Coral Reef Research Funding Opportunity

Steven Miller smiller at
Fri Jun 22 13:00:24 EDT 2001

The National Undersea Research Center at the University of North
Carolina at Wilmington seeks proposals for undersea research off the
southeast U.S. from North Carolina to Texas. Projects are selected by
peer review based on scientific merit and relevance to the program's
mission. A maximum of $50,000 in science support may be requested.
Awards from previous years averaged $25,000 and are partly determined by
NOAA funding to the center, and partly by peer review rankings. Undersea
system and support vessel time are provided by the center at no cost to
the principal investigator.  A full description of the entire 2002
research announcement for work throughout the southeast United States
can be found at the center's web site  --

For 2002, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Dry
Tortugas the following projects are identified as high priority, but
proposals are not limited only to these topics:

     Descriptive and process-based studies that evaluate the
effectiveness of marine protected areas.

     Coral reef research and monitoring programs that help managers
identify factors affecting the condition of coral reefs in Florida,
especially work that helps distinguish between natural and human-caused

     Studies that increase our knowledge of factors that affect
biodiversity on coral reefs and other nearshore habitats in the Florida

     Monitoring and research projects that specifically identify factors
responsible for causing direct and indirect effects of coral decline.
For example, how much coral is killed by coral bleaching, disease, and
other factors?

     Coral studies that focus on factors affecting recruitment,
including ecology, population genetics, and innovative work that
enhances recruitment rates for restoration.

     Studies that measure coral growth and/or bio-erosion rates,
especially within the context of factors affecting coral reef condition.

     Innovative projects that use or develop bioindicators (at
biochemical or organismal scales) to assess overall reef condition, or
detect significant ecological or environmental change (e.g. nutrient
enrichment, chemical pollution, global warming).  Whole organism studies
are sought that focus on (but are not limited to) echinoderms, smaller
benthic invertebrates, and other benthic species that respond quickly to
environmental change.

Available systems to support undersea research in 2002 include:

     Scuba and nitrox diving throughout the Keys, including shore-based
and laboratory support out of the center's Key Largo facility.

     Mixed gas scuba diving to 300 fsw.

     Remotely Operated Vehicles to 900 fsw.

     Saturation diving from the Aquarius undersea laboratory

Preliminary proposals are strongly encouraged to ensure that proposed
research is appropriate for current science initiatives and are
operationally feasible. Pre-proposals consist of a brief, two-page or
less description of the proposed investigation, including objectives,
methods, justification and budget.

Proposal guidelines contain a full description of center facilities and
systems, proposal conditions and format, and required forms and are
available at

Proposal deadline: Final Proposals must be received by the center no
later than August 20, 2001.

For further information, contact:

     Thomas Potts
     5600 Masonboro Loop Road
     1 Marvin Moss Lane
     Wilmington, NC 28409
     Ph: 910-962-2442
     Fax: 910-962-2444
     pottst at

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