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UVI’s Water Resources Research Institute Receives Over $90,000 to Expand and Support Water Research

The Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) at the University of the Virgin Islands received $92,335 this spring from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to fund three projects across the territory. 

Established in 1973 and now directed by Dr. Kristin Wilson Grimes, research assistant professor of watershed ecology, WRRI is one of 54 such institutes across the country that are dedicated to researching water resources and related issues. The institute trains students and water professionals, and provides management-relevant information to policy and decision makers. 

The current grant will expand ongoing projects and support new research, including:

  1. New methodologies for real-time microclimate monitoring, which will improve real-time weather forecasting in the territory. The project is led by Dr. David Morris, director of UVI’s Etelman Observatory and assistant professor of physics;
  2. Exploration of physical and biological indicators of riparian health to provide conservation guidance for the territory’s gut habitats. This project is led by Dr. Renata Platenberg, assistant professor of natural resources;
  3. The Water Ambassadors Program, an educational outreach program targeting local junior high schools, led by Christina Chanes of the UVI Cooperative Extension Services

“All of these projects provide valuable, management-relevant research for the Territory, and important educational outreach and training opportunities for U.S. Virgin Islands students,” said Dr. Grimes. “Monies from the USGS are critical to funding research on important water-related issues in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and to training the next generation of students from grade school to college and graduate school.”