Thanks to a recent $1 million endowment, the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C. is able to make a faculty position in molecular biology a reality.

Sandra Taylor Kaupe, of Palm Beach, Fla., provided the gift to create the Arthur P. Kaupe Assistant Professorship of Molecular Biology in her late husband’s honor.

“She [Sandy Kaupe] understands the critical role modern molecular technologies can play in studies of the biology of marine organisms and in developing sound strategies for the management and protection of our marine resources,” said Dean William L. Chameides, of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who announced the gift along with university President Richard Brodhead.

An avid outdoors woman with a lifelong love of the marine environment, Kaupe is committed to helping educate future generations of environmental leaders. She serves on the board of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation and was named Conservationist of the Year for 2007 by The Coastal Conservation Association of Florida. She recently completed a 5-year term on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an appointment of Gov. Jeb Bush.

“Sandy Kaupe’s generous gift represents a major step toward realizing our goal of establishing world-class expertise in marine conservation molecular biology,” said Marine Lab Director Cindy L. Van Dover. “It will help enable the Nicholas School to be a leader in this emerging field. Our students and faculty members will benefit from Sandy’s vision for years to come.”