Prof. Les Kaufman, a Faculty Research Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, and his graduate student Katey Lesneski recently began a long-term field project monitoring the health, regeneration, and restoration of coral reef habitats in South Florida’s Biscayne Bay. Boston University is leading a team providing science support to the Biscayne National Park, with funding from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation and in collaboration with the Pew Marine Fellows Program.
The Biscayne Bay project will also include a botanical survey and restoration of native orchids; analysis on habitat use by manatee, sea turtles, and crocodiles; modeling of ecosystem service flows and tradeoffs with a focus on coral reef habitat and fisheries; and more.
The project is part of the Pardee Center’s program on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS), which is led by Prof. Kaufman. The CHANS program explores the dynamic interactions between people and natural systems, and seeks to understand the implications of important trade-offs that confront policymakers faced with natural resource management decisions. Specifically, this work explores the relationship between biodiversity and human well being, food-energy-water systems dynamics, and recovery of coral reef systems. The research encompasses four geographic areas: Cambodia (Tonle Sap and the Mekong Delta), East Africa (Lake Victoria), South Florida and Belize (the tropical west Atlantic and Caribbean Basin), and the Gulf of Maine.