U.S. flag An official website of the United States government.

dot gov icon Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

https icon Secure websites use HTTPS

A small lock or https:// means you’ve safely connected to a .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nia Hatshepsut Rene, Environmental Scientist

Nia Hatshepsut Rene

Nia Hatshepsut Rene, Environmental Scientist.

Nia Hatshepsut Rene: A Day in the Life Donut chart showing the typical work duties of Nia Hatshepsut Rene, Environmental Scientist. Communication Pink chart segment spanning 40% of the whole: the percentage of time Nia Hatshepsut Rene spends on Communication Laboratory analysis Green chart segment spanning 30% of the whole: the percentage of time Nia Hatshepsut Reney spends on Laboratory analysis Research and writing Blue chart segment spanning 20% of the whole: the percentage of time Nia Hatshepsut Rene spends on Research and writing Field work Yellow chart segment spanning 10% of the whole: the percentage of time Nia Hatshepsut Rene spends on Field work Daily Duties

Donut chart showing how Nia Hatshepsut Rene, Environmental Scientist, spends her time.

Nia is the coordinator of the aquaculture section of the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN), which is part of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Office (NCCOS). She provides guidance and science products to coastal managers to help with sustainable aquaculture — breeding and harvesting animals and plants in water environments for food. Her job focuses on maintaining partnerships with people who grow and farm shellfish and finfish to help them monitor harmful algae. NCCOS is NOAA's coastal science hub. This office provides data and information to coastal communities to help people decide how to best protect environmental resources and public health, preserve habitats, and improve coastal ecosystems.

What are your basic job duties?

I partner with shellfish and finfish growers and farmers to monitor for algae that can harm their harvest. My responsibilities include training aquaculture managers to sample for and identify potentially harmful algae, empowering them with an early warning at their sites. I also engage in biological and chemical assays (a process that measures the quality or quantity of something) when participants identify algae capable of producing toxins.

How did you get to where you are now in your career?

I was awarded a graduate fellowship from NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies during my Master’s program in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the City University of New York. I learned about NOAA’s mission through this pathway and participated in a research training opportunity at the Hollings Marine Laboratory. At this point, I recognized that my research work was directly aligned with NOAA’s priorities and that I could contribute to accomplishing its goals one day. I was subsequently awarded a doctoral fellowship from NOAA to research the linkages between water chemistry and harmful algal blooms. Shortly after completing my course requirements, I applied for and received a federal position with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), where I am currently balancing a full-time job while completing my doctoral studies.

How did you figure out you wanted this career?

I’m a second-generation Haitian American from Brooklyn, New York. Water is ingrained in my culture, influencing vitality, foodways, and cleanliness. My interest in water quality and its impacts on ecology stems from my upbringing and desire to positively impact our environment. I am happy to work with NCCOS to support the management and conservation of coastal marine resources.

What would you recommend to those who want to pursue a career in your field?

Search for ways to work with professors and scientists in the field via internships and/or scholarships. Reach out to potential employers or mentors to introduce yourself. Always be open to learning new skills because technology is constantly changing.

  • Name: Nia Hatshepsut Rene
  • Location: Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Education: Doctoral Candidate- Environmental Science; M.S. in Environmental Science; B.S. in Chemistry
  • National Ocean Service Program Office: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

Get Social
Last updated:

Author: NOAA

How to cite this article

Contact Us