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Other Grant Awards 

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Other Grants 1
Image: Karl Spencer, iStock

Scientific Research Disaster Recovery Grants 1 (Awarded 2018)
Topic: Small grants to help with repair, replacement, or recovery of equipment, data, or other research materials damaged or lost as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and their aftermaths.
Total Awards: 22 projects totaling $628,848
Grant Type: Other
- Cycle 1
- Cycle 2

Aaron Adams
Award Amount:
$29,800
Affiliation: Bonefish and Tarpon Trust
Purpose: To replace monitoring equipment used in a long-term effort tracking populations of two coastal fish species, permit and Atlantic tarpon, to inform fisheries and habitat management. The equipment was lost as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Anna Armitage
Award Amount:
$10,000
Affiliation: Texas A&M University -- Galveston
Purpose: To assist with removal of Hurricane Harvey debris from a coastal wetland research site.


Bruce Barber
Award Amount:
$33,106
Affiliation: Gulf Shellfish Institute Inc.
Purpose: To support the recovery of a research project examining the relationships between filter-feeding bivalves, water quality, sediment quality, and seagrass distribution. Hurricane Irma caused significant losses of clam specimens and related support equipment at the project’s experiment site.


Kim Bassos-Hull
Award Amount:
$8,863
Affiliation: Mote Marine Laboratory Inc.
Purpose: To replace equipment used to support long-term monitoring of animal movements in Sarasota Bay and adjacent Gulf of Mexico waters. The equipment, which provides data to a variety of research efforts, was lost during Hurricane Irma.


Bernard Castillo II
Award Amount:
$38,053
Affiliation: University of the Virgin Islands
Purpose: To support the recovery of a research project examining factors that affect the movement and colonization of areas by lionfish, an invasive species in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Impacts from Hurricane Irma contributed to project delay, resulted in lost equipment, and necessitated new data collection due to major disruptions to study areas.


Charles Cotton
Award Amount:
$11,060
Affiliation: Florida State University
Purpose: To replace and deploy equipment used to support long-term monitoring of animal movements in the Apalachicola Bay in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The equipment, which provides data to a variety of research efforts, was lost during Hurricane Irma.

Katy Cummings
Award Amount:
$9,716
Affiliation: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Purpose: To replace equipment used to support long-term monitoring of coral reefs off the coasts of southern Florida. The equipment was lost as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Judson Curtis
Award Amount: $49,657
Affiliation: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Purpose: To recover and replace equipment and data used in fisheries research that was displaced or lost because of Hurricane Harvey.

Deana Erdner
Award Amount: $45,000
Affiliation:
University of Texas – Austin
Purpose: To replace toxic algae research specimens lost as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Colette Feehan
Award Amount: $18,362
Affiliation:
Montclair State University
Purpose: To replace equipment and establish new study sites for coral reef research disrupted by Hurricane Irma.

Lee Fuiman
Award Amount: $49,412
Affiliation:
University of Texas – Austin
Purpose: To replace equipment used in marine ecosystem research that was destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.

Darren Henrichs
Award Amount: $30,459
Affiliation:
Texas A&M University
Purpose: To replace equipment and restore operations of a system that monitors for harmful algae blooms along the Texas coast. The system has been offline since Hurricane Harvey due to storm-incurred losses.

Adeljean Ho
Award Amount: $46,500
Affiliation:
Bethune-Cookman University
Purpose: To support recovery of a research and demonstration project to evaluate and promote the effectiveness of using living shorelines to reduce nonpoint source pollution from urban runoff. Project sites were significantly damaged by Hurricane Irma and require reconstruction.


Xinping Hu
Award Amount: $9,814
Affiliation: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Purpose: To repair and replace sensors used in ocean acidification research that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Stephen Kajiura
Award Amount: $6,175
Affiliation: Florida Atlantic University
Purpose: To replace equipment used to support long-term monitoring of animal movements along southeastern Florida. The equipment, which provides data to a variety of research efforts, was lost during Hurricane Irma.

Larry Lloyd
Award Amount: $6,175
Affiliation: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Purpose: To replace equipment and restore a water quality monitoring platform in San Antonio Bay. The platform, which provides data to a variety of research and environmental management efforts, was damaged during Hurricane Harvey.

Aran Mooney
Award Amount: $46,500
Affiliation:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Purpose: To replace equipment used in coral reef research that was lost during Hurricane Irma.

Jenny Oakley
Award Amount: $7,119
Affiliation: University of Houston – Clear Lake
Purpose: To assist with replacement of a research vehicle used in river monitoring research that was destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.

Norton Orange
Award Amount: $7,119
Affiliation: OrangeWave Innovative Science, LLC
Purpose: To replace equipment and restore a network of environmental monitoring stations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Impacts from Hurricane Irma contributed to destruction of the monitoring stations, which provide data to a variety of research efforts.

Brandi Reese
Award Amount: $17,170
Affiliation: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Purpose: To replace sensors used in a Texas wetland study that were lost or damaged during Hurricane Harvey.

