Focused Research

Objectives:Focused Research projects aim to arrive at a substantial level of new insight, improved control of the marine ecosystem, and/or real solutions to maritime problems. The objective is to plan and conduct research jointly with industry and government agencies who act as co-sponsors. We feel this is the most effective way to attack major problems of broad interest to the marine community and to quickly transfer the resulting technology to industry and government users for further use and development.Methodology:The Focused Research Program is an independent research initiative having equal status with our Advisory and Core Research activities. Principal Investigators seeking to establish a Focused Research Program follow the same submission and peer review process as those applying under the Core Research guidelines. However, these projects require a comprehensive approach where the biological sciences, physical oceanography and engineering disciplines are meshed with public policy and sometimes with educational issues. Included here is a Focused Research proposal by Bob Chen of UMass Boston titled ìConsortium for Ocean Sensing In the Neashore Environment (COSINE).î This program will apply recent advances in ìsmartî sensor network technology to characterize episodic events in near-shore environments. Specific objectives include:1) a predictive bacterial water quality model for Boston Harbor.2) real-time sea-level loggers for a coastal inundation model in Boston Harbor.3) characterization of episodic contaminant releases to Massachusetts Bay due to large rain events.Rationale:Resources provided by the Sea Grant College Program will be fruitfully multiplied by the generation of funding from non-Sea Grant sources. Research in that might otherwise be conducted as individual projects by faculty from different institutions will be coordinated with maximum benefit obtained from interaction among disciplines. Fundamental research will be focused on problems with important implications for the management of the coastal environment. Research results will be effectively transferred to users in public agencies and private institutions. Inexpensive, intelligent, autonomous systems and sensors are bringing new research and monitoring tools to revolutionize marine data systems.