Volume 4, Issue 3
Elkhorn Coral Incubator Study Gets Underwater
*aa e II Exedtin
Visi UV 0
Hawksnest Bay is known to
be one of the best sites to
look for spawning because
it has one of the highest
densities of elkhorn coral of
anywhere around St. John.
As Montastraea (mound -
shaped coral) spawns a few
days later than Acropora,
some determination about
the best nights to observe
this spawning event
remains to be made.
As part of the Acropora
palmata (elkhorn coral)
disease and connectivity
EPSCoR incubator study an
array of ADCPs (Acoustic
Doppler Current Profilers)
were deployed at the bay
mouth of Hawksnest Bay
and off Turtle Point, at the
western end of St. John.
The instruments were
deployed on Friday, August
4, 2006, four days prior to
the full moon. The total
deployment duration will be
18 days. Two 600 kHz
ADCPs were deployed at 20
m depth at the east and
west end of Hawksnest Bay
and one 2MHz ADCP was
deployed in a sandy strip
stradled by two stands of A.
palmata. It is expected that
A. palmata will spawn
approximately 3-4 days
after the full moon.
The purpose of this part of
the study is to attempt to
determine whether A.
palmata time their spawning
with shifts in coastal
currents associated with the
embayments where the
coral are found, we will also
attempt to project where
currents will take larval coral
after the spawn event.
Backscatter signals from the
ADCPs should allow us to
pinpoint the timing of
spawning and density of the
HAWKSNEST BAY IS
KNOWN TO BE ONE OF
THE BEST SITES TO LOOK
FOR SPAWNING .
on this project include,
Nasseer Idrisi, Tyler Smith,
Sandra Romano, and
Above: Jeremiah Blondeau
prepares to deploy ADCP.
Galathea III Expedition:
SDanish Research Councils
and the Danish Government
are sending an expedition
vessel around the Globe to
provide a platform for
scientific research and
science communication to
students at all levels. In
,March 2007, the vessel will
... visit the US Virgin Islands.
During this trip, several
research projects will be
conducted. The ship will
remain in St. Thomas March
sets up 15-16, as well as March 26-
27 and will be in St. Croix
the 25th. The ship will crusie
Continued on page 2
Above: Shaun Kadison
Volume 4, Issue 3
Danish Research, Cont from page 1
north of St. Croix for
geological studies between
these time periods.
The research team is a
group of six Danish and two
U.S. scientists (seagrass
eutrophicationn). In addition,
a Danish student will join
this part of the cruise to
work on a seagrass re-
search project. The project
will be carried out both
onboard the ship and from
the shore. Samples will be
drawn from the shore and
brought onboard for analy-
ses. Some experiments will
also be conducted onboard.
The main purpose for the
proposed project is to
examine the extent to which
sulphide oxidation in the
sediment results in carbon-
ate dissolution that adds to
the P-nutrition of sea-
grasses. While it is known
that sulphate reduc-tion
rates can be high in sea-
grass beds and that sea-
grasses release oxygen
from the roots, the size of
the impact of sulphide oxi-
dation in the root zone on
carbonate dissolution is not
Prior to the research trip,
there will be a preliminary
visit to the Virgin Islands
August 22-29. During these
dates, much of the logistical
planning for the March visit
will take place. A presenta-
tion will be given on August
23 at 12pm on UVI's St.
Thomas campus. The title
of this presentation is "How
can seagrasses get
enough phosphorus to
sustain growth in oligo-
trophic, carbonate environ-
ments? Does sulfur cycling
play a role?". Henning S.
Jensen and Marianne
Holmer, both from the
Institute of Biology, Univer-
sity of Odense, Denmark
will be presenting, along
with Birgit Olesen from the
Institute of Biology, Univer-
sity of Aarhus, Denmark.
This presentation will be
videoconferenced to the St.
Croix campus, as well.
The researchers hope that
there will be opportunities
for collaboration with UVI
researchers and under-
graduate students through-
out their work on this pro-
for more information.
