HRI News from Harte Research Institute Spring 2011
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'Friends' group helps fund HRI
Goal to help preserve Gulf for future
Friends of Harte Research Institute
Friends of Harte Research Institute is a new group dedicated to funding the HRI, targeting the economic, conservation and education initiatives that are critical to the ninth largest body of water in the world. "As a Friend of HRI, you will become a part of sustaining the Gulf for future generations," their website promises. This new group is led by the HRI Advisory Council's Development Committee Chair Catherine Cooke and Advisory Council Member and Trustee Will Harte." Learn more about this new group and how to join, as well as download a brochure, at friendsofhri.org.

Socio-Economics Group update
New mapper tracks ecosystem services
Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership
HRI's Socio-Economics Group (SEG) led by Dr. David Yoskowitz is part of the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP), a group that has recently launched the Beta version of a new ecosystem services valuation mapper, a dynamic map that allows users to search for data by inputting spatial and thematic queries. The intent is to generate a virtual center for information and communication about human uses of marine ecosystem services worldwide. As a response to the growing need for economic valuation data, the partnership strives to provide up-to-date, accessible data that policy makers, environmental managers, researchers and marine ecosystem stakeholders can use. Instead of replacing other databases, the new mapper includes other available information, including HRI's Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Services Database, which provides information about existing ecosystem services valuation studies included in the MESP mapper.

HRI Advisory Council update
Council meets with partners, researchers
The Harte Research Institute Advisory Council had its annual meeting at the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi May 91-20. The first day the Council heard about the extensive research programs carried out by the HRI Endowed Chairs. At an evening reception and dinner they were joined by the Board of the Texas State Aquarium to learn about an exciting new partnership with HRI and the River Systems Institute of Texas State University focusing on education and outreach. Headwaters to Oceans (H20) will focus on educating school children on the importance of healthy and sustainable watersheds benefiting healthy coastal and ocean waters.
   On the second day Council members discussed with HRI administrators and State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit 2011chairs the status of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill, restoration plans for the Gulf, the newly planned Gulf Report Card, and plans for the State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit to take place in Houston December 4-8, 2011.

Joining forces with Mexico
Agreements allow cooperation
HRI has signed two new cooperative agreements with leading marine institutions in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Unidad Merida Centro de Investigaciones y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politecnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN Merida) which translates to the Center for Research and Graduate Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, is located in Merida, Yucatan. Their Department of Marine Resources is very well-known for marine research in the Gulf of Mexico. The second agreement is with the Universidad Autonoma de Campeche (Autonomous University of Campeche) in Campeche. They also have a long history of marine studies focusing on the Gulf, particularly in the areas of ecology, fisheries and oceanography. These agreements will allow cooperative and collaborative research, as well as possible exchanges of researchers and students.

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