Camarillo, Calif., Feb. 16, 2011 – The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST), which deals with marine and coastal research and education, is introducing the new COAST Geospatial Research, Education and Technology Network, headed by CI’s Christopher Cogan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science & Resource Management together with Corey Garza, Assistant Professor of Science and Environmental Policy at CSU Monterey Bay.

The COAST Geospatial network is one of six networks being established to engage faculty and students across the CSU system to facilitate specific areas of coastal management.  The Geospatial Network is currently assembling a team of CSU faculty interested in geospatial research and teaching as it pertains to ecosystem-based management of the coastal zone.

The focus of the group will be to study the fragile environment where the ocean and the land meet, to study the various ecosystems that make up that environment, to understand how they are integrated and to find a way to guide management efforts such as coastal and marine spatial planning, and coastal zoning. Designed as a CSU system-wide team, Network activities span the entire California coast from Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in the north to San Diego County in the south.  By inviting participants from the 23 CSU campuses who share interest in this area of study, the network will be able to have the widest selection of academic talent, resources and assets.

The team will be interdisciplinary, involving experts from a variety of academic disciplines so not only will the environmental science area be represented but public policy as well.  Another aspect of the Network will be to improve teaching methods and research in the field.  The group will be seeking out projects that are relevant to the skills of the team. 

As Cogan explained, “Due to our coastal location and common interests, here at CI we have had the advantage of close working relationships with many state and federal agencies.  The Navy, the Park Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement are all ongoing partners as we deal with coastal management education and research.  The Geospatial Network activity is another example of our long range commitment to these partners.”  He added that the team will look to “improve coastal management and policy, through better understanding the biodiversity of all of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems involved in this fragile environment.” 

Cogan said that another important benefit of the network will be to graduate students who are knowledgeable in this field and will be a resource to companies, agencies, and research facilities involved in California’s coastal management.

For contact information or additional material on the COAST Geospatial Research, Education and Technology Network,visit: http://www.calstate.edu/coast/GREAT/

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