New Environmental Lab at UVI to Provide Expanded Research in VI
The Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive
Research (VI-EPSCoR) and the University of the Virgin Islands'
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies will host a grand
opening of the University's new Environmental Analysis Laboratory
at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 26, at the former UVI Accounting
building (near Faculty East), on the St. Thomas campus.
The lab will serve the growing needs of the territory and the
region, offering research services for specialized environmental
analyses, including marine and freshwater quality testing,
microbiological analyses, toxicological and other chemical analyses
related to environmental health and quality. It will significantly
improve the capacity of Virgin Islands scientists and students to
conduct more rigorous and highly complex laboratory-based research.
Office and laboratory space for faculty, staff and graduate
research personnel will also be available.
"There is tremendous potential," Dr. Richard Nemeth, said of the
environmental lab, noting that he hopes to host visiting scientists
from federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection
Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the U.S.
Geographical Survey and the Centers for Disease Control in the
future. Dr. Nemeth is the VI-EPSCoR research program coordinator
and a UVI research professor.
The lab will provide access to equipment, resources and
infrastructure to advance research and technology services for a
variety of issues impacting fragile island ecosystems. This
provides an unprecedented level of support for UVI, territorial,
regional and national agencies, organizations and collaborations,
and will serve to help resource managers and policymakers better
utilize and integrate scientific information into their decision
VI-EPSCoR secured funding to create infrastructure for the lab
through a National Science Foundation /VI-EPSCoR grant. The grant
will also fund the positions of an environmental laboratory
director and an environmental laboratory supervisor. The director
will focus on building local and regional partnerships to stimulate
new research projects and ensure a consistent source of external
funding. The supervisor will ensure the safe and reliable operation
of the lab and its instruments. Faculty and staff, in consultation
with the VI Small Business Development Center, completed a draft
business plan to ensure the lab's sustainability.
For additional Information, contact Nick Drayton, assistant
director of VI-EPSCoR, at (340) 692-4068 or email@example.com.