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Gulf Islands Research and Education Center (GIREC)

A research and science education partnership between Gulf Islands National Seashore and the University of West Florida to support the conservation of Gulf Coast natural and cultural resources, and increase student access to high-quality, hands-on science education.


National Park Services Logo for the Gulf Island National Seashore co-branded UWF website

As a National Park Service Research Learning Center, GIREC joins the existing network of 19 Research Learning Centers in their mission to promote the use of National Parks for research and education. Each year national RLCs, in collaboration with partner institutions, involve thousands of scientists and tens of thousands of students in park-based research. In 2012 these efforts resulted in over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and more than 90 reports supporting sustainable resource management. Research Learning Centers also regularly host in-park workshops, seminars, and symposia to develop regional scientific expertise and bring current scientific information to resource managers, science educators, and the public.

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Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore manages 160 miles of coastline from Cat Island Mississippi to Okaloosa Florida. The Seashore is the 9th most visited US national park with nearly 5 million visitors in 2012, and visitors to the Seashore are a major regional economic driver. 

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University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is a fast growing, comprehensive Research University with a current enrollment of nearly 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University was the first school in the United States to feature a Marine Biology undergraduate major and marine biology and coastal research continue to be a major focus.

"Real science includes ventures into the natural world to discover and solve mysteries."

Edward O. Wilson, naturalist and Harvard University research professor.
Posted by National Park Service on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Real science includes ventures into the natural world to discover and solve mysteries." - Edward O. Wilson, naturalist and Harvard University research professorThis week, we're partnering with UC Berkeley and National Geographic at "Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century." The goal of this summit is to envision and contribute to strategies for science for parks and science using parks for the coming decades by building on the historic linkage between NPS and scientists at leading universities and other organizations around the world. http://parksforscience.berkeley.edu/

Posted by National Park Service on Wednesday, March 25, 2015