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Welcome to Northwest Florida NaGISA


Natural Geography In-Shore Areas (NaGISA) is a global marine diversity study of the world's coastline. The NaGISA project is one of fourteen current field projects of the Census of Marine Life (CoML). It is a collaborative effort aimed at inventorying and monitoring the biodiversity in the narrow inshore zone of the world's oceans at depths of less than 20 meters, the area people know best and impact most. This is reflected in the Japanese word nagisa, referring to the narrow coastal zone where land meets the sea. NaGISA holds a unique position in the Census of Marine Life as an ambassador project, linking CoML to local interests. It is an exercise in international cooperation and capacity building.

NaGISA will complete an equatorial longitudinal gradient from the east coast of Africa to the Palmyra Atoll, and a pole-to-pole latitudinal transect from the northern coast of Alaska to Antarctica's McMurdo Sound. NaGISA employs a simple, cost-efficient and intentionally low-tech sampling protocol that can be adopted by many research groups and countries, and encourage local community involvement. The ultimate goal is a series of well-distributed standard transects from the high intertidal zone to 20 meters water depth around the world, which can be repeated over a 50-year or even greater time frame. Professor Yoshihisa Shirayama of Kyoto University established this program in the year 2000.

Our high school, Niceville Senior High School , joined NaGISA in 2003. Our involvement began when the Teacher of the Gifted at NHS, Mr. Richard Hernandez, traveled to Japan for the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Master Teacher program. Since then, our teams and our coffers have grown, but we are far from being able to operate at maximum efficiency due to insufficient funds and a few taxonomic keys. We hope to continue our collaboration with other Florida communities, and communities world wide.

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