Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society by Renate Bernstein

Being selected for Phi Kappa Phi has proven to be a great benefit to my career in oceanography. The membership has allowed me to meet many colleagues through one of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies and has added to the strength of my curriculum vitae.

Ten senior students at the University of Maine, along with two faculty members and the school president, formed Phi Kappa Phi in 1897. It honored success in any field and invited only upperclassmen and graduate students, a factor which set Phi Kappa Phi apart from similar societies. Today, the top 7.5% of second-semester juniors and the top 10% of seniors and graduate students are eligible to join.

Phi Kappa Phi makes several awards and scholarships available to members from funds exceeding $700,000 annually. Amounts range from $15,000 for graduate students to $500 for alumni professionals.

Additionally, Phi Kappa Phi supports a Mentor Match program that links existing members with new ones. The Career Center informs members of thousands of jobs, while online seminars provide useful information on employment and economic issues.

-Renate E. Bernstein is a research scientist investigating the cycle of carbon dioxide in both the atmosphere and the oceans.

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About renatebernstein

Experienced biogeochemist and researcher Renate E. Bernstein has most recently worked on projects funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dr. Bernstein specializes in the development and testing of instrumentation for the assessment of oceanic carbon parameters; crucial to a better understanding of global climate change and its effect on the world’s ocean. Dr. Bernstein is also considered to be a world expert on the subject of acantharians; ubiquitous microscopic oceanic plankton that can dictate oceanic elemental concentrations and have been implicated in the formation of the heretofore enigmatic marine barite. Additionally, Dr. Bernstein has worked with microscopic plankton called foraminifera, used as a proxy in determining the viability of coral reef systems. Much of this research entailed month-long seagoing research expeditions around the world as well as laboratory work. 
A longtime affiliate of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, Renate E. Bernstein has completed investigations funded by the National Science Foundation into a variety of ocean phenomena, including the relationship between sediment trap collection efficiency and their hydrodynamics in the Sargasso Sea. These traps were deployed at various depths within the water column and were used to collect particulates at varying ocean depths. These particulates were then analyzed to glean an understanding of the types and amounts of microscopic material prevalent within the water column. Dr. Bernstein was also a member of a team of scientists studying the effect of Asian dust in the Northern Pacific Ocean. This dust, born of massive dust storms, travels great distances and has been implicated in promoting ocean productivity by providing necessary nutrients. 
 Renate Bernstein completed a B.A. degree in Mathematics and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of South Florida. A dedicated student, Renate E. Bernstein secured induction into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, won a Knight Fellowship for academic achievement, and published her findings in a wide range of eminent peer-reviewed journals. Over the course of her career, she has submitted and published articles in scientific journals such as Environmental Science & Technology, Marine Chemistry, Deep-Sea Research, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Science and Nature. Additionally she has contributed chapters in two books; a two-volume book entitled South Atlantic Zooplankton and another entitled Marine Particles: Analysis and Characterization. Originally trained as a nurse, Renate E. Bernstein provided intensive care to hospital patients at Boston City Hospital for several years before entering the field of marine science. Dr. Bernstein earned her R.N. from the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing where she specialized in cardiac nursing.
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