Jose Daniel Deniz Melo
Dean of UFRN
Starting a cruise with a mission to represent the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) is like diving into the deep sea. In this sense, as the ship moved away from the continent and approached the archipelago of São Pedro and São Paulo (ASPSP), corporate responsibility invited me to reflect on the role of science in the progress of the Brazilian nation.
Time travel too, knowing that one of the first research trips the site received was coordinated by Charles Darwin, author of The Theory of Evolution, reveals the importance of ASPSP to science. Referring to recent history, we realize that for just over two decades, the site has been attracting increasing interest from Brazilian researchers.
From this perspective, we also see the strategic role of the region in the economic aspects, as it is a migration route for fish and increases fishing activity; political, allowing to add 450 thousand square kilometers to the national territory; Besides being scientific, due to its rich biodiversity, geological composition and unique weather conditions.
About a thousand kilometers from Natal – RN, in the archipelago, the first scientific station was built in 1998 in support of the Proarquipélago programme, coordinated by the Interministerial Committee on Sea Resources (CIRM), which ensured permanent housing the place as Brazilian territory and where UFRN research is developed in The fields of psychology, ecology, geology, geophysics, genetics, history, oceanography, and lagoon sciences.
Given the importance of the São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago and the work being developed there by the UFRN, I had the great pleasure of receiving an invitation from Vice Admiral Noriaki Wada, Commander of the 3rd Naval District, to visit the site.
During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the launch of the Araguri Ocean Patrol, on September 13, was preceded by a test and quarantine protocol with the ship moored at the Naval Base in Natal. Among the soldiers who took part in the mission are students and former UFRN students, including doctor, Giraldo Triguero, a first-year graduate of medicine at the Multicampi College of Medical Sciences (EMCM).
Upon reaching the archipelago, there is a rock formation of impressive beauty. The scientific station has the capacity to accommodate four people at a time and serves as a base for researchers.
And during the stay on the site, in addition to assessing the conditions for the resumption of research projects, the scientific station was maintained.
Returning to Natal, on September 27, I am balancing the performance of UFRN since the inception of the project, which has already produced hundreds of scholarly articles in national and international journals and monographs published in congressional, master’s, and doctoral guidelines, as well as for scientific art book releases and cinematic documentaries.
Of a total of seventeen research projects approved in the recent Ocean Islands Notice issued by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), four have participated in the UFRN, demonstrating the capacity of our university and the institution’s role in promoting national sovereignty, in partnership with the Chico Mendes Conservation Institute. Biodiversity (ICMBio), the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) and other universities.
Through experience, it is certain that, at sea or on land, the UFRN continues to fulfill its mission in the social and economic development of Brazil. I also stress the essential role of the Brazilian Navy in supporting the research activities that are conducted in the ASPSP. I also hold the hope that the good winds of the progress of Brazilian sciences depend on the union of those who see education as a safe haven for the supremacy of the nation.
“Music fanatic. Professional problem solver. Reader. Award-winning tv ninja.”