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Shell Funds Ocean Science Student Assistantships

Shell recently awarded the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program at Louisiana State University a $50,000 grant that will fund up to four student assistantships.

“Sea Grant is pleased that Shell decided to support our continued efforts for education and workforce development by supporting these student assistantships,” said Robert Twilley, Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) Executive Director. The funding will be used to support the education of undergraduate and graduate students.


Pictured left to right are: Tom Broom, Mary Grace Anderson, Ian Voparil (all with Shell), Robert Twilley (Louisiana Sea Grant), Greg Guidry (Shell), Matt Bethel and Edward Castaneda (both with Louisiana Sea Grant).

“Being responsible stewards of the environment is important to Shell, and supporting education programs seeking to better understand the interrelated and interconnected systems that impact the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem is just one way we are helping to make a difference,” said Mary Grace Anderson, Vice President of Safety, Environment and Social Performance, Shell Upstream Americas. “Louisiana Sea Grant’s efforts to educate future scientists in our communities benefit the Gulf of Mexico, while providing valuable data that can help guide responsible operations in these waters.”

Students selected to participate will have opportunities to study environmental, social, and economic issues associated with oil and gas activities in deep-water environments. LSG will carry out a competitive solicitation for applications this winter. Additional information about the assistantships will be posted later at Areas of particular interest include:

  • Fisheries studies focusing on the biology and ecology of migratory deepwater species
  • Understanding the large marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly biology and ecology of important marine life
  • The engineering and ecological aspects of decommissioning oil and gas platforms with the possibility of using platforms as artificial reefs, as well as developing new methods and technologies to accomplish those tasks

The Shell assistantship program is modeled after other assistantship programs that LSG has administered for partner agencies and entities. Shell believes that providing educational opportunities that are closely connected to science, technology, engineering and math will provide students with the knowledge and skills to secure future opportunities in the energy sector. “Shell saw Louisiana Sea Grant as a perfect mechanism for promoting an assistantship of this type,” said Matt Bethel, LSG Assistant Executive Director of Research.

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant ( has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.


Slideshow photo credit: Seed Money by Stewart Jenkins