At the moment I’m working on three new blog posts – one about science education in America, one about the pace of human evolution, and an update on some fieldwork I’ve been doing this fall – but in the meantime an issue of immediate importance: the Aquarius underwater habitat is in trouble!
While the specter of sequestration looms on the horizon, funding cuts to basic science are already happening. The National Underwater Research Program (NURP) is one of the first on the chopping block, with funding slated to be cut at years end. The flagship program of NURP is the Aquarius ReefBase – an underwater habitat located 50 feet down in the Florida Keys. Aquarius has been providing support of coral reef research for 50 years but is in critical danger of losing its funding in just a few short months.
In ecology, long term data sets are critical for understanding how ecosystems change through time. Aquarius has been a critical tool in studying coral reefs here in Florida for half a century, and now they need our support. Those in charge of running Aquarius are currently searching for private donations to keep the project going in the future. One way to donate is through their indiegogo campaign – a crowdfunding effort much like the one I did through SciFlies to support my field work. So please take a moment to check out the Save Aquarius page and play a part, however small, in supporting a critical scientific mission.