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Dr. Carol Price Receives NC State University Sustainability Award

The NC State University Sustainability Council has selected Dr. Carol Seals Price, instructor at The Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST), and Conservation Research Coordinator at NC Aquariums, as the recipient of this year’s Faculty Sustainability award. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge a faculty member who exemplifies sustainability through their work on local or global projects. Price says this particular award is especially meaningful to her because she was nominated by a former Semester@CMAST student.

Price specializes in protecting native coastal species and habitats, conducting research and field work to protect the coast. Six years ago, Dr. Price was instrumental in establishing a collaborative conservation partnership between CMAST and the NC Aquariums. Price says the original concept of the partnership was that she would teach one course each spring as part of the NCSU Semester@CMAST program, while also providing undergraduate students with hands-on research and field conservation experience through the NC Aquarium program. She says, “This program has been successful in meeting the needs of the Aquarium’s growing program, while also providing exciting opportunities for young scientists.”

According to Price, student participants have been instrumental in the success of several conservation projects, including Spot A Shark USA, gopher frogs in the coastal plain, and Crystal Skipper butterflies along Bogue Banks. Projects like these ensure sustainability of our coastal species and habitats. Price says, “This work makes a real difference in understanding and protecting the species and habitats that make the North Carolina coast a special place. Mentoring students about how to conduct scientific research is especially rewarding because I know I am fostering the next generation of conservation biologists.”

Price first knew she wanted to pursue a career in science when she took a marine science class in high school. “I had a great teacher who really made a science out of the environment,” Price says. She also credits her love of science to an internship in her senior year of high school. The internship turned into a seven-year paid position throughout her college years, and her supervisor became her mentor. Price says she was very fortunate to have had these experiences, with these two individuals, which led to her career.

Price began her education at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marine science. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Wildlife from Clemson University, and a doctorate in Fisheries Science from Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Oregon State University.

In 2016, Price brought more than thirty years of experience in conservation and wildlife to her combined position with CMAST and the NC Aquariums, where her work focuses on coastal species and their habitats. This summer, she will be mentoring six student interns, including several former Semester@CMAST students through her conservation internship program. Price says Semester@CMAST was new when she began working at CMAST. “It has been very rewarding to be a part of this program as it’s grown and developed. It changes students’ lives by helping them get jobs and grow as people. I really believe it is life-changing for them, and I am grateful to be a part of it.” Thus, not only is she sustaining the environment, but future conservation scientists as well. Congratulations, Dr. Price!