INTEGRATED CARIBBEAN COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS 2008 – 2014
VI-EPSCoR Is Awarded Its 2nd RII Grant
In the fall of 2008, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded VI-EPSCoR its second major Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant to fund the Integrated Caribbean Coastal Ecosystems (ICCE) research project in the Virgin Islands. The program's research activities covered six years - through 2014 - during which the NSF provided $12.4 in funding. The program allowed researchers to focus on critical gaps in knowledge that were identified by the previous RII grant known as the Biocomplexity of Caribbean Coral Reefs (BCCR).
ICCE was developed as an integrated island ecosystem approach which facilitates and supports interdisciplinary studies of terrestrial, coastal and oceanic environments, as well as the related social, health and economic impacts on island communities.
ICCE provided the opportunity to build on what was started in the initial VI-EPSCoR project, and to further establish UVI as a world leader in tropical marine research. The project's results were also credited with improving the capacity of the University of the Virgin Islands through VI-EPSCoR to compete nationally for research grants.
some Key Highlights
ICCE is an integrated approach which facilitates and supports interdisciplinary studies of terrestrial, coastal and oceanic environments, as well as the related social, health and economic impacts on island communities. Relatively little is known about the complex interactions between terrestrial and coastal ecosystems and the interactions between coastal and oceanic ecosystems, though they are generally considered to be connected through a variety of ecological mechanisms at multiple scales in time and space. The ICCE approach harnesses best available technologies including remote sensing data and comprehensive field samples to fill some of the most urgent knowledge gaps in this newly emerging transdisciplinary field. New technologies are also utilized to explore the relatively unknown deep water regions of the US Virgin Islands.
Key ICCE Achievements
VI-EPSCoR invested heavily in improving UVI’s research capabilities as they relate to Integrated Caribbean Coastal Ecosystems. Improvements include:
- The Oceanographic Lab and building entrance. In addition, architectural conceptual designs have been completed and coastal zoning permits have been approved for revamping the renovation of the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies’ technical dive locker,
- Renovations to the Environmental Analysis Lab,
- The outdoor sea table area,
- The indoor wet lab.
- New boat storage area and access road
- Renovations to and extension of the facility’s boat ramp and dock.