On February 24, 2023, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s (HLSCC) Mangrove Nursery Project hosted a sixteen-person delegation from the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) as part of a marine sciences knowledge exchange.
According to a press release from HLSCC today, March 16, 2023, President of HLSCC, Dr Richard W.E. Georges explained that the exchange between HLSCC and UVI was supported by the Judith A. Towle Environment Award, administered by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI). He added that both tertiary institutions have been working on research related to the restoration of mangrove ecosystems.
‘Exchange of ideas’
Director of Marine and Maritime Studies at HLSCC, Ms Susan Zaluski commented that the main purpose of the visit was to facilitate an exchange of ideas for improving understanding of various methods used to grow and restore mangroves in each respective territory.
Research Assistant Professor of Watershed Ecology at UVI, Dr. Kristen Grimes said, “This sort of exchange is so beneficial in terms of learning what has worked and what hasn’t for mangrove restoration in different places.”
According to Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Arlene L. Smith-Thompson both institutions have an articulation agreement that facilitates these types of study visits. These experiences also help to facilitate clear pathways for HLSCC students that wish to further their studies at UVI.
HLSCC Mangrove Nursery Manager, Jian Jeffers shows the visiting UVI group the HLSCC Mangrove Nursery Shade House.
Visit ‘useful’- Mangrove Nursery intern
Nandi Christopher, an aspiring marine biologist who recently graduated from HLSCC with an Associate’s degree and currently serves as an intern in the HLSCC Mangrove Nursery, participated in the recent visit and considered it ‘useful’.
She commented that it was also fun to connect with people from UVI as she is considering transferring her HLSCC credits towards the completion of her Bachelor’s degree at UVI.
In addition to touring the HLSCC Mangrove Nursery Project, the visit also included the delegation visiting the Roger Downing Mangrove Boardwalk, a tour of the Centre for Applied Marine Studies facility, visits to three mangrove restoration sites and short presentations on mangrove restoration and research from HLSCC, National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands
and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration.