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Project Title

3.2. An Intra-American Seas Regional Education and Directed Training Facility for Environmental Research and Monitoring (PATOMAC)

Key Investigator Kevin D. Leaman
Project Duration December 15, 1999 December 14, 2003

The purpose of this program is to institute on a trial basis the capacity building and equipment infrastructure needed for Latin American countries to develop resources to do their own environmental impact studies, as opposed to having to rely on outside "consultants". The program consists of two parts: 1) the start of a program to purchase oceanographic instrument platforms for the use of technical specialists in participating Latin American institutions (much like the "shared use equipment pools" available aboard U.S. UNOLS vessels), and 2) the training of technical specialists from these countries in the use of such equipment, and also the training of these specialists in the interpretation and presentation of the data acquired.

SUMMARY  In this project we have initiated the equipment pool with the purchase of an autonomous SeaBird CTD system (SBE 19+) with associated biological sensors (e.g. pH, oxygen).

Last year a survey of over 100 Latin American environmental, scientific and university institutions was carried out to gauge the level of interest in this pilot program and to determine the best orientation for the training. A total of 38 responses were received for which some level of interest was apparent. These responses came from over 10 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Based on these results a pilot program was conceived for the Summer 2003 period consisting of two 10-day extended seminar/research cruise periods, to be carried out in early July and late July/early August. Each 10-day "extended seminar" has built into it a three-day active research cruise aboard the University of Miami research vessel R/V Walton Smith. These cruises are part of a joint biological/physical oceanographic research program in which the leader of this program is also a co-PI.


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