DREAMS - Diversity in Research in Environmental and Marine Sciences

Welcome to the DREAMS homepage!

DREAMS is a partnership program between Hampton University, Elizabeth City State University and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Our mission is to increase the participation of underrepresented minority students in environmental and marine sciences. To achieve that we will provide comprehensive academic and leadership training, and career preparation for undergraduate students. We will also reach out to grade school students and their parents.
Who are we?
Both Hampton University (HU) and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) are historically black universities serving primarily the mid-Atlantic region. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), as part of the College of William & Mary, is a leading institution for research and education in coastal sciences.
Who are we, really?
DREAMS is the brain child of three good friends: Dr. Deidre Gibson (HU), Dr. Maurice Crawford (ECSU) and Dr. Kam Tang (VIMS).
How did it get started?
In 2003 Dr. Gibson and Dr. Tang created the first DREAMS program with funding from the National Science Foundation UMEB program. Over the next five years the program supported 18 talented undergraduate students, and garnered eleven prestigious student awards in science conferences. The program is widely recognized for its innovation and success in increasing the participation of underrepresented minority students in environmental and marine sciences. Many of the former DREAMS students have gone on to graduate/professional schools or employment in the research/education sectors. In 2008 Dr. Crawford joined the other two to launch the second DREAMS program with new funding from the NSF GeoEd program. With experience and determination, we will make the program even better!
Costal Environmental Challenges in the 21st Century
The new DREAMS program will focus on the theme "Coastal environmental challenges in the 21st century". Although coastal counties account for less than 20% of the land in continental US, they are home to over 50% of the total population, and increasingly more people are moving to coastal areas. In Virginia the coastal population increased by 48% during 1980-2003; some of the coastal counties in North and South Carolinas are projected to have 10-17% population growth by 2008. Rapid population growth is creating enormous pressure on the social infrastructure, natural resources, environmental quality, public health and security in these coastal areas. The coastal populations are also at increasing risk due to global climate change that leads to rising sea level and a likely increase in frequency and strength of storms and hurricanes. A hard lesson we have learned from Hurricane Katrina is that coastal disasters often affect disproportionately enthnic minorities from low-income families. To ensure proper understanding and management of our precious coastal resources, we need to provide the new generations of coastal residents with the knowledge that will empower them to address environmental issues that deeply concern them. 

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers: GEO‐0806806, 0806533 and 0806561.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.