Group Title: VI-EPSCoR Newsletter. Volume 1. Issue 3.
Title: VI-EPSCoR Newsletter. Volume 3. Issue 3.
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: VI-EPSCoR Newsletter. Volume 3. Issue 3.
Alternate Title: Virgin Islands EPSCoR
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of the Virgin Islands. Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.
Affiliation: University of the Virgin Islands -- Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research
Publisher: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research
Publication Date: 2003
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States Virgin Islands
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300629
Volume ID: VID00008
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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August, 2005
Volume 3, Issue 3


First Virgin Islands EPSCoR Annual Conference

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reef resources, exploring life on
coral reefs, and predicting local
weather and seas. Day One
activities begin at 8 a.m. on
Sept. 23 at the Marriott
Frenchman's Reef Hotel.

The conference venue moves
on the second day to the UVI
Sports and Fitness Center. Day
Two showcases on-going
research of local students and
faculty, including work of high
school students in the Summer
Science Enrichment Academy,
the UVI Fall Undergraduate
Research Symposium, and VI-
EPSCoR research displays
and demonstrations. Day Two
activities begin at noon on
Sept. 24.

Conference organizers believe
that the information shared on

Staff Highlight: Dr. Vanere S. Goodwin

We would like to welcome Dr.
Vanere S. Goodwin to UVI and
VI-EPSCoR. Dr. Goodwin
recently joined the UVI math
faculty on St. Croix. In addition
to his teaching duties, funding
from VI-EPSCoR is enabling
him to lead the implementation
of a new master's degree
program at UVI for secondary
teachers of mathematics.

Goodwin received his A.A.
degree from the University of
the Virgin Islands, and went on
to get his B.A. from Lincoln
University, M.Sc. from the
University of Rochester, and
Ph.D. from the State University
of New York in Buffalo. His first
university teaching job was at
UVI, before he went north to
University of Wisconsin at
Stevens Point, Hampton

University, the University of
Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and
Fayetteville State University.
We are very happy to have
attracted him back!

Under Dr. Goodwin's
leadership, the new master's
degree program for secondary
teachers of mathematics is
expected to begin in summer
2006. In addition, he hopes to
establish enhancement
activities for teachers who are
not yet ready to begin a
master's program.

Since his arrival at UVI, Dr.
Goodwin has been meeting
with various local stakeholders,
and has been further
developing program planning
including a business plan for
the graduate program.

The first annual conference of
the Virgin Islands Experimental
Program to Stimulate
Competitive Research (VI-
EPSCoR) is scheduled for
Friday and Saturday,
September 23 and 24, 2005.

The conference will acquaint
the public with on-going
activities of VI-EPSCoR and
plans for the future. A major
focus of the conference will be
obtaining input from the public
on the role that VI-EPSCoR
can play in the economic
development of the Virgin

The opening day of the
conference is an opportunity
for the public to interact with
coral reef researchers in
discussions on managing coral

these two days will be a
source of inspiration for
educators, students,
businesses and government
leaders, and will help VI-
EPSCoR to more effectively
respond to the economic
development challenges
facing the Virgin Islands.

Program Coordinator
Update Dr. Meri Whitaker

Much of our effort this summer
has focused on implementing
the budget for the second year
of VI-EPSCoR activities. VI-
EPSCoR has received a
second year of funding from
the National Science
Foundation, as well as a
second generous donation
from Trust Asset Management.

Preparations for the annual
conference have been ongoing
throughout the summer. Ms.
Judi Shimel was brought in as
Conference Coordinator. Ms.
Shimel and the VI-EPSCoR
staff are working hard to make
the annual conference truly an
opportunity for outreach to the
Virgin Islands community.

We are happy to announce that
the VI-EPSCoR website is
online at
Many thanks are due to
Ansano for their efforts to
design and produce a website
that effectively disseminates
information about the Virgin
Islands EPSCoR program and
its activities, and for so
effectively capturing the spirit
of VI-EPSCoR. Ansano is a
locally based multimedia,
website and educational
project production company on
St. Thomas.

August, 2005
Volume 3, Issue 3

BCCR Update Dr. Richard Nemeth

BCCR Researchers:
Dr. Nasseer Idrisi participated
in early summer in a workshop
on "Remote Sensing for
Biological Oceanographers" at
Cornell University.

On July 21 he submitted a
proposal to the NSF-CAREER
program on "Connectivity
among Eastern Caribbean
Coral Reefs".

On August 15, in collaboration
with the University of Miami
and the University of Georgia-
Athens, he submitted a
proposal to the NSF BIO-OCE
program on "The Carbon
Isotopic Composition of
Organic Material in Coral

Both proposals include
undergraduate research
opportunities through NSF's
REU program.

