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USGS: Send Us Students From Florida To Study Virgin Islands Coral

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has opened up a study of the territory’s coral reefs to the students of one Florida college, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

Santa Fe College’s Research in Undergraduate Education (RUE) program said it is partnering with the USGS to provide undergraduates the opportunity to study coral in the Virgin Islands this May.

“Coral is being threatened as oceans warm and acidify. Recent expeditions by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have found coral thriving in a novel habitat under the shade of coastal mangroves,” the college said in a written statement.

Students of Sante Fe College will spend several weeks preparing for our own research expedition, followed by two weeks collecting data while snorkeling in the Virgin Islands, the college said.

“Upon our return, we will use the data to map coral location and diversity and environmental co-variables (shade coverage, water temperature, etc.) in coastal mangrove habitats,” Sante Fe College said.

For more information, contact Matthew Carrigan at (352) 395-5163 or

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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