TOGA/VIMS Student Fellowship Endowment

Members of the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association announced the establishment of the TOGA Fellowship Endowment during a June 2012 visit to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. From L: VIMS Dean and Director John Wells, recently retired VIMS fisheries specialist and TOGA Advisor Mike Oesterling, TOGA co-founder and President Emerita Jackie Partin, and TOGA President David Turney.  The endowment is in honor of Mike and Jackie who have served TOGA so well for 14 years. 

As of January 2013, the Endowment has reached the $64,000 level and a graduate student is receiving support.  Thanks to the many contributors and volunteers who love the Bay and have made this possible.

 

If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to the VIMS Foundation, noting "TOGA Fellowship Endowment (3506)" in the memo section, and mail to: VIMS Foundation, c/o The College of William and Mary, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187.

UPDATE ON THE TOGA/VIMS FELLOWSHIP ENDOWMENT

(Honoring Jackie Partin and Mike Osterling)

The TOGA endowment funds as of June 30, 2018 were book valued at $141,393 and the market value was $168,842. Every gift of support to the TOGA Fellowship, through donations from the float building efforts or individual gifts from TOGA members, allows graduate students the best education and the opportunity to engage in groundbreaking research. This year’s recipient is Ph.D. student Jennifer Beckensteiner.

 

Thank you, from all of us to all of you, for making the endowment a reality and for continuing its growth for future students.

 

All charitable gifts to the TOGA Endowment held in the VIMS Foundation (a 501c3 organization) are tax deductible. The TOGA Endowment supports graduate students of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science researching oysters and shellfish, and the ecological restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. To learn more about VIMS, visit www.VIMS.edu or call Susan Maples at 804-684-7846.

 

Susan Maples, Director of Development,Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The TOGA endowment funds for June 30, 2017, were book valued at $130,837 and the market value was $150,336. Every gift of support, be it through donations from the float building efforts or individual gifts from TOGA members toward the TOGA Fellowship, makes a huge difference for the students who benefit from it. You will have an opportunity to meet this year’s student, Joey Matt at the January 2018 meeting.  Thank you, from all of us, to all of you, for making the endowment a reality and for continuing its growth for future students.

 

All charitable gifts to the TOGA Endowment held in the VIMS Foundation (a 501c3 organization) are tax deductible. The TOGA Endowment supports graduate students of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, researching oysters and shellfish and more broadly the ecological restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, which ultimately impacts shellfish. To learn more about VIMS, please check out our

website www.VIMS.edu, or call Jennifer Dillon at 804-684-7226.

 

 

Jennifer S. Dillon

Associate Director of Advancement

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science

804.684.7226 | 804.684.7097 fax | 757.642.7727 cell

jsdill@vims.edu | vims.edu

PO Box 1346 | Rt. 1375 Greate Rd., Gloucester Pt., VA 23062

 

2016 Update on the TOGA/VIMS Fellowship Endowment (Honoring Jackie Partin and Mike Osterling)

 

The TOGA endowment funds for June 30, 2016, were book valued at $112,212 and the market value was $120,881. Every gift of support, be it through donations from the float building efforts or individual gifts from TOGA members toward the TOGA Fellowship, makes a huge difference for the students who benefit from it. Thank you, from all of us, to all of you, for making the endowment a reality and for continuing its growth for future students. All charitable gifts to the TOGA Endowment held in the VIMS Foundation (a 501c3 organization) are tax deductible. The TOGA Endowment supports graduate students of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, researching oysters and shellfish and more broadly the ecological restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, which ultimately impacts shellfish. To learn more about VIMS, please check out our website www.VIMS.edu, or call Jennifer Dillon at 804-684-7226.

--Jennifer Dillon, VIMS Associate Director of Development

 

Note- If you would like to donate to the Endowment on-line, please go to www.oystergardener.org and click on TOGA/VIMS Endowment at the bottom of the home page. To donate by mail, please make checks out to “VIMS Foundation,” noting “TOGA Fellowship Endowment (3506)” in the memo section, and mail to Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation, c/o The College of William and Mary, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779. The TOGA Board wishes to express its gratitude to all who have supported this effort. -- Vic Spain, MOG

 

From the Current TOGA/VIMS Endowment Recipient

 

Greetings! My name is Jennifer Beckensteiner. I am coming from France, and I am currently starting my third year at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science as a PhD student. I am working with David Kaplan and Andrew Scheld from the Fisheries Science Department on the determination of the success or failure of marine spatial management and the effectiveness of property rights for fisheries management.

