Lately, you have been hearing from our partners at the University of Miami (UM) about their experiences processing and picking tiny foraminifera from sand samples that we collected on the Global Reef Expedition (GRE). As our colleagues continue to process the large quantity (2,500) of sand samples, we are creating an educator’s guide called “Little Creatures with a Big Message.”
Together, the University of Miami and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to utilize microscopic organisms, called foraminifera (‘forams’ for short), to assess the state of coral reefs over the past 1,000 years, and potentially create new metrics that can be used to assess reef health.
NSF recognizes that a critical component to any research project is how it can benefit society. This is what NSF defines as the “Broader Impacts.” As a part of this grant, we will deliver on the broader impacts portion of the grant to educate and communicate this science to others. One of the ways will do this is by creating curriculum that improves STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and increases participation of minorities in STEM.