VI-EPSCoR

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VI-EPSCoR is a Territorial program of the
National Science Foundation hosted by
the University of the Virgin Islands

 

The Virgin Islands Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR) was awarded $20,000,000 by the National Science Foundation to implement the project Mare Nostrum Caribbean: Stewardship through Strategic Research and Workforce Development. The project period is August, 2014 – July, 2019.

This grant presents a unique opportunity to address the implications of climate change for insular social-ecological systems. Small island communities suffer from a suite of similar problems: limited natural resources, narrow economic base, emigration of young professionals seeking better economic opportunities, heavy reliance on outside entities for goods and services, and the ever-increasing threat of global climate change. 

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, similar to many Caribbean island nations, nearshore marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs, are key to its economic viability, but they are also especially vulnerable to both land and water-based human activities and oceanographic climatic disturbances. The USVI is in a prime position to conduct coral reef research that will synthesize knowledge about the various factors that control degradation, tolerance, and resilience of caribbean coral reef ecosystems so that the best management strategies and be identified. 

The success of these management strategies, however, will ultimately be determined by the ability and capacity of the local communities, stakeholders and citizens to actively participate and self-organize in stewardship of these marine and environmental ecosystems. Improving the quantitative, scientific and educational skill levels of the Virgin Islands' workforce will be key to sustainability for insular communities reliant on natural resources. To achieve this goal, Mare Nostrum Caribbean has invested in building capacity for cutting edge research, implemented workforce development strategies, fosters emerging areas of research and engages the public in outreach.

Our research serves as a central focal point to strengthen both formal and informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education; increase the level of environmental stewardship; and lead to better informed decision making in management of our marine and other natural resources.

A more aware and highly educated citizenry will lead to more diversified and sustainable economic development options for the territory. Lessons learned and models that will be developed through our research can be utilized by other insulate communities.

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VI-epscor program administration

 
Kim Waddell, Ph.D. Director kim.waddell@uvi.edu

Kim Waddell, Ph.D.
Director
kim.waddell@uvi.edu

 
Nicolas C. Drayton Assistant Director, St. Croix District ndrayton@uvi.ed

Nicolas C. Drayton
Assistant Director, St. Croix District
ndrayton@uvi.ed

Kelly Harrigan Assistant Director, St. Thomas / St. John District kharrig@uvi.ed

Kelly Harrigan
Assistant Director, St. Thomas / St. John District
kharrig@uvi.ed

Kaisa Prentice Program Manager kprenti2@uvi.edu

Kaisa Prentice
Program Manager
kprenti2@uvi.edu

Richard Nemeth, Ph.D. Research Professor of Zoology/Marine Biology, Senior Scientist rnemeth@uvi.edu

Richard Nemeth, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Zoology/Marine Biology, Senior Scientist
rnemeth@uvi.edu


Mare Nostrum research programs

coral reef Research

Paul D. Jobsis, Ph.D. Director of the Center for Marine & Environmental Studies, Associate Professor of Biology, Research Administrator III pjobsis@uvi.edu  

Paul D. Jobsis, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Marine & Environmental Studies, Associate Professor of Biology, Research Administrator III
pjobsis@uvi.edu

 

Marilyn E. Brandt, Ph.D. Research Associate Professor of Marine and Environmental Science mbrandt@uvi.edu

Marilyn E. Brandt, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor of Marine and Environmental Science
mbrandt@uvi.edu

Tyler B. Smith, Ph.D. Associate Research Professor of Marine Science tsmith@uvi.edu

Tyler B. Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor of Marine Science
tsmith@uvi.edu

 

Emerging research

Kristin Wilson Grimes, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor of Watershed Ecology; Director of the Virgin Islands Water Resources Research Institute (VI WRRI) kristin.wilson@uvi.edu

Kristin Wilson Grimes, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor of Watershed Ecology; Director of the Virgin Islands Water Resources Research Institute (VI WRRI)
kristin.wilson@uvi.edu

Sennai Y. Habtes, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor of Biological Oceanography sennai.habtes@uvi.edu

Sennai Y. Habtes, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor of Biological Oceanography
sennai.habtes@uvi.edu

 
 

workforce development

Sandra Romano, Ph.D. Dean of College of Science and Mathematics sromano@uvi.ed

Sandra Romano, Ph.D.
Dean of College of Science and Mathematics
sromano@uvi.ed

Nastassia N. Jones, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Science Education nastassia.jones@uvi.edu

Nastassia N. Jones, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Science Education
nastassia.jones@uvi.edu

Celil Ekici, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Celil Ekici, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics

 

education, outreach & diversity  /  citizen science 

Joseph DeMarco Citizen Science Coordinator joseph.demarco@uvi.ed

Joseph DeMarco
Citizen Science Coordinator
joseph.demarco@uvi.ed

Migdalia Roach Community Engagement Specialist St. Croix District migdalia.roach@uvi.ed

Migdalia Roach
Community Engagement Specialist
St. Croix District

migdalia.roach@uvi.ed

Imani Daniel Community Engagement Specialist St. Thomas / St. John District imani.daniel@uvi.ed

Imani Daniel
Community Engagement Specialist
St. Thomas / St. John District

imani.daniel@uvi.ed

 

support & communication

Resa Berkeley Data Specialist resa.berkeley@uvi.ed

Resa Berkeley
Data Specialist
resa.berkeley@uvi.ed

Elisa Bryan Lacatena Communication Specialist elisa.lacatena@uvi.edu

Elisa Bryan Lacatena
Communication Specialist
elisa.lacatena@uvi.edu

Tracelyn C. Otto Administrative Assistant I totto@uvi.edu

Tracelyn C. Otto
Administrative Assistant I
totto@uvi.edu

Melissa T. Williams Administrative Assistant II mwillia5@uvi.edu

Melissa T. Williams
Administrative Assistant II
mwillia5@uvi.edu


 

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