Ph.D., vice president for Research at FAMU, noted that through this award, Gragg has brought great credit to FAMU, the School of the Environment, and himself.
“I deeply admire Richard’s community involvement and his desire to help our friends in the community through science and his service. This award lets others in the community know what we already know: that Dr. Gragg is a gifted man and skilled researcher,” Moore said.