C-MORE Project Summary

The Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) was an NSF-sponsored Science and Technology Center established in 2006, and designed to facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of the diverse assemblages of microorganisms in the sea, ranging from the genetic basis of marine microbial biogeochemistry including the metabolic regulation and environmental controls of gene expression, to the processes that underpin the fluxes of carbon, related bioelements and energy in the marine environment. Stated holistically, C-MORE‘s primary mission was, and continues to be: Linking Genomes to Biomes.

Recent advances in the application of molecular techniques provided an unprecedented view of the structure, diversity and possible function of sea microbes. By combining these and other novel approaches with more well-established techniques in microbiology, oceanography and ecology, it may be possible to develop a meaningful predictive understanding of the ocean with respect to energy transduction, carbon sequestration, bioelement cycling and the probable response of marine ecosystems to global environmental variability and climate change. The strength of C-MORE resided in the synergy created by bringing together experts who traditionally have not worked together and this, in turn, facilitated the creation and dissemination of new knowledge on the role of marine microbes in global habitability.

The Center designed and conducted novel research, facilitated partnerships, increased diversity of human resources, implemented education and outreach programs, and utilized comprehensive information about microbial life in the sea. The Center brought together teams of scientists, educators and community members who otherwise do not have an opportunity to communicate, collaborate or design creative solutions to long-term ecosystem scale problems. The Center’s research was organized around four interconnected themes: (Theme I) microbial biodiversity, (Theme II) metabolism and C-N-P-energy flow, (Theme III) remote and continuous sensing and links to climate variability, and (Theme IV) ecosystem modeling, simulation and prediction. Each theme had a leader to help coordinate the research programs and to facilitate interactions among the other related themes. The education programs focused on pre-college curriculum enhancements, in service teacher training and formal undergraduate/graduate and post-doctoral programs to prepare the next generation of microbial oceanographers. The Center established and maintained creative outreach programs to help diffuse the new knowledge gained into society at large including policymakers. The Center’s activities were dispersed among six partner institutions:

image of mirobes by E. DeLong

and was coordinated at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Wikipedia article

A Wikipedia article about the Center is available.

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