Dr. Sandra Romano, in
collaboration with colleagues at
Univ. of Kansas, Univ. of Ohio,
and Duke Univ., has received
funding from NSF for a five
year $2.85 million project on
"Collaborative research:
Assembling the tree of life An
integrative approach to
investigating cnidarians
phylogeny". The goal is to
conduct a systematic revision
based on comprehensive
molecular data of the phylum of
animals including jellyfish,
anemones and corals. Romano
will investigate the group that
includes reef corals. In the lab
she has developed protocols
for collecting DNA sequences
from Porites reef corals. Two
new students in her lab,
Tryphena Cuffy and Semoya
Phillips, are now assisting her
with continued collection of
DNA sequences and with
morphological analyses of
coral skeletons.

Contact VI-EPSCoR at
(340) 693-1478 or e-mail:

Prof. Roy Watlington has
begun to develop protocols for
processing and analyzing
ocean current data
downloaded from Acoustic
Doppler Current Profilers
(ADCP) deployed near
Grammanik Banks, an
important fish spawning
aggregation area. The data
from the newly acquired
instruments are providing a first
glance at magnitudes and
prevailing directions of currents
in the water column down to
depths of approximately 50

In August, assisted by other
members of the BCCR team,
Watlington conducted a one-
day hydrographic cruise during
which 10 CTD stations were
deployed in the same vicinity.
This is the first of several
planned expeditions intended
to assist in characterizing
isopycnal structure of the area,
with dispersal of larvae and fish
eggs as the first application.

In the wake of the tsunami
tragedy of Dec. 26, 2004,
Watlington has made a number
of presentations on tsunami
hazards in the Virgin Islands

Dr. Stuart Ketcham submitted
a collaborative grant proposal
on July 15 with Dr. John W.
McManus, Director of the
National Center for Caribbean
Coral Reef Research (NCORE)
at RSMAS/Miami and Capt.
Philip G. Renaud, USN (ret),
Executive Director of the KS
Living Oceans Foundation, on
"A Coastal/Coral Reef Decision
Support Tool with Climate
Change Scenario Testing" to
NOAA Sector Applications
Research Program (SARP).
The proposal requests funding
of $756,000 over three years to
adapt a coral reef management
decision support tool for use on
St. Croix; to conduct field
research to study the
connectivity of populations of
Diadema antillarum (a key

species affecting the health of
Caribbean coral reef
ecosystems) in the Virgin
Islands and the wider
Caribbean; and to test
predictions of a coral reef
agent-based modeling program
developed by McManus and

On August 11-12, Ketcham,
McManus, and Renaud met
with potential collaborators
from The Ocean Conservancy
and the National Park Service
to explain the proposed project.
They received strong
indications of support for their
plans and interest in the model
as a management tool.

Dr. Jennifer Carroll is working
with UVI undergraduates
Jeffrey Purcel, Yakini Brandy,
and Digna Washington to
complete collections of 270
marine invertebrates and
algae. Samples of marine
organisms have been collected
by scuba and returned to the
UVI St. Thomas campus for
workup. At UVI each extract
was tested for cytotoxicity by a
simple bench-top bioassay.
Samples were submitted to the
University of Mississippi,
National Center for Natural
Products Research (NCNPR)
for extensive bioassay
screening in anti-cancer, anti-
microbial and anti-malarial
assays. Data from the primary
assays indicate that 108
samples from about 71 species
were considered active.
Secondary assays are
currently being run on the
active extracts.

EPSCoR-funded renovations to
the MacLean Marine Science
Center on St. Thomas are near
completion, creating improved
research labs and additional
office space for new research

On St. John, EPSCoR-funded
renovations of UVI's research
facility are scheduled for

completion by November,
including a new roof, renovated
semi-wet labs, analytical labs,
office, library computer room,
and workstations for scuba and
field research operations.

The new EPSCoR-funded
research vessel "Garuppa" is
slated for delivery in early
October. Several EPSCoR-
funded ADCP's were deployed
in the spring at important
grouper and snapper spawning
aggregation sites. The data will
be used to predict the direction
of transport of eggs and larvae
from spawning aggregation
sites using a model that
calculates current patterns.

A new EPSCoR-funded
computer server has been set
up for modeling ocean
circulation patterns using the
HYbrid Coordinate Ocean
Model (HYCOM). Dr. Idrisi and
collaborators from the
University of Miami will use the
model to test hypotheses about
connectivity among Caribbean
coral reefs. The UVI HYCOM
system will place BCCR at the
cutting edge of ocean modeling
research, with potential for
collaborations stateside and

Upgrade of UVI's hydrographic
equipment continues with its
industry-standard Portasal
salinometer being refurbished
and recalibrated using funds
from a UVI Water Resources
Research Institute grant. These
funds also made possible the
ordering of a hybrid chlorophyll
fluorometer / turbidity sensor
that will add hydrographic
capability to UVI's SeaBird
Model 25 CTD.

Prof. Watlington and Specialist
Kevin Brown are developing a
pilot project to measure wave
heights and surface conditions
in coastal Virgin Islands
waters, using an Acoustic
Wave and Current profiler.

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