The Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) was established in 2006 as an NSF-sponsored Science and Technology Center 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 is: Linking Genomes to Biomes.
C-MORE addressed several major, long-standing questions in microbial oceanography. Recent advances in the application of molecular techniques have 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.
C-MORE designed and conducted novel research, built new partnerships, increased diversity of human resources, implemented education and outreach programs, and utilized comprehensive information about microbial life in the sea. It brought together teams of scientists, educators and community members who otherwise did not have an opportunity to communicate, collaborate or design creative solutions to long-term ecosystem scale problems. Its research was organized around four interconnected themes: (I) Marine microbial biodiversity: From genomes and cultivation to ecology, (II) Microbial metabolism and the mechanisms of C, N, P and energy flow, (III) Remote and continuous sensing of microbial processes and links to climate variability, and (IV) Ecosystem modeling, computer simulation and prediction. Its 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 partner institutions included:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
University of California at Santa Cruz
Oregon State University
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, the coordinating institution.
Sponsoring Organizations included: