Faculty/Student Marine Advisory Service

PI: Judith Pederson, MIT Sea Grant

Project Number:1996-A-5

Start Date:1996-08-01End Date:1998-02-28

Proposal Summary

Objectives: To develop a continuing education program that offers professional training courses to coastal managers;
To expand the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sea Grant efforts in outreach activities through development of specific products and workshops, participation on advisory committees, and working with regional Sea Grant Programs on topics of mutual interest;
To apply the results of our research projects to assist coastal managers address problems within the Commonwealth;
To user our faculty and other academic scientists in continuing education activities designed specifically for coastal managers to improve understanding the role and function of marine ecosystems within the Commonwealth;
To maintain maximum flexibility in our advisory program and to allow us to respond to continually changing opportunities, including, but not limited to, inclusion of graduate and undergraduate students and part time, not permanent professional specialists in the execution of our advisory projects.

Methodology: All activities depend on interaction between the MIT Sea Grant Advisory Service and the user community, i.e. the Commonwealth, coastal managers, local government and other groups. For continuing education courses, the syllabus will be developed in collaboration with state and local agencies to provide specific information to meet their needs. For workshops, conferences, and symposia, a variety of sources will be used including responses to questions on evaluation forms, recommendations from environmental organizations, and the public. For new tools and services, specific projects will be evaluated as to value, quality of product and likelihood of success prior to initiation.

Rationale: Transferring scientific and technical information to the user community, is useful only if their needs are being met. The proposed continuing education courses arose from discussions with state agency coastal managers who requested assistance in retraining staff to monitor coastal estuaries and watersheds. Other requests include developing sampling designs for monitoring programs, interpreting data and becoming familiars with field and analytical methods and techniques. Other requests have been to assist with specific research activities to assist with marine policy decisions by the Commonwealth. This may include development of databases, development of models to predict currents and impacts to capping materials, or effectiveness of structural and nonstructural solutions to nonpoint pollution.

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