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VI-EPSCoR Conference to Focus on Bolstering Research, Outreach in Region

File Photo from 2013 VI-EPSCOR Conference

The Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR) will host its Annual Conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 12. The conference, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the University of the Virgin Islands Administration and Conference Center, on the St. Thomas Campus.

FILE PHOTO: UVI opened its renovated MacLean Marine Science Center during the 2013 VI-EPSCoR Conference.

The goal of the day will be to share information about research, education, and outreach goals and initiatives being conducted by local entities, as well as those by representatives from the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, according to VI-EPSCoR Project Director Dr. Henry Smith. The 2014 theme is: Strengthening Our Research, Education and Outreach Collaborations in the Region. “This is part of an overall effort to identify synergies and opportunities for collaborations to our mutual benefit,” Dr. Smith said.

Presentations on the following areas are planned: Ridge to Reef Research in the Region; Climate Change and Anthropogenic Research; Education; and Outreach. Presenters will include UVI researchers, and representatives from the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the VI Department of Education. The keynote presentation will be from Dr. Lee Todd, president emeritus of the University of Kentucky. Dr. Todd’s topic will be “The Role of Science and Technology in Economic Development.” There will also be a special lunchtime presentation by Dr. Sean Kennan, an EPSCoR program director with the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Kennan is responsible for partnerships and collaborative funding opportunities available through the NSF.

“We hope that, through the day’s deliberations, participants will learn of existing and proposed research, outreach and education activities,” Dr. Smith said. “We also want participants to offer their suggestions to these initiatives, and in several instances, identify ways in which they or their affiliates may be able to collaborate with others to strengthen and ensure greater effectiveness and successes in the Virgin Islands and the region.”

VI-EPSCoR, is funded by the National Science Foundation. It is committed to fostering partnerships in research, academia, and the public and private sectors in the Virgin Islands, to build a more science-capable and research-competitive territory.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Nick Drayton at: ndrayton@uvi.edu or call (340) 692-4003.