– Dr. Ralph Turingan, Florida Tech associate professor of biological sciences, has earned a 2005-2006 Fulbright Scholar grant to lead a marine fish biology
course in the Philippines. He will teach the course, “Inquiry-Based Teaching of Advances in Marine Fish Biology: Towards Sustainable Fisheries in the
Philippines,” May-December 2006, at the University of the Philippines in Visayas, Iloilo City.
Front L-R, Vutheary Hean, Alexandra Didoha; Back L-R, Justin Anto, Matthew Wittenrich, JR Kerfoot and Dr. Ralph Turingan
“Fisheries are a major source of livelihood for the citizens of the Philippines,” said Turingan, who was born there. “Filipino citizens engaged in
fisheries and agriculture are among the poorest in the nation because production is remarkably low. I believe that education and training in science and
technology will accelerate social progress and human-resource development. I want to contribute to the acceleration by teaching this course and helping to
advance marine fisheries education. For example, fisheries policy makers and fisher folks need to understand the consequences of fishing on aquatic
habitats such as coral reefs and they need to know about the physiological ecology of fishes.”
Just last month, Turingan, a native of the Philippines, received $200,000 from FILDUTCH Ventures and $120,000 from Florida Sea Grant (NOAA) to supports his
research on the biology of coral reef fish larvae over the next two years. He is also the key researcher in a project at Florida Tech’s Institute for
Marine Research in Vero Beach, to design and test fish protection systems that will help companies comply with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
rule for the Clean Water Act and prevent fish and other aquatic life entrapment in plant intakes.
Turingan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Philippines, a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island, and a doctoral degree
from the University of Puerto Rico. He has been on the Florida Tech faculty since 1995.
He is one of approximately 850 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 150 countries in the 2005-2006 academic year as a Fulbright
Scholar. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual
understanding between the United States and other countries. Fulbright Scholar award recipients are selected based on academic or professional achievement
and for extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.
The U.S. Department of State sponsors the Fulbright Scholar Program. Additional funding comes from participating governments and hosts institutions in the
United States and abroad.