Friday, March 25, 2011

Get A Degree To Join Researchers Working To Protect Oceanic Ecosystems With Grant Money

By Michelle Conner

Harnessing energy from the Mississippi River, evaluating water supplies and forecasting an epidemic spread of malaria in time to thwart it. Thanks to public and private grants, these are some of the areas that colleges and universities are exploring as part of an anticipated climate change. At least one institution provides its students free bicycles so that they'll leave their cars at home. Despite the economy, there are still many financial aid options available for students that want to earn a degree. Online research into education scholarships will provide many results to review.

Climate change happens over the course of billions of years, with long ice ages followed by long tropical periods. Temperatures, however, have been warming more rapidly than anticipated - the result, some say, of ushering more harmful gases into the atmosphere than there are plants and trees to absorb them. Summers get warmer, winters colder, glaciers melt and seas swell. The gases become acid rain.

One of the culprits is carbon emissions, with energy in the United States considered the biggest producer. With help from a $3 million federal government grant, a New Orleans university was provided a $3 million federal grant to build a center for testing, promoting and commercializing renewable energy from the Mississippi River. This center at that college would be known, would provide space for research, education, exhibitions and business meetings centered also around sustainable water supplies, according to an April announcement from that institution.

In Baltimore, a university there was provided a $5 million National Science Foundation grant. The grant money was provided so that the institution can lead a study on development and its effects on climate as well as water quality and supplies, a November announcement from that college suggested. "Development puts stress on regional water supplies and aquatic ecosystems, and there are lots of questions about how we can better manage those stresses," a professor from there was quoted in the announcement as saying.

According to the university announcement, storm water is one of the examples. Drainage systems, bridges and boating channels also were mentioned in the announcement, as were in-ground water supplies and wells. Sharing the grant, and the research, with the Maryland university are the USDA Forest Service, the US Geological Survey and other colleges and universities, the announcement suggested.

The world's oceans are home to coral reefs that are also at risk in warmer seas. Many of the fish that we eat inhabit coral reefs and a South Florida university plans to put a $15 million federal grant that it received this year toward establishing a Center of Excellence in Coral Reef Ecosystems Science. The center would become a part of the Fort Lauderdale institution's oceanographic center, according to a grant announcement from that university. There is a lot of information online about different facilities and research programs to review along with college scholarship, if you are interested in a career focused on improving our world.

A college in Georgia apparently recognizes that global warming is just that - a global issue. Researchers at this institution are studying water quality issues related to the Amazon River, thanks at least in part to a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for $2.4 million. European colleges and universities also are involved with studies related to global warming. A UK university and other European and African institutions are exploring ways that epidemics of mosquito-transmitted diseases such as Rift Valley Fever and malaria might be predicated in advance. The colleges and universities overseas plan to carry this research out with help from a $4.8 million, or 3 million pound, grant from the European Commission Seventh Framework program.

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