National Science Foundation strengthens UOG's research capabilit - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

National Science Foundation strengthens UOG's research capabilities

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A $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation is opening doors and elevating the University of Guam's research activities. President Dr. Robert Underwood said, "We are now going to be part of a network, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPCoR), which is designed by the NSF to help universities develop their research capacities."

In addition to this grant UOG now has access to other EPSCoR grants in other federal agencies like NASA and Department of Defense. Dr. Underwood says this is a major activity for the UOG Marine Lab, noting, "Because we will be working mostly with coastal management and will be placing sensors in Pago Bay and we will be upgrading our cyber-infrastructure and will be developing a STEM pipeline for students that goes all the way back to high school."

Dr. Underwood says the sensors will assist them in their attempt to keep track of issues within the environment changes caused by land activity as well as climate change. "Much of the data that we have regarding climate change particularly in the Western Pacific is inferential data, not direct data. Data that is actually collected by us, so this enhances our capacity to collect the data but it's in an enormous amount of data, so we have to update our cyber-infrastructure," he explained.

The update will allow the research information to be shared amongst research institutions for analysis placing the university on a new category in terms of research. He says they want to also grow the masters program in the sciences, specifically environmental science and biology, in order to be able to develop the research capacity. The grant will primarily fund research projects he says UOG needs to match the activities, adding, "So we are matching some of our financial aid assistance to students but more importantly we can't really even the $6 million because already we have been contacted by NASA to get a couple of hundred of thousands of dollars, we have already been contacted by DOD."

He says this is monumental for the university because it is the only university in the Western Pacific that is devoted to research so they must develop their internal capacity. He adds that UOG is the only US masters- and baccalaureate-level program on this side of the International Dateline, and people around the world will be wanting to attend the University of Guam.

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