Practical Training Courses on Ocean Acidification at USP in Fiji / by Francisco Blaha

Here is an opportunity for two training courses at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. These courses are part of a broad effort by The Ocean Foundation, through its International Ocean Acidification Initiative, to expand the capacity of scientists and resource managers around the world to monitor, understand, and respond to ocean acidification in their region.

The Ocean Foundation is coordinating blue carbon restoration in Fiji with support from the U.S. Department of State. The goal of this restoration is to create critical habitat, a carbon sink, and to test the ability of blue carbon to reduce the threat of ocean acidification at a local level. Selected scientists who participate in Courses I and II will receive stipends to allow them to conduct pre-restoration, during restoration, and post-restoration monitoring of the water chemistry. Detailed info is here, but I put an overview below.

Course I (30 October – 3 November): Introduction to Ocean Acidification Monitoring and Research
Purpose: This introductory course is for early-career scientists, researchers, technicians, and others employed in the study and/or management of marine resources from the Pacific Islands* to learn about the fundamentals of ocean acidification science and the methods and tools used to conduct chemical and biological monitoring of ocean acidification. The material taught in this course will provide an entry point for scientists interested in participating in, and contributing to, the global ocean acidification observing community and the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). This course is designed for scientists who have relevant, but perhaps limited, experience working on ocean acidification. The course is open to delegates from Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, The Marshall Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. If you are based in a Pacific Islands country not listed, please contact Alexis Valauri-Orton at to inquire about eligibility.

Course II (6 November – 10 November): Applied Study of Monitoring and Research Techniques
Purpose: To provide hands-on training to scientists and researchers from the Pacific Islands** in specific methodologies to monitor ocean acidification. Participation in this course requires Course I (or a similar course approved by the workshop organizers) as a pre-requisite, and applicants may apply for both at the same time. All participating countries will receive a kit of sensor equipment – “GOA-ON in a Box” – which contains the necessary hardware (e.g. sensors, lab equipment) and software (e.g. methodologies, data input forms) required to collect data that meets the “weather quality” standards of GOA-ON, as outlined in its Requirements and Governance Plan. Participation: The course is open to delegates from Palau, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Fiji. If you are based in a Pacific Islands country not listed, please contact Alexis Valauri-Orton at to inquire about eligibility. Priority will be given to scientists or marine

In addition to the two courses advertised, The Ocean Foundation will host a separate meeting for policy makers, environmental resource managers and other stakeholders to discuss the potential ecological, social, and economic impacts of ocean acidification on their countries. Stakeholders at this meeting will also discuss examples of legislation that policy makers around the world have implemented to help their regions adapt and respond to ocean acidification, and how those examples might be adapted to fit local legal structures and needs. Although it is a separate initiative, this meeting will coincide with Course I and will be located in Suva, Fiji.

This meeting will be open to all countries in the South Pacific. Some financial assistance will be available. If you want to receive more information about this meeting please contact Alexis Valauri-Orton at