 

The overarching goal that spans my academic, research, and career pursuits is to better understand how people impact marine environments and how we can mitigate negative impacts. This long standing interest in marine resource management is central to the two vocational degrees I have received in France, as well as my ongoing research at VIMS. The first master’s degree that I received was from the University of Montpellier II (Montpellier, France) in the field of practical ecology and biodiversity management. I then pursued a second MS in fisheries science in the grande école Agrocampus Ouest (Rennes, France). This combination of degrees has given me cross-disciplinary skills with my overall research profile being situated at the research / management interface. My current doctoral work requires integrating these cross-disciplinary skills to elucidate the effectiveness and conservation value (if any) of spatial property rights for fisheries management. Specifically, my research involves identifying potential challenges or inadequacies related with Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries for the effective management of benthic resources.

2015 Update on the TOGA/VIMS Fellowship Endowment (Honoring Jackie Partin and Mike Osterling) It was April 2011 when we established the endowment with VIMS for the purpose of supporting graduate students enrolled in the School of Marine Science of the College of William and Mary researching oysters and shellfish and, more broadly, the ecological restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Thanks to many donors, volunteer fund raisers and float builders (float sale proceeds are donated), the endowment is currently funded at over $103,000, and including earnings the total has reached over $113,000. In addition, it has now provided financial assistance to five graduate students who have been doing valuable research. Our first graduate student was PhD candidate Wenda Quidort, who worked on developing genetic techniques to detect and monitor adenoviruses in Chesapeake Bay waters and shellfish. She has since received her PHD and teaches biology, chemistry and physics at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY. Our second recipient was Masters student Brendan Turley who is now working on his Master's Thesis on population genetics. His project involves tracking oyster restoration efforts in the Lafayette River using model predictions and genetic markers. PhD candidate Ann Arfken is finishing up her second year studying the role of oyster microbiomes in the nitrogen cycling processes of oyster reefs. Our two most recent student recipients introduce themselves below. They plan to give us a brief description of their work at the Annual Meeting. Hello TOGA members! My name is Lydia Bienlien and I am thrilled to have received a TOGA fellowship this year. I am happy to take the opportunity to tell you a bit about myself. I am in the third year of my Master’s program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) under the direction of Dr. Ryan Carnegie, who runs the Shellfish Pathology Laboratory. I was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, but moved around quite a bit when I was younger. I was homeschooled through high school and then went to college at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. While there, I was on the varsity teams for both soccer and track and field and became an academic All-American. I graduated from Morningside summa cum laude and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Award in Sciences, an award to the top graduating student of all the scientific departments. I double majored in biology and chemistry and, after being part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at VIMS the summer after my junior year, I knew I wanted to do marine research. My research at VIMS involves oysters, parasites, and bacteria. The oyster I am studying is, of course, Crassostrea virginica. Perkinsus marinus is a parasite of this oyster that causes the disease “dermo.” This parasite thrives in moderate to high salinities and can be found in almost all oysters in those salinity ranges. P. marinus can and has killed many oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. So where do the bacteria come in? Two bacteria in particular, Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, cause food-borne illnesses associated with consumption of raw oysters in humans. These bacteria do not harm the oyster though. Despite the measures taken by the oyster industry to reduce the risk of V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus, the reported number of people getting sick from oyster consumption has drastically increased in the last few years. One important question has been why some oysters carry high Vibrio burdens, which may translate to higher consumption risk, while others do not. My project investigates whether P. marinus in the oyster may be influencing tissue levels of Vibrio, since P. marinus is so prevalent and infects oysters at such high levels. In fact, both P. marinus and the bacteria can be found in the same tissues within the oyster, so it is reasonable to ask whether they are interact- 2 ing. Answering this question could guide shellfish management in the Chesapeake Bay and also has relevance for the oyster industry in terms of breeding and selection of oyster lines. I am pleased that my research is interdisciplinary, touching on shellfish ecology and sanitation, oyster biology, parasitology, and microbiology, and I am so appreciative that TOGA is supporting me while I pursue this work. Greetings Tidewater Oyster Gardeners! Hello, my name is Melissa Karp, and I am currently in my final year of my Master’s degree at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. I am working with my major advisor, Rochelle Seitz, and committee members Mark Luckenbach, John Brubaker, and Mary Fabrizio to study the role of restored oyster reefs as important habitat and feeding grounds for a diversity of Bay organisms. A little background on myself: I grew up in a suburban town about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia. I then moved up to Boston for my undergraduate education at Tufts University, where I got a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science. During my time at Tufts I actively sought out opportunities to get involved in marine science research, and was selected to be a NOAA Hollings Scholar. As part of the scholarship I had the opportunity to work in a NOAA research lab during the summer between my junior and senior years. This research experience solidified my desire to pursue a career in marine science and continue on to graduate school. Outside of academics, I played on the varsity field hockey team all 4 years, and was lucky enough to end my career by being part of the DIII National Championship winning team! A little about my research: My thesis research is entitled “Structural complexity and location affect the habitat value of restored oyster reefs: implications for restoration”. The main goals of my research are to (1) determine the diversity and abundance of organisms that live on restored reefs in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay, and (2) examine how the structural complexity, or arrangement of the oyster shell material, and location of the reefs affect the abundance of those organisms and predator-prey interactions on the reefs. The hope is that this information will help guide resource managers in selecting areas for restoration and designing oyster restoration projects that will successfully provide quality habitat and increased productivity. To accomplish these goals I am conducting both field surveys of restored reefs throughout the Virginia portion of the Bay and controlled laboratory experiments. Thanks to Jennifer Dillon, VIMS Associate Director of Development and TOGA member, for coordinating the input from VIMS and our graduate students above. If you would like to donate to the Endowment online, please go to www.oystergardener.org and click on TOGA/VIMS Endowment at the bottom of the home page. To donate by mail, please make checks out to “VIMS Foundation,” noting “TOGA Fellowship Endowment (3506)” in the memo section, and mail to Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation, c/o The College of William and Mary, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779. All donations are tax deductible. The TOGA Board wishes to express its gratitude to all who have supported this effort.

