Environmental Research on Display at NUI Galway

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at NUI Galway is opening its doors to the public on Wednesday, 24 June from 2 to 5.30pm, for its third annual 'ECI Research OPEN Day'. There will be a series of short talks addressing subjects of local, national, and global significance such as: sea level change in Galway Bay, biological contamination of Irish drinking water supplies, renewable energy, and sustainable development. Poster presentations will take place throughout the afternoon from over 50 ECI researchers, highlighting the work currently underway in areas such as Climate Change, Energy, Biodiversity, Environment and Health, Environmental Technologies, Environmental Informatics, and the Social and Economic Impacts of Environmental Change. Professor Gerard Jennings, Director of the ECI, says: "Galway is home to a Research Institute of national importance in the field of Environmental Change, and at the ECI we are always looking to involve the local community in the work that we do here. We had a huge public response to our Explorers Stand at the Volvo Ocean Race where we showcased the latest findings from our cold water coral reefs research. A recent deep-water expedition, led by Dr Anthony Grehan, confirmed the existence of a major new coral reef province on the southern end of the Porcupine Bank off the west coast of Ireland. These corals reach up to 100m in height and are immaculate, healthy growing specimens harbouring a remarkable diversity of reef animals". Dr Martina Prendergast, ECI Development Manager, says: "We hope members of the public will attend to hear about the latest innovative research being carried out by our 240 affiliated researchers and we welcome input from the public on their perception of the value of our research to the Western region. The ECI has grown fast over the years and we look forward to celebrating our ten year anniversary in 2010". Its location on the North Western periphery of Europe, bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean, places NUI Galway's ECI in a unique position to facilitate national and international collaborative research on atmospheric processes and climate change. The variety of pristine terrestrial and aquatic habitats, recognised as having European and global value, allow research of issues such as biodiversity and ecological interactions in unique environments. While much of the work of ECI takes place on campus, there are also several research projects happening around the country. Off-site facilities include the Carron Research Station in the Burren, County Clare and the Atmospheric Research Station, Mace Head, Carna, County Galway. For more information on the ECI please visit www.nuigalway.ie/eci, and if you wish to attend the ECI Research Open Day please contact Dr Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer at the ECI, at sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie or on 091 495061.
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