The main goal of the Coastal Ocean Environment Summer School in Ghana (coessing) is to build capacity in oceanographic and environmental sciences in Ghana. We held schools in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and 2018. Marine issues of great importance to Ghana include fisheries, piracy, pollution, shipping and port management, and the recent advent of offshore oil drilling. Long-term goals of our group include securing funding to continue the school on an annual basis, building links with institutions in other African countries, and incorporating research partnerships as part of the summer school.
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY:
The Coastal Ocean Environment Summer School in Ghana began with an exploratory “scouting trip” made in August 2014 by Professor Brian K. Arbic and Research Scientist Dr. Joseph Ansong of the University of Michigan to the University of Ghana (UG), Regional Maritime University (RMU), the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in the University of Cape Coast (UCC), and several departments at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The scouting trip demonstrated that there was interest on both sides for a summer school. We have held summer schools every year since 2015.
The first summer school was held from 24-27 August 2015 at Regional Maritime University in Accra.
The 2017 summer school was held from 31 July-August 4 at Regional Maritime University in Accra.
The 2018 summer school was held from 30 July-August 4, again hosted by the UG Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences.
Arbic was a US Peace Corps Volunteer Secondary Math and Physics Teacher at Damongo Secondary School from 1990-1992. Ansong was a student in Arbic’s Damongo classroom and worked as a postdoc in Arbic’s lab at University of Michigan from 2011-2017. Ansong returned to Ghana, as a faculty member in the UG Department of Mathematics, in 2017. Some background on Arbic and Ansong’s time together in Ghana in the 1990s and 2010s can be found here. Another participating US professor, Emily Shroyer of Oregon State University, was also a Peace Corps Volunteer Teacher in Ghana (Half Assini Secondary School, 2001-2003).
The 2014 exploratory trip and the 2015 summer school were supported by a US National Science Foundation Grant (OCE-1351837) to University of Michigan Professor Brian Arbic.
The 2016-2018 summer schools were funded from a variety of sources, including several sources at the University of Michigan (MCubed, African Studies Center (ASC), ASC STEM Initiative, Michigan Sustainability Cases of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the Office of Global and Engaged Education), and several sources within Ghana (Ghana Ministry of Petroleum, Ghana Shippers Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Ghana Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and Global Cargo and Freight Forwarding Ltd.).
In 2017 we also received funding for the summer school from the hosting institution, Regional Maritime University (RMU).
In 2018 we received additional funding from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and from a supplement to Arbic’s National Science Foundation grant OCE-1351837.
COASTAL OCEAN ENVIRONMENT SUMMER SCHOOL IN THE PRESS:
Ghana News Agency, August 2, 2016
Koowa Media, August 2016
News Ghana, August 2016
2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Poster presentation, February 2016
2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Oral presentation slides, February 2018
CREDITS FOR WEBSITE, PHOTOS, AND LOGO:
The coessing.org website was created by Anne Canavati, a University of Michigan student research assistant who participated in the 2016 summer school. Paige Martin, a University of Michigan graduate student, was an instructor at the summer school in 2017 and 2018, and is maintaining the website.
During the 2018 school, photos were taken primarily by instructors Paige Martin, Nefertiti Smith, Christian Buckingham, Stephen Howden, and Dimitris Menemenlis, as well as Nigerian participant Darasimi Ogunsola. Photos from the 2017 school were taken primarily by Robert (Nick) King from CRDF Global, RMU Photographer John Ayensu, and several instructors, including Paige Martin and Dimitris Menemenlis. Most of the photos of the 2016 school were taken by Anne Canavati, University of Michigan student Elizabeth Oliphant, and instructor Drew Lucas. Most of the 2015 photos were taken by the RMU photographer John Ayensu and by instructor Winn Johnson. The summer school logo was designed by University of Michigan student Jessica Hicks.