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NOAA Environmental Leadership Seminar Series: Past Presentations

New Spatial and Engineering Intelligence Applications for Pioneering Ocean Food Systems and Energy Production

by Katie Poser on 2021-09-15T15:31:00-04:00 | 0 Comments

Part of the NOAA Environmental Leadership Seminar (NELS) SeriesThese webinars are public and open to anyone, in or outside of NOAA.

Date: September 14, 2021

Speaker: James A. Morris, Jr., Ph.D., Marine Ecologist, NOAA's National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS);

Abstract: Ocean-based food and energy production is vitally important to our nation’s resiliency and security. However, both industries are challenged to find suitable locations that balance use conflict and environmental sustainability. While the U.S. EEZ is the largest in the world spanning 3.4 million square miles, much of our coastal ocean space is already occupied supporting existing uses including national defense areas, shipping, fishing, tourism, and much more. In addition, the coastal ocean is a highly diverse ecosystem supporting critical habitat and various threatened and endangered species. To address the growing demand for precision locating pioneering ocean industries, NOAA in collaboration with the Department of Energy and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have built new spatial and engineering intelligence applications. This presentation will explore some of these applications including Ocean Reports, the first EEZ-wide automated spatial analysis tool, and a virtual reality-based whale and sea turtle entanglement simulator.

Bio: Dr. James A. Morris, Jr. is a marine ecologist with NOAA’s National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science where his research focuses on aquaculture environmental interactions, siting, and sustainability. Dr. Morris founded the Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) research program that consists of multidisciplinary scientists who develop tools and provide services for coastal managers. His team is presently leading research projects around U.S. on spatial planning for nearshore and offshore aquaculture and assessments of environmental interactions such as impacts on protected species and sensitive habitats. Dr. Morris has cultured dozens of species of marine fish and shellfish for both laboratory experiments and seafood production and has decades of experience in commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. Dr. Morris is an adjunct Assistant Professor at both Duke University and North Carolina State University where he actively teaches and advises students from undergraduate to Ph.D. levels. Lastly, Dr. Morris received a Presidential Career Award from President Obama.

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