The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) mission is to train a new generation of environmental scientists in NOAA-related sciences, particularly from under-represented minority groups, and to develop the natural and social science tools for integrated assessments of ecosystem health in support of coastal environmental decision making…read more about the ECSC
Dr. Jolvan Morris, a former ECSC Ph.D. student at Florida A&M University was recently hired as a Post Doctoral Research Associate for the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at Savannah State. Beginning in January of 2014, Dr. Morris will begin her work under the supervision of Dr. Dionne Hoskins and focus her efforts on marine and fisheries science. Dr. Morris envisions that her work will include ongoing research in environmental policy and its relation to fishing communities, as well mentoring and training undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Morris' passion and desire represents the best that the ECSC has to offer. As a Center, we are extremely proud of her achievement and wish her nothing but success in the future.
On Thursday, December 5th 2013, the ECSC hosted a webinar presentation by A.K. Leight, a NOAA scientist with NCCOS/CCEHBR who conducts research on the assessment of estuarine conditions that range from chemical contaminant impacts, nutrient concentrations, bacterial pollutants, and climate modeling.
A.K. Leight's talk focused on possible synergistic opportunities that would combine capabilities of ECSC researchers with NOAA expertise, primarily in the Chesapeake Bay region. His entire abstract for his presentation can be seen below:
Ecosystem forecasting, with direct application to management in the coastal zone, has become a top priority for the National Ocean Service (NOS). One key management need is the ability to predict the impact of various management decisions on the human health implications of seafood consumption. We are looking to combine the capabilities of ECSC researchers with NOAA expertise in the Chesapeake Bay region to support this goal. Most coastal states produce fish consumption guidelines that suggest the maximum amount of fish from state waters that the general public should eat. In many cases, the concern for eating too much fish results from high levels of mercury in the fish tissue which can have serious health impacts to humans, especially infants. Mercury enters the food web in a variety of ways, and can bioaccumulate, particularly in apex predators. Knowing the dynamics of mercury transfer through the food web will have important implications for management. Establishing a model of trophic structure and energy is the first step in building a useful model of mercury flow in an estuary. An existing food web model has been built and validated using the Ecopath with Ecosim software package which includes a module (Ecotrace) that allows modeling chemical contaminant flow through the system. In order to model mercury, we need to know information about environmental mercury levels, uptake rates by various organisms, storage levels of mercury in tissues, excretion rates, and degradation rates. We are interested in compiling existing tissue mercury concentration data and generating new data for unknown trophic groups, then use that information to build a preliminary model of mercury trophic transfer in the Chesapeake Bay. The proposed project provides a great opportunity for ECSC and NOAA scientists to leverage our partnership in support of research that aligns with our mutual focus on ecosystem characterization and ecological forecasting.
For more information on this potential partnership, please view the recorded webinar at:
Patrick Connally, an ECSC M.S. student at FAMU will be sharing his experience about his time on board the E/V Nautilus on November 8th, 2013 from 3:15 – 3:35 EDT. Patrick’s NOAA-EPP sponsored experiential expedition will involve the use of remote operated vehicle (ROV) exploration and mapping of the Kick’em Jenny submarine volcano in the Caribbean Sea. Patrick will be broadcasting via a 15-second delay ‘live’ feed that can be viewed from your browser at http://explorationnow.org/live/events.
Opportunities to ask questions at the end of the broadcast can be made through the teleconference line at:
866-384-2984 (passcode: 4127797123).
Three Delaware State University ECSC students (Alan Kneidel, Symone Johnson, and Akida Ferguson) volunteered at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve's (DNERR) Annual Blackbird Creek Fall Festival on October 19th. The festival was held at the Blackbird Creek NERR site with the specific aim to foster stewardship of the Delaware Bayshore by celebrating the richness of estuaries. Alan, Symone, and Akida set up an educational exhibit to discuss their ECSC research with the public. In particular, they presented information regarding conservation of sand tiger sharks and demonstrated how passive telemetry is used to monitor shark movements through the Delaware Bay. They also discussed the impacts of sea level rise on Gulf Coast barrier islands that provide essential stopover habitat for Neotropical migratory birds.
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