Third Annual DOE Biotechnological Investigations-Ocean Margins Program (BI-OMP) Grantee/Contractor Meeting
The third annual Biotechnological Investigations-Ocean Margins Program (BI-OMP) grantee/contractor meeting will be held on March 29-31, 2001, at Savannah State University (a historically African-American university) in Savannah, Georgia, in conjunction with Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. The program encourages partnerships between institutions with a tradition of research in marine sciences, and those that serve communities under represented in the sciences. The goal of the BI-OMP program is to understand the linkages between carbon and nitrogen cycles in ocean margins through the use of molecular biological and biogeochemical techniques. Nitrogen is often a limiting nutrient for carbon fixation by marine phytoplankton in the ocean, which is a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. The meeting is expected to attract over 60 researchers including graduate and undergraduate students, post doctoral fellows, and principal investigators. The workshop will open with an address from Savannah State University President, Carleton Brown. The distribution of specific enzymes for carbon fixation and nitrogen in the plume will be determined using newly developed gene probes. These data will then be correlated with satellite images of chlorophyll distribution and other attributes of plume dynamics, allowing an understanding of the plume that spans scales from molecular to regional in ocean margins. A special roundtable session will be held on improving and sustaining scientific partnerships between majority and minority institutions. BI-OMP is providing a new understanding of the oceanic carbon and nitrogen cycles as mediated by microorganisms and biogeochemical factors, and it will lead to further diversification of the scientific workforce.