I hope you enjoy our new CMS newsletter. Our goal is to foster continued engagement of our alumni and community partners with the college. Al Hine has worked hard to put this together.
We’ve had an incredible year at the College of Marine Science. Some faculty departed, including retirements (Jose Torres and Kent Fanning) and departure to pursue other opportunities (David Mann). Three new faculty joined us in January 2014. Kristen Buck hails from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and specializes in biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in marine ecosystems.
Brad Rosenheim joins us from Tulane University and specializes in climate and carbon cycling in the recent geologic past by using stable and radiogenic isotopic techniques. Eugene Domack comes to us from Hamilton College and specializes in paleoclimate by studying sediment facies, biotic changes, and cryosphere adjustments on the Antarctic margin. We will be highlighting our three new faculty hires and their research interests in the next issue
We're extremely excited about our latest developments. Please let us know if there is additional information you would like to see in the next issue.
Jacqueline Dixon, Dean, College of Marine Science
When I first arrived at the Department of Marine Science in the fall of 1979 as a new assistant professor our program had graduated a handful of students. Now, some 34 years later we have ~500 of you out there armed with your MS and PhD degrees. Actually, the Department/College of Marine Science is now 46 years old (officially started in 1967), and you view our college´s history.
So, now is the time to start engage our progeny and learn about your lives, careers, families, your opinions on ocean, atmosphere, and earth issues and just how life has treated you. We want to know if you were well prepared for the wide, wide world. We want to know what you might want to pass onto the generation of scientists we are preparing now.
We are starting a College of Marine Science Alumni Newsletter to keep you guys and gals informed and for you to tell us about yourselves, help you revive old friendships that have perhaps lay dormant, help us find lost souls, and most importantly, tell us about the world that is “out there”.
We really want to hear from our alums, and in each newsletter there will be a section on alumni news. Herein, we feature four of our grads—Jennifer Dupont, Bruce Barber (our very 1st PhD!), Lee Kump, and David Mearns.
Hopefully, their contributions will stimulate some of you to fill us in on your lives, families, jobs, and opinions. We’d also like to have an up-to-date photo of you doing something interesting (not a posed, studio type shot) so we can all see how you have aged or if we even recognize you.
As many of you know based upon your time in the Department/College of Marine Science, going into the field to conduct your research whether it was on a small Jon boat in a local marsh of on a large research vessel in an ocean half way around the world, the experience most l likely will stay with you the rest of your life and hopefully, it prepared you for your future endeavors in your career and in life.
As a geologist and geological oceanographer, we live for being outdoors and visiting exotic places to learn not only about the local and regional geology and scenery, but also about the local and regional culture food, music, customs, education system, etc. I think most people experience the same thrill when visiting someplace quite different and coming face-to-face with a scientific phenomenon that was at one time an abstraction on a PowerPoint projection in a dark classroom.
In my time at the Department/College of Marine Science I have tried to "get out of the classroom/laboratory setting" as much as possible, and I hope a number of you remember the trips we took over the spring break to the Bahamas (5 times) and to Cuba (2 times) as well as trips to see Carboniferous rocks of ancient gigantic river deltas and coal forming swamps in eastern Kentucky (see figures to bring back memories) and elsewhere. And, I know other faculty members have done the same. Even a 2-3 day field trip to the Keys is a great experience.
We would like to continue to offer these experiences, but alas, there is a cost. In the "old" days, we could find the funds somehow, and we always asked you, as students, to fund part of the total trip. We will still ask the present students to pay a portion of the trip costs. But, the total costs of trips to the Bahamas, are about $1,500-1,800/ person for about a week. Realistically, the total cost of a field trip to nearby Bahamas runs ~$20,000. This sounds like a lot, but 15-18 students participating will gain a world-class, lifetime experience.
So, we hope that you can help us financially provide this important and life-long experience. And, if you want to tag along for the experience and get time off from your own busy schedules, we'd love to have some of our graduates join us in these adventures. So, please think about a donation to this cause. Your support of the USF Fund for the College of Marine Science will help provide our students these much needed travel opportunities.
