Updates from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium - Issue 34

December 20, 2022

Ke'Ziyah Williamson

Consortium Welcomes New Staff


Ke’Ziyah Williamson joins the Consortium as the Coastal Watershed Community Engagement specialist. Based at Francis Marion University, Ke’Ziyah will identify communities in the Pee Dee region that need a localized understanding of flooding. She will conduct interviews and focus groups with rural people to gain insights about their experiences with and perceptions of flood buyout programs.

Malayna Nesbitt

Malayna Nesbitt is the new Extension graduate assistant. Malayna will provide program and outreach support, organize meetings and events, and help with administrative tasks. She also will coordinate the Calling the Coast Home real estate continuing education courses, monitor the S.C. Low Impact Development Atlas, and co-manage the S.C. Coastal Information Network. 

People in front of CoastSnap sign

CoastSnap Program Documents Shoreline Change


CoastSnap was recently installed at the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. CoastSnap is a beach monitoring program that uses cell phone photos taken by beach visitors from a specific location to track how the location’s shoreline is changing over time. The information gathered will assist the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with making decisions on when to renourish North Myrtle Beach. CoastSnap also will help scientists better understand factors contributing to shoreline change, including sea-level rise, king tides, hurricanes, and nor’easters. Contact Katie Finegan, Coastal Processes program specialist, at (843) 349-5017 to learn more about CoastSnap and how to get involved as a community scientist.

SCDNR researcher holding cobia

Mapping Cobia Genome for Population Assessment, Restoration


Researchers at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) are developing a new genetic tool to assess wild populations and enhance restoration efforts of cobia (Rachycentron canadum), a popular recreational fishery. Cobia travel to high-salinity estuaries to spawn, primarily in the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico, before heading back offshore. According to Tanya Darden, director of SCDNR’s Marine Resources Research Institute, the population has declined over the past two decades due in part to overfishing.


With funding support from the Consortium, Darden and her team are working to increase the efficiency of how cobia data are collected in order to boost restoration efforts. The entire cobia genome will be mapped using Next Generation Sequencing technology, and once this process is complete, a genetic marker will be developed to determine the sex of cobia at any life stage. This non-lethal and minimally-invasive tool will improve access to cobia sex ratio data, which will inform cobia hatchery and aquaculture production for use with inshore restoration efforts. For more information, contact Tanya Darden at (843) 953-9819.


Cobia caught by S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources scientist. Photo courtesy of SCDNR.

US capitol building

Knauss Fellowship Applications Due February 16, 2023


The Consortium is now accepting applications for the 2024 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Graduate students interested in ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes policy should apply for the opportunity to spend one year in Washington, D.C., with a host in the legislative or executive branch of government.


Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on February 16, 2023. Contact Susannah Sheldon, Research and Fellowships manager, at (843) 953-2083 to learn more about this paid fellowship or to attend virtual, drop-in office hours.

Undergraduate students prepare a plastics degradation study

FY24-26 Request for Proposals—Save the Date!


The Consortium expects to release its FY2024-2026 Request for Proposals in January 2023. Approximately $1,000,000 from NOAA is anticipated to be available, which will support five to seven one- or two-year projects that have applied outcomes for end users. Please review the Consortium’s draft 2024-2027 Strategic Plan for research and outreach priorities, and contact the appropriate staff member to discuss your proposal idea(s).

Undergraduate students prepare a plastics degradation study. Photo courtesy of The Citadel.

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