UD graduate student Dosoo Jang
Dosoo Jang, a Ph.D. student in marine policy at the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies, likes to literally immerse himself in his favorite subject: the ocean. An avid scuba diver, he often leads diving groups on underwater expeditions in the Florida Keys.
Recently, Jang's love for and knowledge of the ocean was recognized nationally when he received the Walter B. Jones Memorial and NOAA Excellence Award for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Named after the late Congressman Walter B. Jones, former chairman of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, this award is conferred annually to "coastal heroes" in 10 categories ranging from excellence in marine sanctuary management, to volunteer of the year. Jang was one of 18 winners chosen from nearly 100 nominees by an independent panel of judges.
"Estuarine and coastal wetlands are decreasing nationwide by an average of 31 square miles per year," said Jeffrey Benoit, director of NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. "Marine habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate, underscoring the fact that the nation's ocean and coastal resources are at serious risk. The award recipients are the folks who are helping to change the quality of our oceans and coasts."
Recognized by the judges as "an outstanding student who has made exemplary contributions in research and public service activities," Jang was one of four students to receive the award for excellence in coastal and marine graduate study. Specifically, Jang's doctoral research at the University of Delaware Center for the Study of Marine Policy, where he is chief research assistant, focuses on the emerging field of integrated coastal management. This management approach, now at the forefront of marine policy, encourages the incorporation of science into the policy-making process and views the marine environment as a whole rather than as a series of separate and unrelated parts -- from wetlands to fisheries.
"Traditionally, coastal management has been very fragmented, viewing problems on an issue-by-issue or resource-by-resource basis," Jang explains. "But coastal ecosystems are interconnected and interdependent, and we rely on them for multiple uses, from tourism to commercial fishing. Integrated coastal management encourages us to examine these dynamic systems in a comprehensive way, collecting and synthesizing data over a broad scale in order to develop truly workable solutions to coastal problems," he says. "It's a new approach that should benefit the oceans and coasts we all love."
Currently, Jang is working on his dissertation on integrated coastal management while on a six-week internship at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. A native of South Korea, he makes his home in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Dr. Young Lee, and their daughters, Dayoung and Minyoung. Jang is also president of the Korean-American Scuba Diving Association of Greater Miami.