The main goal of the Coastal Ocean Environment Summer School in Ghana is to build capacity in oceanographic and environmental sciences in Ghana.  We held schools in 2015 and 2016, and will be returning in 2017.  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.

Drew Testing


The 2016 Ghana Summer School on the Coastal Ocean Environment was held from 1-5 August, 2016 on the University of Ghana (hereafter, “UG”) campus in Accra.  The summer school was hosted by the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences.  The 2016 Summer School builds upon a similar school held from 24-27 August 2015 at Regional Maritime University (RMU), also in Accra, and a 2014 exploratory “scouting trip” made by Professor Brian K. Arbic  and Research Scientist Dr. Joseph Ansong of the University of Michigan to UG, 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).

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, is currently working in Arbic’s lab at University of Michigan, and plans to return to Ghana as a faculty member in 2016. 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 initial funding to support summer oceanography schools in Ghana, from 2014-2017, is from a US National Science Foundation Grant (OCE-1351837) to University of Michigan Professor Brian Arbic.

Additional funding for the 2016 summer school comes from various sources within 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 from money provided to the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Ghana.  The UG funding is from Ghana Ministry of Petroleum, Ghana Shippers Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and Global Cargo and Freight Forwarding Ltd.


Ghana News Agency, August 2, 2016

Koowa Media, August 2016

News Ghana, August 2016

2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Presentation Abstract, February 2016


The coessing.org website was created by Anne Canavati, a University of Michigan student research assistant who participated in the 2016 summer school.  Most of the photos of the 2016 school were taken by Anne Canavati, University of Michigan student Elizabeth Oliphant, and Scripps scientist Dr. Drew Lucas.  Most of the 2015 photos were taken by the RMU photographer John Ayensu and by Winn Johnson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The summer school logo was designed by University of Michigan student Jessica Hicks.