We are planning a field trip to Cuba! You all are invited. The trip will be led by
Dr. Manuel Iturralde-Vinent. He was the former Deputy Director of Cuba’s National Museum of Natural History in Havana, and is Cuba’s most famous geologist.
The trip will feature not only some fascinating geological ancient history, but modern natural history, scenery, land use practices, and of course Cuban culture. For example we will visit a tobacco farm, a local botanic garden, Las Terrazas, a biosphere reserve and experiment in nature preservation with the aim of helping local farmers not farming any more. In Zapata we will visit a crocodile farm, the center for local nature preservation, and in Matanzas, the restoration of the old core of the city. In all these places there will be opportunities to engage contacts with local people. In terms of geology, we will visit Viñales to see the world-famous mogote, karstic landscape, visit a huge limestone cave, and the K/Pg boundary. In Matanzas and Varadero we will see the marine terraces, Pleistocene coral reefs, and beaches. We will examine continental margin sections and ophiolites. We will examine a tectonic contact with an allochthonous terrane, including serpentinite mélange and volcanic arc material.
Due to the size of this island nation (~900 km long), the trip will be concentrated on the western portion from Vinales to Matanzas. We can take about 25-30 people, so please let me (Al Hine; firstname.lastname@example.org) know right away so I can secure a place for you. We hope to fly in/out of Tampa.
We are pricing the trip out now, but we are thinking of a 6 night/7 day trip that might cost ~$3,600—includes everything (RT airfare, ground transportation, hotels, 2 meals/day, all fees and licenses, travel/trip cancellation insurance, visas, emergency health insurance—medical evacuation back to states if needed). Obviously, cohibas and mojitos are on your own dime. But, it will be a trip of a lifetime, spouses are welcomed!
What we will need from you is:
Accepting the Director of Development position with the University of South Florida Foundation and College of Marine Science is more like a homecoming! Before my tenure as President & CEO at The Pier Aquarium d/b/a Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium, I was a research associate with Dr. Kent Fanning in the nutrient chemistry laboratory where I participated in research projects from the Bering Sea to the Arabian Sea to the Southern Ocean. Having witnessed firsthand the value and fragility of the marine environment, I am very passionate about sharing and promoting these discoveries with the public, especially our current and future donors.
Currently, I am President-Elect to the National Marine Educators Association, a national organization powered by 17 individual, regional chapters who provide the on-the-ground efforts that support and promote national initiatives in education and conservation such as ocean literacy. I have actively participated in the City of St. Petersburg Ocean Team, of which the College of Marine Science plays a major role. Dr. Paula Coble and I, as founding Co-Chairs, established the St. Petersburg Science Festival. Currently, our Festival is one of four national festivals awarded a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to build capacity and mentor three new science festivals in the next two years. I am also Co-PI on the Creating a Community of Practice Around a Proven Teen Science Cafe Model, a $2.6 million project funded by the National Science Foundation. This project is building the first network of ocean science thematic Florida Teen SciCafes in partnership with The Florida Aquarium and MOTE Marine Laboratory. Several faculty members and students within the College of Marine Science have already contributed.
I look forward to strengthening the existing relationships with donors of the College of Marine Science and cultivating new ones. Please feel free to contact me at 727.553.3376 or email@example.com.
Three years after the Gulf oil spill, USF researchers are deciphering the impact and looking to protect the Gulf.
On the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers at the University of South Florida are edging closer to documenting the impact of the spill on the Gulf ecosystem, but also playing a leading role in creating a new system of protecting the Gulf from the next environmental disaster.
Researchers remain focused on three fronts in what is considered one of the worst environmental crisis in U.S. history: determining the full extent of the spill's damage; understanding how the Gulf ecosystem is recovering from the spill;
and using newly developed scientific knowledge to design the next generation of Gulf observation systems. Up until the 2010 spill, the Gulf of Mexico was one of the least studied bodies of water in the world despite its enormous economic and environmental value. Today, spill research projects have involved more than 1,400 researchers and students from 150 universities in 38 states and eight countries.