VI-EPSCoR Calendar of Events
August 23-Seagrass Research Seminar presented by Danish
Research team; 12-12:50pm, B110
August 25-Marilyn Brandt of University of Miami gives a talk
"Modeling Coral Disease and the Decline of a Caribbean Coral
Reef"; 12:00pm, CMES
September 1-Seminar on macroalgae on coral reefs given by
Linda Walters, Ph.D.; 12-1pm, B110
September 13-Seminar on commerce and dispersal of
invasive species given by Linda Walters, Ph.D.; 12-1pm, B110
September 16-October 7-21st annual Coastweeks, see further
details on page 3.
The NSF workshop for Public
Information Officers (PIOs) was
held in Arlington, VA on July
20-21. UVI sent Patrice
Johnson, representing the
Public Relations office of the
uni-ersity, as well as Eoghan
Joyce and Maria Dillard from
the VI-EPSCoR staff. The
workshop focused on the
communication of scien-ific
information to a broad
audience through the media
and other tools. PIOs from
several ESPCoR states were in
between EPSCoR groups was
very beneficial, as well as the
opportunity to work within the
VI-EPSCoR team. NSF is
beginning to develop additional
re-sources for those working
on the communications and
outreach aspects of re-search.
"THE TAKE HOME
MESSAGES FROM NSF
WERE HIGHLY FOCUSED
ON INCREASING THE
Within NSF, there is an evident
thrust towards increasing the
relevance of scientific
research, as well as
communicating the relevance
to an audience outside the
academic and research
institutions where this work is
being done. The "Broader
Impacts" section of NSF grants
is an example of the focus that
is being placed on making
science matter in a very practical
and applied way. Researchers
are encouraged to write these
sections of NSF grants together.
After the marathon OLPA Public
Officer Workshop, Eoghan Joyce
headed to Chicago to represent
VI-EPSCoR at the annual NSF
EPSCoR project adminis-trators
meeting. The meeting provided
an opportunity for all EPSCoR
jurisdictions to discuss program
related issues with
representatives from the NSF
main office as well as discuss
specific cross jurisdictional
strengths and areas for potential
Furthermore, the meeting served
as a catalyst for potential cross
jurisdictional projects and
research collaboration. Among
the many topics discussed,
methods and standardization as
well as the impending changes in
fastlane, NSF's online
submission and reporting system,
were favorites among the
Overall, good contacts were
made, promising projects
discussed, and new resources
acquired. The coming year will be
an exciting one for VI-EPSCoR.
PROJECTS AND RESEARCH
AMONG THE OUTCOMES
OF THE MEETING."
September 29-UVI's Research and Public Service Retreat at
October 23-Coral Reef Task Force Pre-meeting Workshop
October 24-28-Coral Reef Task Force Meeting in the US Virgin
EPSCoR Workshops in Arlington and
Chicago: What We Learned
Volume 4, Issue 3
Highlights: News, Comings and
Goings, and Other Happenings
Marilyn Henderson the much adored Administrative Assistant at
the Center for Marine and Environmental Science said her good-
byes in mid-August. She will be moving on to another position at
UVI as the Project Manager for ITS and Library Services. Though
we are sad to se her go, we wish Marilyn the best in her future
endeavors. She will be greatly missed.
Maria K. Dillard (M.A., Sociology, East Carolina University)
joined VI-EPSCoR in July 2006 as Communications Outreach
Manager. She will be working to increase interaction between VI-
ESPCoR and the broader USVI community and to ensure the
advancement of goals for economic development of the territory.
Linda Walters, Ph.D. joins us as a visiting researcher from the
University of Central Florida. Dr. Walters is collaborating with Dr.
Teresa Turner on EPSCoR-funded research related to coral
restoration on reefs dominated by macroalgae. She will be giving
talks on her research throughout September. See page 2 for
Matt Lucas joins us as a visiting research assistant from
Southeast Missouri State University where he is pursuing his
M.S. degree in Biology. He will be working with Dr. Sandra
Romano on research which uses DNA sequences for analyses of
higher level relationships among the hard corals. In addition, he
will be conducting his own research towards his degree.
