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UVI STUDENTS STUDY THE SEAS

April 16, 2001 — University of the Virgin Islands students and staff researchers are back in the Virgin Islands after studying the depths of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The seven individuals from UVI were part of the 12th expedition in the Anegada Climate Tracers Study, or ACTS, on the research vessel Oceanus. ACTS-12 started April 8 when the UVI group left the V.I. to rendevous with the research vessel in Barbados.
The study started in 1995 and examines the flow of climatically significant chemicals in the water that is exchanged between the Caribbean and the Atlantic. In the process of the ACTS research, the UVI team assists a major study of ocean circulation called the Windward Islands Passages Monitoring Project, which is conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In so doing, UVI earns berth on major research vessels that can cost in excess of $20,000 per day to operate.
Students and staff from UVI help the NOAA scientists monitor the flow between the passages from Trinidad and Tobago to the Anegada Passage east of Virgin Gorda. UVI students completing the current research on the Oceanus are Shenell Gordon, Celeste Mosher, Leukemia Mounce and Barry Volson. Senior scientists are Kevin Brown, Lincoln Critchley and Adam Quandt.
ACTS was started with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and continues because of UVI's collaborations with NOAA, the University of Miami and other institutions. This is the first time the UVI team will be using the Oceanus, which is owned by the National Science Foundation and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
A second team, which will set out for the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, will include student Eugene Nelson and scientists Laurie Requa and Roy Watlington, UVI’s principal investigator. On the second leg, sampling of sea water will take place at the site of a proposed study to measure the stream of neutrinos (short-lived cosmic particles) penetrating to the ocean floor. The site off the north coast of St. Croix reaches a depth of more than 4,000 meters (2 ½ miles).
Watlington is interested in hiring local vessels that can take a winch with a 2,000-meter spool of wire for one-day studies in the Anegada Passage. For additional information contact him at 693-1140 or 693-1391.
Click here for more information on the ACTS program and UVI.

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