Panama Workshop, April 29-May 5, 2012

Our group Thirty six scientists from 18 countries participated in a workshop in Panama (and co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute)  in late April-early May of this year for a preliminary assessment of long-term status and trends of coral reefs based upon data from seven countries. The data provided by individuals as well as data extracted from articles and reports were presented in unique formats and highlight the tremendous variation in how information is gathered and maintained.  The early analysis also found widely variable ecological and environmental parameters.

The workshop was led by Professor Jeremy Jackson (seated at center), who serves as the Science Director for the GCRMN. Workshop participants constructed trajectories of change in coral reef community composition for seven intensively studied sites in the Florida Keys, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Curacao, and Bonaire.  Subsequent analysis is underway that will contribute to synthesis of Caribbean coral reefs.

The workshop for the Caribbean region served as an important demonstration and model of how of data compilation, collaborative discussions, and data analysis can be undertaken in a step-by-step approach for all of the regional seas where coral reefs occur.

A copy of the Workshop report is available for download.


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