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New Natural Resource Management Faculty Arrive; Seminar Series Begins March 4

Note: The date of the first seminar in the Natural Resources Management series included in this release (sixth paragraph) has been corrected to read Thursday, March 4.

UVI is pleased to announce the arrival of two new faculty members with expertise in Natural Resource Management. The new faculty members will be teaching courses in the Division of Science and Mathematics (DSM), and in the Master's of Marine and Environmental Science (MMES) Program. They will also be conducting research in the Center for Marine and Environmental Science (CMES) at UVI and are supported in part by the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR) funding from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Kostas Alexandridis, Research Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management in the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, has recently joined UVI from Australia, where he worked for the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIRO) in the area of natural resource management, sustainable livelihoods, and community-based participatory research. Dr. Alexandridis' work emphasizes community participation and grassroots approaches to managing our environment and our natural resources. He has worked with planners and natural resource managers in the Midwestern USA, and in many areas across the Southern Asia, Oceania and the South Pacific regions. His community-based research experience includes also many culturally diverse societies and communities, from desert to rainforest-based Aboriginal Australian groups, to indigenous Melanesian tribes in the Solomon Islands.

Dr. Angela Dikou, Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management in the Division of Science and Mathematics has applied her education, knowledge, and experience in marine biology, ecology, and natural resources management in the IndoPacific, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean at the interface of science and management. Her research interests are in the assessment and interpretation of individual and cumulative impacts of human development on the marine environment and the effectiveness of management tools, such as integrated coastal zone management, cumulative impact assessment, and marine protected areas.

In addition to these permanent positions, VI-EPSCoR is supporting a visiting fellow in Natural and Cultural Resource Management during spring term 2010, Dr. Gary Cummisk who is an Associate Professor of Geography and Anthropology at Dickinson State University in North Dakota. His research interests include ecologically sustainable management practices on private and public lands. He has worked in environmental interpretation for a number of agencies including state parks and the National Audubon Society.

Over the next two months, VI-EPSCoR in collaboration with DSM and CMES, will invite academicians and resource managers to present on a variety of topics aimed at integrating the ecological, social and economic angles of managing natural resource capital as part of the Natural Resource Management Seminar Series. The seminar series is designed to initiate and further facilitate interaction among teaching, research, governmental and non-governmental organizations and agencies in their efforts to manage our valuable natural resources. It is open to the public.

The first seminar in the Natural Resource Management series will be presented by Dr. Raul Cano, Director of the Environmental Biotechnology Institute at California Polytechnic State University. He will be discussing his work on environmental and biotechnology related research. His seminar is on Thursday, March 4 from 12-1 p.m. in the Chase auditorium on the UVI St. Thomas Campus with videoconferencing to Evans Center 401 on the St. Croix campus. All interested persons are urged to attend. Information on subsequent seminars is available on the UVI website.

Natural Resource Management is one of the focus areas for students in the MMES program. This program provides students with the training and skills necessary for planning, conducting, and evaluating research in marine and environmental science. Additionally, students explore how to utilize research to manage natural resources, with a particular focus on the issues and challenges related to natural resource management in the Caribbean region. The program draws upon the expertise of faculty within several units of UVI, in particular CMES and DSM. Further, it is a bridge between academia and natural resource management sectors within the US Virgin Islands, the greater Caribbean, and beyond. The program structure allows students to become conversant in the language of both research and resource management, and then to focus on their area of particular interest. Graduates of the program are prepared for a wide array of careers in academic, government, non-profit, and private sectors.

Applications for the MMES program are now being accepted for Fall 2010. The application deadline is March 15, 2010. For further information on the program visit http://mmes.uvi.edu or contact Dr. Sandra Romano, Interim Program Coordinator, at 693-1389.