VI-EPSCoR funding has provided for significant improvements to facilities within and linked to the University of the Virgin Islands.
The center for marine and environmental services (CMES) &
Maclean marine science center (MMSC)
VI-EPSCoR funding has transformed the marine sciences at UVI. At one time, marine science was a small teaching unit comprised of a few marine biology and ecology courses.
Where there were once only two employees, the department has grown to include approximately 23 employees and has had an impact in other areas of the University as well such as joint faculty with the College of Science and Math, skilled lab technicians, and improvements to infrastructure.
The impact NSF EPSCoR grants have made on the marine science department at UVI cannot be overstated. Building on this support, the Mare Nostrum Caribbean grant has helped facilitate improvements that can be seen (versus those that are behind the scenes) and has inspired partnerships, collaborations and donations of boats. The department is now collaborating with other institutions such as the University of Miami, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State and The Nature Conservancy. There are more graduate students doing important research than ever before.
Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service (VIMAS)
Actively engaging youth and the community at large on the marine sciences and environmental issues is a key part of VIMAS' mission. They have created partnerships within the community and with VI-EPSCoR's outreach department to facilitate fun learning experiences.
The Institute for Geocomputational Analysis and Statistics (GeoCAS)
The GeoCAS Institute works with social, physical, biological, policy, demographic data that are tied to geographic location for research, policy, and management. GeoCAS is an active online repository for geographic, and other spatially-explicit data for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the broader Caribbean Region. The Institute partners with many U.S. Federal, regional, and local agencies to serve data and applications. Data may be accessed via the data access portal, or the WebGIS mapping portal.
GeoCAS also provides training in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) software, spatial, geostatistical and geocomputational analysis and provides a wide variety of additional services including large format printing. The GeoCAS faculty and staff also works closely with regional and local communities, governments and other key stakeholders on data acquisition and management projects of environmental and spatial importance.
Faculty and Staff at the Institute engage in active academic and teaching activities, including graduate and undergraduate education, cutting-edge and cross-disciplinary research and key community outreach activities.
Research includes spatial and geospatial analyses, hydrology, attitudes towards the environment, and the state of the environment.
Environmental Analysis Lab
The Environmental Analysis Lab is designed to improve the capacity of Virgin Islands scientists and students to conduct rigorous and highly complex laboratory-based research, thereby raising the standard of research across the Territory. It provides an unprecedented level of support for UVI, Territorial, regional and national agencies, organizations and collaborations. In doing so it helps VI-EPSCoR meet an important goal - helping resource managers and policy makers better use and integrate scientific information into their decision making processes. Some of the agencies poised to benefit from this opportunity include the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The 5,000 sq. ft. Environmental Analysis Lab was initiated through VI-EPSCoR's Territorial program, funded by a Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant from the National Science Foundation. A prep room, an instrument room, and water resource/microbiology lab help make up the multi-functional space.
Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS)
Located at the eastern-most end of St. John, VIERS is a biology field station and eco-camp
VIERS is a facility of the University of the Virgin Islands and is situated within the Virgin Islands National Park. Since 1997, VIERS has been operated by Clean Islands International, a U.S. IRS 501(c)(3) and USVI nonprofit, organized exclusively for educational, scientific and charitable purposes.