The University of Maine and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences are co-leading a five-year initiative that aims to revolutionize environmental monitoring, ecological understanding, and sustainability of coastal ecosystems. A $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the project, which involves collaborators in research, education, government, community, and economic development, and marine-related businesses statewide.
As the University of Maine’s marine laboratory, Darling Marine Center in Walpole will play a critical role in the project. Darling Marine Center’s flowing seawater laboratories, fleet of research vessels, and shoreside infrastructure will support the research, education, and business and workforce development activities at the core of this project.
“I’m really looking forward to expanded collaboration among (Darling Marine Center) and Bigelow scientists, thanks to the National Science Foundation,” said Heather Leslie, Darling Marine Center director and UMaine associate professor in the School of Marine Sciences. “We will be working together on science relevant to some of the state’s highest priorities, including sustaining marine fisheries, and reducing the vulnerability of marine-related businesses and coastal communities to climate and environmental change.”
Leslie is one of four co-principal investigators for the project, which involves more than 25 researchers in fields ranging from climate, ocean, and environmental sciences to computer science and communication studies. More information on the project is available at umaine.edu/edna.
Founded in 1965, the Darling Marine Center’s mission is to connect people to the ocean. The center’s researchers, staff, and students work alongside fishermen, aquaculture entrepreneurs, marine industry professionals, and other members of the community in Maine and around the world. More information is available at dmc.umaine.edu.