Headline for Featured Item #1 Dr. Paul Montagna Receives Outstanding Educator Award in San Diego, Calif. - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi - Discover Your Island

Dr. Paul Montagna Receives Outstanding Educator Award in San Diego, Calif.

November 21, 2013


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Paul Montagna, Endowed Chair for Ecosystem Studies and Modeling at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, was presented with the William A. Niering Award for Outstanding Educator during the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) biennial meeting held November 3 in San Diego, Calif.

The award is for an individual who has played a particularly important role in education at any level – from primary school to the graduate level, inside or out of the classroom, or in the education of the general public through outreach activities. The award also honors Montagna for his spirit, in that he draws from the past for instruction, focuses on the problems of today, and helps provide his students the skills to plan for the emerging challenges of the future.

Montagna currently mentors 13 graduate students at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and during his approximately 40 year career, has directly supervised 33 graduate students and 19 postdoctoral scientists. He is also Coordinator of the Coastal & Marine System Science Doctoral Program.

Montagna’s students describe him as supportive, thoughtful and honest, and a beloved mentor. He not only teaches about science, but what it means to be a scientist, and the responsibility that his students and colleagues have to communicate science.

Montagna’s devotion to education began in 1971 as a Teaching Assistant at Northeastern University. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1983, he began his long adventure in studying the ecosystems of southwestern Texas. He invested nearly 20 years of service at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) where he taught courses in statistics, modeling, ecology and invertebrate biology, and held leadership positions in numerous professional societies. Montagna also led the effort to establish the Mission Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and contributed directly to K-12 public education through his extensive volunteer activities, including a decade of service on the Port Aransas Independent School District Board. He frequently visits local elementary and middle schools to encourage and inspire the next generation of aquatic scientists

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, a private, nonprofit nonpartisan organization created in 1971, serves to advance understanding and wise stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems worldwide by promoting research in estuarine and coastal ecosystems; supporting education of scientists, decision-makers and the public; and facilitating communication among these groups. 

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