For nearly five decades, Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Centerhas been a leader in marine research and education. The center focuses on several aspects of marine life – from coral reefs to invertebrates to sharks to deep-sea life, all with the common goal of understanding the nature of the marine realm and learning from the ocean’s living classroom.
NSU’s Oceanographic Center is home to several research arms – the Center of Excellence in Coral Reef Ecosystems Research, the Guy Harvey Research Institute, the Save Our Seas Shark Centre, the Broward County, Florida Sea Turtle Conservation Program and the National Coral Reef Institute. All of these are involved in tremendous work in helping explore, understand and preserve the world’s marine environments.
To help with the costs associated with coral reef restoration, and to expand the program, the students themselves have started an online crowdsourcing campaign. The goal is to reach $10,000 by July 22nd – the campaign started on June 8th. The idea is to reach out to as many interested people as possible who are concerned with the ocean’s coral reefs and want to help preserve them, but didn’t know where to turn.
The crowdsourcing Website, which is spearheaded and fully operated by students involved in the program, can be found online at www.nova.edu/ocean/saveourcorals
“We started our Indiegogo campaign to really get a jump start on our new coral nursery initiative program here at NSU’s Oceanographic Center,” said Kate Correia, a research assistant at NSU. “This funding is important to help keep an almost 10-year old project alive, especially considering the target species of Staghorn Coral, which has been a primary reef builder on our local reefs.”
This crowdsourcing campaign will benefit NSU’s Coral Nursery Initiative in two ways: first, by raising $10,000, the Initiative will be able to create two new nursery structures, which will grow around 200 more corals. It’s anticipated that in just about two years, the new nurseries will allow around 600 corals to be added to South Florida’s reefs. Second, the funds raised will help support graduate student education and research at NSU’s Oceanographic Center.
“As a graduate student here at NSU, this campaign means that there will be an increase in research opportunities on our local reefs,” Correia said. “I’m particularly passionate about reef restoration and expansion of the coral nursery here – I love being able to have my family from upstate New York come visit and see for themselves the beauty that Broward County reefs have to offer, not to mention talk to them about why a coral reef system is so important not only to us ocean-lovers but also to them as land-lovers.”
About NSU’s Oceanographic Center: The Oceanographic Center provides high-quality graduate education programs (i.e. master’s, doctoral, certificate) in a broad range of marine science disciplines. Center researchers carry out innovative, basic and applied marine and research programs in coral reel biology, ecology, and geology; fish biology, ecology, and conservation; shark and billfish ecology; fisheries science; deep sea organismal biology and ecology; invertebrate and vertebrate genomics, genetics, molecular ecology, and evolution; microbiology; biodiversity; observation and modeling of large scale ocean circulation, coastal dynamics, and ocean atmosphere coupling; benthic habitat mapping; biodiversity; histology; and calcification. For more information, please visit http://www.nova.edu/ocean