Interview with Mr. Dean Miliken

Mr. Dean Miliken with the three
interviewers from the 'Computer
Technology Workgroup'

Dean Miliken is the Associate Director of The Florida Institute of Oceanography .He is involved with the Caricom Coastal Marine Program. This program started in the mid 1980's when certain marine health personnel realized that similar things were happening in the various territories ,however ,there was no official data collected at the time .
In the late 80's there was a "warm water" event . Warm water swept through the Eastern Caribbean ,north to the Yucatan Straits and then to the Florida Straits .The bleaching of coral was a direct effect of this event.
When dates were compared by the marine personnel ,they realized the pattern ,but it was too late to monitor it. Satellite photographs verified the phenomenon based on this event .The Coastal Marine Program was established and a set of basic protocols were devised for the kind of data and methods of collection. This protocol included measurements within mangroves, sea grass beds and coral reefs. The sampling program and equipment for measuring in each habitat as well as a time frame was established : some measurements were taken weekly ,annually and bi-annually to produce a better picture.

There were 25 sites in the Caribbean. It was voluntary at first .It is a non-governmental organization which was initially funded in part by UNESCO. This funding continues now along with additional funding by the C.S.I. Program.
Major funding is now provided by the environmental arm of the McArthur Foundation. This has been so for the past 6 years. There is also funding by the International Coral Reef Initiative and equipment if provided by The National Science Foundation of the United States.
The largest expanse and critical centre is the data management centre in Jamaica ,the administrative centre is in Florida.
Mr. Miliken has participated in this workshop because of close association due to the fact that the project is ocean based and of who and where we are. He is of the opinion that there is usually great difficulty in bringing science and schools together and this was a great opportunity. He came to seek where his program could offer more of a linkage with the education program ,that is ,how each program can benefit the other. They can offer information ,the data management centre collects and disseminates information. Schools can freely avail themselves of such information.
He believes that the participation of students is authentic education and can be used for assessments.
Governments ,however are not invited to participate in an effort to preserve democracy.