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Posted January 13, 2010 by

Broward Teaching Jobs Created by New Coral Reef Center

A new coral reef research center will help to create new Broward teaching jobs and construction jobs while stimulating the local economy.
The Department of Commerce recently announced that Fort Lauderdale-based Nova Southeastern University will receive $15 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Science Research Facility.
The new facility, which will be the largest coral reef research center in the nation, will create 22 new academic jobs, preserve 22 existing academic positions and employ 50 graduate students, while construction of the facility will create 300 additional jobs.
“This type of research infrastructure is urgently needed to support economic growth and environmental sustainability in our region,” NSU Chancellor Ray Ferrero Jr. said.
Work on the $30 million facility is expected to begin within the next six months, with the center slated to open during late 2011 or 2012. The center will be operated by NSU’s National Coral Reef Institute, whose scientists have engaged in a variety of projects to understand and protect reefs.
Workers at the center will conduct research on coral genetics, deep sea reefs and reef mapping. The center will devote most of its research to global and local environmental threats to reefs.
Ferrero said the center will provide a much-needed boost to the economy, supporting a major area of the university’s research and helping to protect the $6 billion in annual income that South Florida receives from fishing, diving and other activities that depend on healthy reefs.
“It gives us an opportunity to bring in more students who will be getting their master’s and doctoral degrees,” he said. “I think this is a great economic development driver, and it will support the marine and fishing industries.”
Overall, the Department of Commerce awarded grants to 11 universities and one independent research organization to build research centers.
“These awards will create jobs by helping to fund 12 major, shovel-ready construction projects,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “These new, state-of-the-art facilities will help keep the United States at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation and will support economic growth.”