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Collini joins MASGC as sentinel site coordinator

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Jan 05,  2015

Renee Collini recently joined the staff at the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium as the coordinator for the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative. The regional cooperative is one of five around the nation that is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sentinel Site Cooperative Program, which focuses on existing research and monitoring efforts related to sea level rise.

As the sentinel site coordinator, Collini will work with scientists who are monitoring and collecting data at sanctuaries, estuarine research reserves, marine protected areas and other locations across the Gulf of Mexico. The Northern Gulf of Mexico, in this effort, is defined as the area that stretches from the Pearl River at the Louisiana-Mississippi state line to the Suwanee River in the Florida Panhandle.

The program is focusing on sea level rise and coastal inundation (when water covers what is normally dry land). Collini will work with researchers, managers, decision makers and other stakeholders in an outreach role to identify informational gaps and needs in the region. She will also work with other organizations and institutions in the Northern Gulf to develop partnerships.

Gathering people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, such as NOAA and other federal scientists, state and local government decision makers, university researchers and others, will allow the partners to work together – in a cooperative – to help solve local problems.

“I hope to assist in establishing the Sentinel Site Cooperative as a primary entity for coordination of sea level rise research and data products in the Northern Gulf of Mexico,” Collini said. “A cohesive network of communication about sea level rise is critical for city and resource planning, which are needed for coastal communities and economies to adapt to hazards and climate change.”

Collini will work part-time in her role as sentinel site coordinator. She also works for Dauphin Island Sea Lab, where she maintains the Dauphin Island Sea Lab/Mobile Bay National Estuary Program’s real-time coastal observing system. She holds a master’s degree in marine science from University of South Alabama.

“Renee brings with her substantial experience in working with environmental data that will serve her well in her new position,” said LaDon Swann, director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. “She has great interpersonal skills that should enable her to be an effective communicator.”

The management team of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative includes representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Sea Grant, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, NOAA Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Estuarine Research Reserves, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey.

Collini is interested in learning how you are addressing sea level rise and what you see as science and management needs related to sea level rise. Her office is at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and she can be reached at 251-861-2141 ext. 7543 or rcollini@disl.org.

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