Central Coordinating Unit

The SMCRI is geographically dispersed, but managed from the Central Coordinating Unit (CCU) based at the newly established Ocean Sciences Campus of the Nelson Mandela University. The central location of the CCU relative to the Sentinel Sites allows for effective financial and operational management. The CCU being integrated with the SAEON Elwandle Coastal Node, means that CCU personnel (oceanography and data technicians, a systems developer and administrative staff) enjoy full operational support both in terms of human resources and infrastructure.

The Ocean Sciences Campus is well suited as an operational base for the CCU. Launched in October 2017 by the Nelson Mandela University, the Ocean Sciences Campus is envisaged to become a nucleus for innovation, research, teaching and engagement in key marine and maritime spheres. Through partnerships spanning disciplines transcending the socioecological spectrum, much needed human capital development and new knowledge will be generated to help steer the process of balancing pursuance of unlocking blue economic potential and sustainability. As a full partner in this initiative, SAEON and SMCRI will be embracing these challenges in the spirit of trans-disciplinarity and innovation. In so doing, considerable investment had been made by SMCRI in partnership with the university, which includes the establishment of a Marine Biogeochemistry Laboratory, Sedimentology Unit, Light Microscopy Laboratory, an Oceanography Electronics Workshop and significant infrastructural development in support of the Research Dive Unit.