Dionne Hoskins-Brown is a scientist and educator who works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and university faculty to educate and train the next generation of marine scientists. Dionne understands that the key to addressing our most pressing coastal issues relies on having a spectrum of stakeholders and a diverse talent pool who can work together to generate the scientific information we need to make sound decisions. She believes in scholarship, mentorship, and service. After nearly twenty years as a “scientist-on-loan” from NOAA to Savannah State University, she has developed an intricately interconnected research program that seamlessly connects fisheries ecology to fishing communities while engaging diverse students who will continue the work.
Dionne has garnered over $4.2 million dollars in research and training grants to support NOAA Programs at Savannah State University. Of her 52 mentees, 13 have earned M.S. degrees, and 3 have pursued Ph.Ds. in the marine sciences. Because she incorporates community service into all parts of her professional and personal activities, she has won numerous honors for her mentoring and leadership. In particular, she was selected as the 2016 recipient of the Emmeline Moore Prize, an honor bestowed by the American Fisheries Society for distinguished efforts to increase diversity in fisheries. Dr. Hoskins-Brown is a graduate of Leadership Savannah (2004), Leadership Southeast Georgia (2015), and the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (2006).
As an amateur genealogist for the past twenty years, Dionne has been fascinated with coastal African-American history and has traced her family line back 195 years, focusing mainly on a blackwater village in Virginia named Zuni. Using these same experiences and techniques, she applied for a NOAA Preserve America Incentive Grant to document the stories of Gullah Geechee fishing families in coastal Georgia. The resulting oral histories are available to the public on the NOAA Voices From the Fisheries website, https://voices.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
Her long-term research on fish habitat and passion for coastal African-American history has created a new research path for examining the potential impact of sea level rise on Gullah Geechee communities. Using predictive models of tidal inundation and maps of historic communities, she and her students are working to create impact scenarios that can assist the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor with their advocacy and management.
Dionne holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Savannah State University and a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of South Carolina.