SANTA TERESA RESEARCH CENTRE

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1 SANTA TERESA RESEARCH CENTRE THE CENTRE Address ENEA S. Teresa Marine Environment Centre Pozzuolo di Lerici (La Spezia) C.P La Spezia Tel , fax Director Eng. Antonio Mori The S. Teresa Marine Environment Research Centre is located on the eastern coast of the La Spezia Gulf in the Lerici municipality, within the ancient S. Teresa fortress built in 1747 by the Republic of Genoa and renovated by ENEA in It covers an area of about 6,000 square metres (1.482 acres) and employs 30 people between researchers and technicians, all possessing expertise in physics, chemical and biological oceanography and sedimentology. The Centre conducts research on the processes regulating marine ecosystems functioning, their variability and their response to natural and human-induced changes. The Centre hosts the physics oceanography sector of the CNR Marine Science Institute, with which joint research programmes are conducted. Within the framework of national and international collaborations, the Centre possesses longestablished experience in the study of the processes in the marine environment, in environmental monitoring and in gathering and managing of data. These activities fall within major research programmes on global changes, such as: IGBP (International Geosphere Biosphere Programme), WCRP (World Climate Research Programme), CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability), WOCE (World Ocean Circulation Experiment), GOOS (Global Ocean Observing System). Within the European Union, the Centre is involved in several research and development framework programmes, in the European Environmental Action Programme, as well as in other EU programmes (MEDA, Interreg etc.) and in initiatives at European level (EuroGOOS) involving collaborations with non-eu countries (MedGOOS, UNEP-MAP, Antarctic Treaty, Strategic Arctic Project etc.) At national level, the Centre pursues research mainly within the National Research Plans of the Ministry of Education, University and Research and collaborates with the Ministry for the Environment and Protection of the Territory, with scientific research bodies (APAT, CNR, ICRAM), Regions and local bodies.

2 Entrance to the ancient fortress hosting the S. Teresa Marine Environment Research Centre Aerial view of the S. Teresa Marine Environment Research Centre Specimen of Eucampia Zodiacus, a phytoplanktonic species of the Mediterranean Sea, in chain formation

3 DNA extraction for genetic studies on marine organisms Sampling of arctic seafloor sediment

4 HISTORY Already in 1958, within the CNRN (National Committee for Nuclear Research), which became CNEN in 1960 and ENEA in 1982, some researchers and technicians constituted a working group devoted to studying the marine environment. The activities, initially performed in La Spezia, in a building handed over by the Marine Corps, in 1959 were transferred to Fiascherino, in the Lerici municipality, in a rented villa that for over twenty years would be the site of the Laboratory for the study of the radioactive contamination of the sea of Fiascherino. The initial studies in the field and in laboratory trials of the consequences on the marine environment of nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, have subsequently broadened their scope, to include research on the distribution and circulation of conventional pollutants. In the 70s the Fiascherino Laboratory became an internationally recognized centre of excellence in the marine environment studies. Given the necessity of expanding these activities, ENEA decided to transform the Laboratory into a research facility and to establish the current site of the centre in the Batteria Alta di S. Teresa, which was officially inaugurated on 26 September Over the years the Centre has maintained and consolidated its role as research centre on the marine environment.

5 Odalisca fishing boat, bought in 1962 by the CNEN, and fitted to conduct biological research at sea Detection of metals in sea water by polarography (photo from the 70 s)

6 ACTIVITIES The activities concern mainly the following subject areas: climate and marine ecosystems coastal marine ecosystems vulnerability and sustainable management of coastal areas operational oceanography.

7 THE CLIMATE AND THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT Studies on the relationships among water masses, nutrients cycle and biological components in the water column; carbon cycle: studies on the biological and physical mechanisms controlling the transfer of carbon from the sea surface to its sequestration at depth; role of marine benthic organisms in the CO2 balance, and variability of carbonate production under a wide range of climate conditions; development of technologies and methodologies to study and to evaluate the interactions among physical, chemical and biological processes. Gamma spectrum analysis of sea-water samples

8 COASTAL MARINE ECOSYSTEMS Analysis of factors and processes influencing diversity of species and biological communities; analysis of the medium and long-term variability of coastal marine ecosystems, in relation to environmental changes and climate fluctuations; development of technologies and methodologies for the study of coastal marine ecosystems. Analysis under a binocular microscopy for the taxonomy definition of marine benthos species

9 VULNERABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL AREAS Quality of coastal marine areas in relation to production activities; definition of environment indicators; geomorphology studies and analysis of sedimentary processes to assess coastal vulnerability in relation to natural and human-induced changes; development of information systems to archive multidisciplinary meteomarine data and of data management and access systems; definition of guidelines for the integrated management of coastal areas. Granulometric analysis of marine sediments

10 OPERATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY Development of systems for the observation of oceanographic parameters to be assimilated into the forecasting models of the Mediterranean circulation; development of a data gathering, data analysis and real-time data access system; evaluation of sampling strategies and data acquisition methodologies. Observation and process studies are performed in key areas of the Mediterranean Sea and other ocean areas which are interesting from the standpoint of global climate dynamics (ex. Arctic and Antarctic Regions). Integrated survey for the mapping of Posidonia meadows by means of a cabled underwater video camera (ROV) and underwater visual surveys conducted by a scientific diver

11 LABORATORIES AND INFRASTRUCTURES The Centre is fitted with laboratories and equipment to undertake physics, chemistry, biology, sedimentology and environmental radioactivity experimental research and studies. It also features instruments for marine environment sampling and analysis. In support of these activities, the Centre provides its researchers with the following equipment: mobile laboratory in fibreglass instruments for scientific diving research S. Teresa cargo ship Arianna cruiser Joker 470 inflatable boat mechanical and electronic workshop. Positioning of buoys for mapping and identifying biological communities S. Teresa cargo ship, equipped to perform coastal oceanography research

12 VISITING THE CENTRE It is possible to visit the Centre by contacting: Patrizia Maffei tel HOW TO REACH US By car Autostrada A12: Genova-Livorno, exit Sarzana (7 km from the Centre): follow directions to Lerici. Do not enter the Village of Lerici and pass the first tunnel towards La Spezia. After the light at San Terenzo, before the second tunnel, turn left and follow directions to the ENEA Centre. Autostrada A15: La Spezia-Parma, exit La Spezia (6 km from the Centre): follow directions to Lerici and after the second tunnel turn right towards Lerici. Continue for another 200 metres and after a short tunnel turn right following directions to the ENEA Centre. By train: La Spezia train station, 11 km from the Centre. Take the bus to Lerici or Sarzana (L or S). Stop at Muggiano, 20 minutes walk to the Centre. Sarzana train station, 8 km from the Centre. Take the bus to La Spezia. Stop at Muggiano, 20 minutes walk to the Centre. By plane C. Colombo Genova Airport, 110 km from the Centre (tel ) Autostrada A15, exit La Spezia (see above). G. Galilei Pisa Airport, 70 km from the Centre (tel ) - Autostrada A12, exit Sarzana (see above). Address of the Centre ENEA S. Teresa Marine Environment Centre Pozzuolo di Lerici (La Spezia) Tel , fax

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