Michael Starek
Award Amount: $41,084
Affiliation: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Purpose: To re-establish and install equipment for research sites used in Gulf of Mexico geospatial modeling research that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Robert Weisberg
Award Amount: $47,165
Affiliation: University of South Florida
Purpose: To repair real-time meteorological and oceanographic monitoring research moorings that were damaged during Hurricane Irma.



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Other Grants 2
Image: Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Collaboration Grants 1 (Awarded 2017)
Topic: Seed grants for the Gulf Research Program's Early-Career Research Fellows to collaborate on projects that take their research in previously unexplored directions.
Total Awards: 4 projects totaling $213,547
Grant Type: Collaboration
to support cross-disciplinary research among the Gulf Research Program’s network of Early-Career Research Fellows. .


Assessing the Use of Two Rapid Sensing Techniques to Determine Oil Content and Source of Persistent Oil in the Marine Environment
Award Amount: $73,821
Co-Project Directors: Anna Michel (2015 Early-Career Research Fellow; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Helen White (2015 Early-Career Research Fellow; Haverford College)
Project Team Affiliations: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Haverford College
Overview: Oil enters marine environments from a variety of sources, including oil exploration and extraction, accidental spills, and natural seeps on the ocean floor. Once oil enters these environments, its residues can persist and migrate for decades, intermixing with oil residues introduced at various times from various sources. Identifying the source of oil residues is important for addressing specific sources and for understanding the cycling and long-term fate of oil in the marine environment. However, present techniques for doing so are time consuming and require technical expertise. This project aims to develop a quick and reliable method requiring minimal expertise that can be used to detect and distinguish oil residues from different sources through chemical signatures. Ultimately this technique could result in a tool for use by first responders and coastal communities dealing with oil spills.

Optimal Marine Protected Area Design for Mesophotic Reef Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico
Award Amount: $66,308
Co-Project Directors: Jennifer Pazour (2016 Early-Career Research Fellow; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Diego Figueroa (2016 Early-Career Research Fellow; University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley)
Project Team Affiliations: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
Overview: Coral reefs are an essential part of marine ecosystems, providing critical habitat for marine organisms to spawn, breed, feed, and grow to maturity. However, they are being heavily impacted by human activities, such as fishing and mining; climate change; and ocean acidification. Protection of strategically targeted marine areas into a network of marine protected areas along with strategic placement of artificial reefs to optimize connectivity between areas has been shown effective in providing benefits comparable with more complex habitat management strategies. This has not yet been done widely in the Gulf of Mexico, though, in part due to a lack of the supporting data and tools needed to help decision-makers target the right areas to protect and connect. This project aims to address part of this deficit by integrating data and developing models pertaining to mesophotic coral reefs – a type of ecosystem that exists in deeper ocean waters with low light conditions – that can be used to inform decision-makers in broader efforts to create a network of marine protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Polymer Thin Films as Sensors of Atmospheric Particle pH to Predict Impacts on Climate and Air Quality
Award Amount: $49,566
Co-Project Directors: Julie Albert (2015 Early-Career Research Fellow; Tulane University) and Kerri Pratt (2016 Early-Career Research Fellow; University of Michigan)
Project Team Affiliations: Tulane University and University of Michigan
Overview: Atmospheric aerosol particles are microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the atmosphere. These particles are introduced from both natural sources (e.g., volcanoes, dust storms, vegetation) and human activities (e.g., vehicle emissions, power plants, industrial processes) and can significantly impact climate, air quality, and human health. In the Gulf of Mexico and other areas with offshore energy production, oil and gas extraction operations are a major source of atmospheric aerosol particles. Presently, much remains unknown about the formation, transport, interaction, and toxicity of these particles, particularly submicron particles that can be difficult to detect or analyze, and their effects on coastal communities. This project aims to develop a sensor to better characterize properties of submicron atmospheric particles. This information can then be used to improve the understanding and prediction of the impact of aerosol particles on air quality, human health, and climate, particularly in coastal communities.

Surface Modifications to Underwater Gliders for the Deterrence of Remoras
Award Amount: $23,852
Co-Project Directors: Jordon Beckler (2016 Early-Career Research Fellow; Mote Marine Laboratory) and Julie Albert (2015 Early-Career Research Fellow; Tulane University)
Project Team Affiliations: Mote Marine Laboratory and Tulane University
Overview: Underwater gliders are playing an increasingly essential role in ocean exploration. Unfortunately, glider missions in the coastal waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico often fail because remoras, a type of fish also known as “suckerfish,” attach themselves to the gliders, causing them to sink. This interaction ends the glider missions and creates challenging situations for retrieval of the devices. Little is presently known about the mechanisms involved in remora interactions with gliders, such as where the remoras attach to the glider structure and where and when interactions are most likely to occur. This lack of understanding limits finding solutions to the problem. This project aims to improve glider operation success in the Gulf of Mexico by trying to determine where, when, and how remoras attach to gliders and by using that information to build mechanisms into glider design that can help reduce the occurrence of remora attachment.


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