Florida Tech Earns $50,000 Grant to Create Coral Database

– Florida Tech faculty, Dr. Robert van Woesik, associate professor of biological sciences; Dr. Semen Koksal, professor of mathematical sciences; and Dr.
Phil Bernhard, associate professor of computer sciences, have earned a $50,000 grant from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to set up a Coral
Database (CoralData) node for the southeast region of the U.S. The team hopes to extend this database to include a national database and ultimately an
international coral database.

CoralData aims to increase understanding of the distribution and abundance of corals and could eventually provide information required to detect shifting
patterns of degradation and recovery at both the local and regional levels. The ability to forecast environmental conditions, as a function of natural
variability and alternative reef management plans, will be a key element in the practical application of project results.

Van Woesik, a noted expert on coral bleaching, has established a Web site for the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS), which is hosted by Florida
Tech. He is working with Koksal to create a model to better understand and predict deadly coral bleaching.

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