Last month, NCCOS scientists led workshops designed to transfer to NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) protocols and analyses used by NCCOS scientists to assess ecosystem health. The workshops focused on using indicators of organismal well-being to estimate population-level health, habitat quality, and ecosystem change in response to environmental factors.
Approximately 30 ECSC graduate students received hands-on training at these three-day workshops held at Florida A&M University and the University of Texas -Brownsville. The goal of the ECSC is to train a new generation of environmental scientists in NOAA-related sciences, particularly from under-represented minority groups, and to develop ecosystem health assessment tools in support of coastal environmental decision making. The ECSC was established in 2001 as part of NOAA's Educational Partnership Program to address ecological and coastal management issues at specific National Estuarine Research Reserves and National Marine Sanctuaries.