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NOAA Trains Next Generation of Harmful Algal Bloom Managers

Published on: 09/19/2018
Region(s) of Study: U.S. States and Territories / Maine
Primary Contact(s): quay.dortch@noaa.gov

Dr. Michael Parsons (FGCU) leads a discussion on the toxic dinoflagellate Protoceratium at the third Training Course on the Identification of Harmful Algae in United States Marine Waters. Credit: Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

Following well-received sessions in 2016 and 2017, last month the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, held the third and final offering of the NCCOS-funded Training Course on the Identification of Harmful Algae in United States Marine Waters.

Effective monitoring and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs) requires accurate and timely identification of the species involved. Through these training courses, NCCOS is providing comprehensive HAB identification training for a new generation of U.S. managers, scientists, and technicians who study HABs.

Fifteen students attended the 2018 course, representing 12 coastal states and Canada. Ten of the students were affiliated with state agencies, two with universities, and one each with a municipality, private company, and state regulatory commission.

The 10-day course covered: (1) identifying toxic marine algae (i.e., Bacillariophyceae, Dinophyceae, Prymnesiophyceae, Raphidophyceae, Dictyochophyceae, and marine Cyanophyceae), (2) collection techniques, (3) statistical considerations, and (4) specialized lectures on newer HAB identification and quantification methodologies.

The 2018 instructors were Drs. Michael Parsons (Florida Gulf Coast University), Célia Villac (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Carmelo Tomas (University of North Carolina Wilmington), and Ian Probert (Roscoff Culture Collection).

The NCCOS Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) program sponsored the courses in partnership with the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota.

For more information, contact Quay.Dortch@noaa.gov.

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