 

 

 

UPDATE ON THE TOGA/VIMS FELLOWSHIP ENDOWMENT

(Honoring Jackie Partin and Mike Osterling), 11/16/2014

 

It was April 2011 when we established the endowment with VIMS for the purpose of

supporting graduate students enrolled in the School of Marine Science of the College of William and

Mary researching oysters and shellfish and, more broadly, the ecological restoration of the Chesapeake

Bay. Thanks to many donors, volunteer fund raisers and float builders (float sale proceeds are donated), the endowment is currently funded at over $100,000 (July 2015 donation level not including investment earnings). A short blurb from Jennifer Dillon, VIMS Associate Director of Development, TOGA member and good friend to TOGA folks- “You all have done a phenomenal job continuing the momentum on this endowment and it has truly added to our program by having these resources available to support students ...”

 

So far, the endowment has helped three students, all of whom have met (or plan to meet) with TOGA folks and described their vital and interesting work at VIMS. Our first graduate student was PhD candidate Wenda Quidort, who worked on developing genetic techniques to detect and monitor adenoviruses in Chesapeake Bay waters and shellfish. She has since received her PhD and gone on teach Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY. Our second recipient is Masters student Brendan Turley who obtained his Bachelor's of Science from the University of Miami, Florida in 2006 with a double major in Marine Science/Biology and a minor in chemistry. After graduating, he worked as an aquaculture technician at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science's Aplysia Facility for a year, and then spent six years as a NOAA-NMFS fisheries observer deployed on commercial fishing vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. Brendan is now working on his Master's Thesis focused on population genetics. His project involves tracking oyster restoration efforts in the Lafayette River using model predictions and genetic markers.