VI-E P SC o R
Virain Islands EPSCoR is funded!
The Virgin Islands EPSCoR Infrastructure Improvement proposal has been funded by the
National Science Foundation. The program was funded at the level of $4.5 million from the
National Science Foundation, and $1.125 million in matching funds from the Virgin Islands. The
Project Director is Dr. Henry H. Smith, who will work with senior EPSCoR team consisting of Roy
Watlington, Richard Nemeth and Camille McKayle.
VI EPSCoR at a Glance
*VI-EPSCoR Governing Board VI-EPSCoR U University of Miami, RSMAS
*Virgin Islands Assembly Florida International University
EPSCoR Directors (KS, PR) Universityof Washington, Seattle
( )University of Oklahoma
*Selected nationally-competitive experts in Goals NOAveAOML
research and education University of Puerto Rico, Sea Grant
stblish and sustain nationally competitive University of Arkansas
research in Ilmited areas USV Div Fish & Wildlife
Provide support for the creation of new nationally
Incbcompetitive research areas in the territory r
Enhance UVI's ability to acquire and manage, at high
levels, the resources and culture of competitive research
Research Infrastructure Improvement
RFA 1 Blocomplexity in Caribbean Coral Reefs
IncubatorROA Projects Upgrade in emerging research areas
The VI EPSCoR Research Focus Area, Biocomplexity in Caribbean Coral Reefs, has hit the
ground running! We have formed an advisory group specifically for BCCR. The BCCR
Professional Advisory Committee will help to guide the direction of BCCR, and consists of
professionals who have proven themselves in the area of coral reef research and the
management of marine programs. The group had its first meeting on Monday, March 1st via
Meet The BCCR Professional Advisory Committee
Betsy Gladfelter, Ph.D.-currently a guest investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution Marine Policy Center.
EHR Infrastructure Improvement
*Develop a solid infrastructure within the UVI system to
support a teacher professional development continuum
program that attracts and retains quality STEM K-12
teachers throughout their careers
Develop master's degree programs in marine science to
strengthen the workforce and to strengthen preparation of
secondary science teachers
Develop masters degrees in mathematics and science,
especially for the secondary teachers
General Infrastructure Improvement
*Strengthen STEM libraries, IT and GIS
*Inventory improvements of equipment, Upgrade of facilities
*Identify and nurture additional incubator/ROA projects to be
*Modify university policies to improve support of research,
outreach, and R&D management
Cecil Jennings, Ph.D. -research fishery scientist of the US Geological Survey Georgia
Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of
Georgia and Virgin Islander.
John McManus, Ph.D. -- Professor and Director, National Center for Caribbean Coral Reef
Research (NCORE), Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami.
John Ogden, Ph.D.- Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography
Robert Richmond, Ph.D. -- research professor at the University of Hawaii Kewalo Marine
Caroline Rogers, Ph.D. lead scientist for the US Geological Survey, Biological Resources
Division Caribbean-Virgin Islands Project..
Alina Szmant, Ph.D. Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of North
In support of the work of BCCR, UVI faculty were asked to submit proposals in order to get
release time for research. We have received five proposals, and a BCCR advisory sub-
committee will be making recommendations for funding.
VI EPSCoR Happenings
Visit from Jim Firnberg 2/3/2004: NSF consultant Dr. James Firnberg visited the Virgin Islands
and met with various personnel related to VI EPSCoR concerning the development of a
communications strategy. Dr. Firnberg has assisted NSF EPSCoR in designing and
implementing a coordinated communication strategy of information collection and dissemination
for the EPSCoR states and jurisdictions. This includes using current available data bases or
developing new sources of information, increasing interaction with the university and NSF public
affairs offices and producing written and visual materials to demonstrate the value of NSF
sponsored science and technology achievements to our jurisdiction and to the Nation. Dr.
Firnberg was able to share his wealth of knowledge with representatives from Public Relations,
Small Business Development Center, UVI CELL (Community Engagement and Lifelong
Learning), the Research and Technology Park, VI EPSCoR researchers, St. Thomas Chamber of
Commerce, the Economic Development Authority, WSTA, and the leadership of the University of
the Virgin Islands, including Dr. Ragster and Dr. Moolenaar.
VI EPSCoR Governing Board Meets: The governing board met on January 29, 2004. At that
meeting, the board was joined by Ms. Martha James, Program Director from the National Science
Foundation, who assisted in making the announcement of award, and pledged her and NSF's
support to the VI EPSCoR program.
Upcoming VI EPSCoR Activities
Incubator Areas: Call for Proposals
Within the next month there will be a call for proposals for incubator areas. Preference
for incubation support will be given in areas that (1) provide ample opportunities for faculty
members to enhance their research expertise through collaborations with other universities and
research institutions, (2) include opportunities for research experiences for undergraduates and
for K-12 students, (3) allow UVI to establish research that can stimulate economic growth for the
greater Virgin Islands community, and (4) have opportunity for sustainability through federal or
local grant funding or local long-term commitment. Support for incubation will consist largely of
released time for developing the concept and writing proposals, tutelage under nationally
recognized experts, support for contacting external mentors, modest fundamental equipment, and
support for student involvement.
Visit from DOD EPSCoR
VI EPSCoR is planning for a visit from Dr. Kurt Preston, a program manager in DEPSCoR, the
Department of Defense EPSCoR program. He will speak with interested persons about
opportunities for research funding through the Department of Defense and share proposal tips
during the week of May 14.