The Wadden Systems Research Centre (WSRC) of NIOZ supplies easy access to those who would like to make use of expert teams, equipment, technology and protocols as developed for a variety of tidal environments. The centre is also responsible for running a dataportal, which supplies internationally standardised and open access to more than 10.000 data sets on long-term field observations in coastal seas. International courses and training in the theory and practice of research in wadden systems are presently developed.
For more than 100 years, multidisciplinary teams of the NIOZ have gained specific insights and expertise on the functioning of the Wadden Sea. More recently, studies in Mauritania, Australia, Alaska, Oman and China have broadened the expertise, including the design and deployment of innovative monitoring technology.
WSRC focuses on the folowing research areas:
Ecosystems under pressure
Worldwide wadden systems - areas with coastal mudflats that fall dry during low tide - are rare. Thanks to their high productivity, however, these intertidal areas accommodate large numbers of the world’s young fish and migratory birds, and also supply great opportunities for human use of natural resources such as fisheries and aquaculture.
Wadden ecosystems and ecosystems services are under pressure. In densely populated areas, coastal lines are redrawn to accommodate for new areas for housing, infrastructures and aquaculture, and diked as protection against the sea. Even the most remote areas suffer from pollution and climate change. Sustainable solutions for managing intertidal areas require multi-disciplinary scientific knowledge and practical knowhow.
Easy access to Wadden data
The WaLTER 'Wadden Sea Long-Term Ecosystem Research program', coordinated by NIOZ, is a joint initiative of several institutes and organisations that are involved in long-term measurements and research in the Wadden Sea area. The aim of WaLTER is to develop a blueprint for an integrated monitoring program to supply the information needed for main themes in the Wadden Sea area such as fisheries, tourism and the impacts of climate change on safety and natural values. The data portal of WaLTER provides an integrated and harmonised overview and access to data resources (> 10.000 data sets), using a distributed network approach within a larger PanEuropean infrastructure. In addition to providing advice for monitoring (themes), the website supplies several tools for policy- and decision-making, including guidelines for optimisation of monitoring protocols, e.g. with regard to sediment composition, primary productivity of pelagic and benthic algae, intertidal macrozoobenthos and tidal flat dynamics of wadden systems.
In June 2017, the NIOZ, Waddenacademie, AWI and Utrecht University organised a Wadden Sea World Heritage Summerschool. During two weeks, students will work together with scientists of research institutes from Texel (NL) and Sylt (D) to explore the natural dynamics of the Wadden Sea. During the day, students will go out in the field by foot or by ship to study ecological processes in intertidal environments such as exchange of suspended matter by tides, interactions between organisms and mudflats, and predator-prey interactions within intertidal communities. In the evenings, there will be a program of talks by local specialists on interesting and important topics with regard to the ecology and the nature conservation of the Wadden Sea. More of NIOZ education.
The Planet Texel Academy (PTA) is an interdisciplinary platform for research, experimentation, knowledge and design where exchange between disciplines is done by means of symposia, lectures, workshops and exhibitions. PTA wants to stimulate a new way of thinking about social issues, based on restored connections with the environment. PTA is cooperating with stakeholders (governmental, societal, NGOs) and scientific institutes such as the Dutch Technical Universities of Eindhoven and Delft. PTA puts forward innovative proposals and strategies that support the ambitions of the island of Texel to strengthen the self-reliance of people and communities. The Royal NIOZ is involved in the Pilot “Nieuweschild”, where alternative ideas for dike enforcement are developed which enable local supply of food (marine algae and shellfish) and renewable energy (wind and tides).
The Wadden Systems Reserearch Centre regularly sends out a newsletter of interesting ecosystem facts.
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Contact and questions
You are interested in the Wadden Systems Research Centre or want to ask a question. Please use the contact form (prefered) below and you will get a response as soon as possible. In very urgent matters contact us by phone.