Founding Director’s Welcome
Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham
The rising impact of global changes, combined with growing demand for marine resources, apply increased pressure on the marine and coastal environments. These raise the need for developing proactive responses on regional and global levels, based on a truly interdisciplinary understanding of the oceans. The task requires a new generation of experts with a wide view in marine sciences.
The Eastern Mediterranean is a unique ecosystem. It represents an important natural laboratory of globally important processes, particularly those involving global climate and environmental change which are difficult to study elsewhere.
MERCI- Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel, headed by University of Haifa, home to the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, is an incomparable initiative on a global scale, applying an interdisciplinary approach at highly professional standards. MERCI comprises of seven universities, and two governmental research institutes and one collage. Each institute specializes in a coherent set of disciplines, and together they cover a wide range of topics essential for understanding the complex marine systems.The establishment of MERCI fills a great void, enabling significant new scientific advances across many areas of marine science.
MERCI concentrates on studying the uniquely diverse Mediterranean Sea. A relatively small enclosed sea, the Mediterranean is a puzzle of tectonic regimes – sources of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis; a basin rich with natural resources waiting for discovery and exploitation; a composite of oceanographic circumstances and biogenic habitats extremely sensitive to global changes; a cradle and meeting point of maritime civilizations throughout history; the center of habitation for 200 million people and a focus of attention for the entire world. Combining easy accessibility to the Mediterranean Sea with an enthusiastic and innovative scientific team and state-of-the-art technology, MERCI is a cutting-edge research and education facility.
MERCI sets up interdisciplinary and inter-institutional projects that foster cooperation between researchers from a wide range of scientific fields. It supports the training of a new generation of scientists by giving them the necessary tools to meet this important set of challenges.