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 Environmental Platform

Marine Habitats of Dominica


Cover of the proceedings,
34th Sci. AMLC meeting
May 2009, Roseau, Dominica

Prior to the founding of ITME by SCC Steiner in 1999, Dominica's marine environments remained virtually unsurveyed. After the first wave of studies, as part of the Bredin-Archbold-Smithsonian Biological Survey of Dominica during the 1960s and 70s, scientific investigation practically ceased until ITME's operations commenced. In accordance with its mission ("...biological investigation of tropical marine environments in regions where such activities have not been carried out, only marginally, or not in recent times. ...generate and compile environmental data ...make them widely accessible."), the Institute for Tropical Marine Ecology set out to explore Dominica's coastal benthic environments. This endeavor has reintroduced Dominica to the marine science community (reports), paving the way for future marine science projects. ITME's quest has also led to the construction of Dominica's first and so far only publicly accessible database on the island's marine habitats.

During its focus on Dominica, ITME provided tertiary education and research training in marine biology and environmental studies at its field station in Mahaut, which served as base of operations for visiting researchers and university groups, and a unique meeting point in the Eastern Caribbean. ITME further functioned as a resource center (environmental data, training, consultancies, community outreach) for Dominica's general public, as well as for national and international organizations. As an institutional member of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (ALMC), ITME completed its mission in Dominica by hosting the 34th Scientific Meeting of the AMLC in Roseau (May 24-29, 2009). Since then, ITME has organized and executed follow-up surveys and monitoring studies in Dominica.

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