Recent Publications ...
BCCR Researcher., Nasseer Idrisi published a research note
entitled, "Rates of Nitrogen Excretion and Oxygen Consumption
in the California Sea Hare, Aplysia Californica" in collaboration
with J.F. Barimo, A. Hudder, T.R Capo, and P.J. Walsh.
UVI Marine Science T-shirts in Youth ($10) and Adult ($12) sizes.
Please see Elizabeth Ban to purchase your t-shirt. All proceeds
go towards a UVI Marine Science Scholarship fund.
The book Remarkable Big Trees in the U.S. Virgin Islands: An
Eco-Heritage Guide to Jumbie Trees and Other Trees of Cultural
Interest by Robert Nicholls, Ph.D. has arrived! The UVI Bookstore
has copies for sale, along with Dockside Books.
The books can also be purchased directly from Dr. Nicholls.
Please call 340-693-1184 to place an order or visit the EPSCoR
webiste for more information.
21st Annual Coastweeks
Clean up the Virgin Islands' coastal areas! Please sign up to
organize or join a cleanup crew. For more information call 774-
3320 ext 5117 or 693-1392 on St. Thomas, 779-4940 on St.
John. and 692-4046 on St. Croix.
MA Program Launch on St.
Croix: A Time for Celebration
On Sunday, August 20, 2006, the Master of Arts in
Mathematics for Secondary Teachers was officially
launched at Carambola Beach Resort on St. Croix.
There was a reception followed by a program,
which included introductions and remarks from
several guests. EPSCoR staff members Sylvia
Vitazkova and Maria Dillard were in attendance.
Members of the VI Department of Education, UVI,
and the VI Legislature were also present for this
important occasion. The program launch provided
an opportunity to reflect upon the results of an
effective partnership between the University of the
Virgin Islands, VI-EPSCoR, and the Department of
Education. By combining efforts and resources, the
new degree program gained approval in the spring
and is now off to a wonderful start.
The most important guests of the event were the
teachers, now students in the M.A. program, and
their families. Throughout the evening, these
individuals gained special recognition for their
willingness to take on the challenges associated
with pursuing a graduate degree, while continuing
to work as educators in the VI schools. The first
cohort of teachers began classes in June. Dr.
Vanere Goodwin was pleased to see the program
in motion and expressed gratitude to all the
partners who made its progress possible. Dillard
conveyed EPSCoR's excitement in seeing the
program come to fruition. She highlighted VISION
2012, the university's strategic plan, in which
EPSCoR has been charged with the task of
working to strengthen K-12 science and math
education. Dillard says, "Improving K-12 education
in the areas of math and science is a major goal of
EPSCoR's work in the Virgin Islands a goal that is
well supported by academic programs like this
UVI Fall Research Symposium will take place on
Sunday, September 24 from 1:30 to 4:00pm. UVI
students, including those who have worked on
EPSCoR-funded research, will be presenting their
research posters to the community. Please take this
opportunity to support the work of these ambitious
researchers. See the UVI website for further details
about this event.
Volume 4, Issue 3
University of the Virgin Islands
2 John Brewer's Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Please visit us on the web at
What is VI-EPSCoR?
EPSCoR stands for Experimental Program to Stimulate
Competitive Research (EPSCoR). EPSCoR, a program
of the National Science Foundation, is designed to
increase research and education capacity in science and
engineering within a state or territory of the United
States that has traditionally been under funded in these
areas. The overarching idea is that individuals with
training in the areas of science, math, and technology
are better able to have a positive impact on a region's
management and development. The Virgin Islands
received its first EPSCoR grant in 2004 and is presently
in its third year of funding. Virgin Islands-EPSCoR is
hosted by the University of the Virgin Islands on behalf
of the people of the Virgin Islands, and receives its
guidance from a Governing Committee that includes
representatives of both the public and the private sector.
The Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research is supported by National Science
Foundation Grant #0346483. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Taking the Virgi