University of the Virgin Islands

In recognition of the importance of the coastal resources to the well being of the Virgin Islands’ community, the University of the Virgin Islands created the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies in 1999. The purpose of this center is to provide the needed research expertise to address problems that have a critical impact on coastal marine ecosystems. The Center for Marine and Environmental Studies(CMES)  is one of nine individual units that make up the Research and Public Service (RPS) component of the UVI.

The mission of CMES is to advance knowledge and learning in marine, coastal and watershed systems through research, education, student training and outreach programs and to disseminate such knowledge to the academic body, scientific community, government agencies and the general public. The institution’s vision is to develop an international center of excellence in tropical ecology for the Caribbean region that will make meaningful contributions to our present and future understanding of how marine and terrestrial ecosystems function, so that they can be managed effectively.  CMES is a major player in The Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCOR) which is currently entering its second phase with a focus upon coral ecosystem biodiversity and its regional societal implications.