Biology and Marine Biology

(Axel Boer) #1

directors and the user groups who work together to acquire the necessary extramural funding. The Center
routinely provides partial support for the maintenance of Core equipment, with the remainder in some
cases, coming from modest use fees.
The location of the Center provides easy access to regional marine environments such as: tidal
marshes/mud flats/sand flats; tidal creeks; barrier islands and tidal inlets; the Atlantic Intracoastal
Waterway; near-shore marine environments; the Gulf Stream; hard bottom communities; sand dunes and
maritime forests; and both highly developed and minimally developed estuarine environments.

Crest Research Campus: Oyster Hatchery and Marine Biotechnology Buildings
The Oyster Hatchery is a recent addition and a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility. Research in
this 16,000 sq. ft. facility focuses principally of the production of biomass and the management of stock
structures for bivalves of economic importance (principally oysters and scallops). The facility is equipped
with an array of equipment including algal bioreactors and shellfish growth chambers.
The Marine Biotechnology building was completed in 2012. Research conducted in this building
focuses on the discovery and development of commercially valuable natural products from marine

The growth of the graduate programs in Biology and Marine Biology would be measurably
enhanced by improvements in several broad areas of support.
First, enrollment at UNCW and the number of Departmental majors has increased significantly in
the last five years. This is necessarily increasing faculty workload. One solution to this problem is to hire
new faculty, but the Department has received no new (i.e., beyond replacement) faculty lines. If the
Department were to receive new faculty lines there would be limited ready office or laboratory space for
new hires. Acquisition of new faculty, using new faculty lines will require construction of new office and
laboratory facilities, repurposing existing space (which means relocating their present occupants), or the
use of temporary structures.
Second, our students are fortunate to have access to a diversity of state-of-the-art instruments in
support of their research and education at UNCW. Within our department, and at CMS, students have
access to these tools both through shared-use facilities (e.g. microscopy lab in Dobo Hall, DNA and
Nutrient Analysis Core Facility at CMS) and through individual faculty member labs. In addition, the
university has in the past two years instituted a policy of replacing high priority equipment that was
purchased using capital funds, thus helping preserve the effectiveness of the infrastructure that we have in
place. However, a continued need exists to identify new space to locate joint-use laboratory facilities to
house equipment purchased by faculty from extramural funding.
Third, there are also infrastructural deficiencies for the support of faculty in the administration of
grant awards. Each year, the Department of Biology and Marine Biology brings an average of $2.9 million
in new extramural funding to the university (see Section 9 below). We are extremely appreciative of the
professional efforts of Ms. Kimberly McKoy, Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs, who
oversees grant activity in our department, among others. Faculty, though, often experience substantial
increases in administrative workloads associated with the management of extramural funding, particularly
when awards reach the level sufficient to support multiple graduate students. Our exemplary staff
members, who are described in Section 6.c. below, are already working at capacity to help support the
faculty in these matters. We believe that the department would benefit greatly from the addition of a new
staff member who could help faculty with the administrative workload (e.g. hiring, budgets, compliance)
associated with extramural funding.
The pursuit of extramural funding resources, necessary to investigate new research areas and
increase growth in the graduate programs, would also benefit from enhanced support by the university
administration. For instance, more opportunities for faculty release time could be afforded that would

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