As the newly appointed Vice President of Research, Larry Robinson plans to focus on getting Florida A&M University’s faculty and students more active in research and educating blacks about the effects of climate change.
Robinson said FAMU researchers have the ability to find solutions for climate change and cures for diseases like AIDS, cancer, and diabetes; he is determined to bring it out through research.
Robinson is a professor in the Environmental Sciences Institute and the director for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center on campus.
As vice president of research, Robinson will oversee work conducted by faculty and students.
“I plan to meet with the staff of the Division of Research and make a plan to move forward,” Robinson said. “We want our faculty to get involved.”
Robinson expressed hopes of identifying critical areas of research for FAMU.
“There are hundreds of research projects that the Rattlers are involved with,” Robinson said. “There are few departments on campus where people are not engaged in research.”
Robinson’s goal is to solve complex issues in society.
He said he is particularly interested in getting the black community educated and proactive in climate change.
According to Robinson, blacks will be the population most affected by climate change.
“We know and studies have shown environmental problems are located where people of color and [the] underprivileged live,” said Robinson.
Students said Robinson has inspired them to be leaders in educating the community about climate change.
“It is because of Dr. Robinson that I have become more profound in climate change,” Arianna Marshall, 24, a third-year master’s environmental sciences student from Barbados said. “He made me aware of climate change in our community and the need for more minority leaders in ocean science and the environment.”
Robinson and his students have taken action in the community by hosting an environmental sciences summer camp for high school students.
“We have a three-week program in June to introduce environmental sciences,” said Marshall.
One of the camp’s missions is to increase the number of minorities to major and have a career in oceanic science said Marshall.
Many of Robinson’s students are also thankful for his commitment to educating studentsabout the importance of research.
“Dr. Robinson wrote a grant to get me in school and acquired funding for me to come here,” said Sherrita Commey, 22, a senior environmental sciences student from Oklahoma City, Okla. “He introduced me to a new part of science that I did not know much about,” said Commey.
Robinson said he will strive to teach his students and colleagues the importance of research and the impact it will have on society.
“Research allows critical thinking which enables students to be better prepared to take on the challenges in their careers-whether the work place or the next level of education,” said Robinson.