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
FAMU Ph.D. Candidates Jason Caldwell and Daryl Sibble Publish Article With NOAA Scientist LaToya Myles
ECSC Ph.D. candidates Jason Caldwell and Daryl Sibble (FAMU) recently published an article in The Southern Climate Monitor along with their NOAA advisor Dr. LaToya Myles (Air Resources Laboratory). Their research entitled Understanding the Role of Ammonia in Air Quality looked at the behavior of particulate matter precursors, such as ammonia (NH3) in an effort to understand and manage air quality. To read the article in its entirety, please click here
On Thursday, January 16th 2014 at 12:00PM EST, the ECSC will be hosting a webinar presentation entitled "NOAA's Harmful Algal Bloom Analytical Response Team: Investigations and Opportunities" by Maggie Broadwater, a NOAA chemist with NOS/NCCOS/CCEHBR.
Maggie's full abstract can be seen below:
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly recognized for their negative impacts on coastal ecosystems around the world. The natural toxins produced by various species of marine phytoplankton cause marine mortality events involving marine mammals, fish and seabirds, and are a threat to human health. Confirmation of algal toxins has historically been elusive due to the complexity of toxin composition and challenges to quantifying very low levels of toxins that can be lethal to marine wildlife. Managers of coastal resources need accurate information, and need it in time to make informed decisions involving shellfish harvest, life support for marine wildlife, beach closures and remedial actions. NOAA’s Analytical Response Team (ART) was established to provide a formal framework through which coastal managers may request immediate coordinated assistance during HABs and related health incidents. ART provides rapid and accurate identification of harmful algae and quantification of associated toxins. ART resources include leading-edge analytical instrumentation, toxin and phytoplankton detection techniques, a network of volunteers and coastal stewards in the field who assist in early warning of potential events and a team of event assessors with combined expertise in algal taxonomy, cell biology, toxicology, oceanography and toxin chemistry. ART also actively engages in collaborative basic research with a host of federal, state, academic and private institutions to understand the mechanisms involved in HAB-related impacts on coastal ecosystems. These efforts have resulted in high-quality publications in peer-reviewed literature that are a benefit to coastal managers as well as scientists involved in HAB research. Current ART investigations and research efforts will be discussed.
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:
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