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USF’s AIST hosted The 2011 Southeast Regional Cooperative Ecosystems Units (CESU) Annual Meeting (October 25-27)

AIST hosted the 2011 Southeast Regional Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Units (CESU) meeting. This meeting was held in St. Petersburg from October 25- October 27, 2011, with components occurring at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, USF College of Marine Science, and USF St. Petersburg Campus. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together CESU federal agency and university partners to review and improve their multi-year strategic plans in order that participating agencies can effectively allocate resources to meet both immediate and long-term needs.

This conference represented the first time that four members (Southern Appalachian, Gulf Coast, South Florida-Caribbean, and Piedmont-South Atlantic Coast CESU units) of the CESU national network conducted a collective annual meeting. This network includes 11 federal agencies, 16 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and 59 universities. This assemblage provided an opportunity to showcase USF and its research capabilities to these institutions and permitted USF researchers who participated in the meeting to demonstrate their depth and range of expertise for purposes of creating and maintaining effective partnerships with federal agencies.

Discussions and presentations about resources, collaborative projects, and best approaches to meet emerging needs were important conference objectives along with the preparation of annual work plans. To meet these objectives, AIST and representatives from the four CESUs planned this event to include business meetings for each CESU and federal managers, oral and poster presentations sessions that showcased CESU research projects, and panel presentations to discuss future needs and funding possibilities.

Twenty-five oral presentations split into multiple sessions and 23 research posters from diverse disciplines were featured at the meeting, including seven that focused on USF/CESU-based research and USF academic programs.

Other meeting events included a caterered lunch, cocktail reception, and dinner where attendees could discuss their needs and research in a more relaxed setting. As a result of the meeting, USF’s CESU technical representatives have as been invited to participate in the 2012 CESU National Meeting in Washington D.C. in June.

A pdf of the meeting’s agenda can be found here.
Powerpoints associated with meeting paper presentations and posters presented can be found here.