"Systematic and repeated sampling of sediments, water, and marine organisms have allowed us to determine that as much as 20 percent of the oil, along with other toxic chemicals, ended up on the seafloor where it is still impacting microorganisms, deep-sea corals and fish," said USF College of Marine Science Dean Jackie Dixon.
"USF scientists are working with others within the state and around the world to bring together experimental, theoretical, and laboratory skills to predict the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon and to be better prepared in the case of future spills," she said.
Working through the Florida Institute of Oceanography, a consortium of public and private marine research laboratories across the state, USF researchers were among the first scientists to respond to the spill, documenting massive deep sea plumes of oil and dispersants which formed and settled on the gulf floor. USF beach scientists also documented the damage done when oil washed ashore in Florida's panhandle both to the world-famous sparkling white sands and the delicate web of organisms that call the beach swash zone home.
Now, USF marine scientists are collaborating on spill research through the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE) which is in the second year of a three-year $11 million grant through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the research initiative funded by oil giant BP but managed and supervised by an independent scientific panel.
C-IMAGE aims to document and analyze the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill, improve the observational and predictive tools available to scientists and create better systems to predict the consequences of another deep-sea blowout as oil companies push into deeper waters.
Additionally, C-IMAGE is making a concerted effort to involve the public in the research process through an unprecedented educational and public information effort. Science teachers from public schools across Florida have joined researchers in the Gulf and taught classes via Skype. The public can follow along on their research cruises in two venues, the Adventures at Sea Blog, C-Image Facebook page and the C-IMAGE Twitter page.
And while scientists have already published a wide breadth of new findings on the spill, researchers also are focused on how the lessons of Deepwater Horizon might inform decision on how better to protect the Gulf in the future.
Steve Murawski, a professor of biological oceanography who holds the Downtown Progress-Peter Betzer Endowed Chair, and Bill Hogarth, FIO's director who was dean of the College of Marine Science at the time of the spill, recently presented in Oceanography, the official magazine of the Oceanography Society, a comprehensive analysis of how an integrated observing system could help protect the Gulf in the event of future spills as well as guide restoration efforts for previous environmental damage.
Both Murawski and Hogarth are former heads of the National Marine Fisheries Service; Murawski was NOAA's chief fisheries scientist at the time of the spill. They argue that now – as the federal government, BP and other parties move toward a financial resolution of spill damages – is when governments, academia, and industries should collaborate on creating a comprehensive system that produces a better assessment of the impact of oil drilling and other commercial enterprises on the Gulf environment so it can be maintained as a productive natural resource.
"This is perhaps the largest science mobilization around an ocean-related event in history," Murawski said. "Questions about dispersants, oil, and toxins are not easy to answer and require groups of researchers with different expertise."
I am rare in the field of Marine Science because I am not the first female oceanographer in my family. I was inspired, at an early age, by my great aunt, Dr. Mary Sears, who was a founding member of WHOI and the first women to have a Naval Research Vessel named in her honor. I earned my B.A. in Geology from Hamilton College. Upon graduation, I moved to Alaska for 2 years, where I worked as an environmental consultant and aqueous chemist.
I returned to academia and earned my Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of California Santa Barbara, where I worked with Jim Kennett. I spent three years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Program on Climate Change at the University of Washington.
Before arriving at the USF College of Marine Science in 2011, I spent three years as a tenured Assistant Professor (Lecturer, in the British system) at University College London. I have sailed on seven oceanographic research cruises (including Ocean Drilling Program Leg 189 and multiple US Antarctic Program expeditions), and have two cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula and East Antarctica planned for the 2013-2014 field season.
Technically, I am a paleoceanographer. I study the evolution of Earth's climate system on decadal to million year timescales using geochemical proxy records derived from marine sediments. Ongoing research in my lab is relevant to concerns that ongoing climate changes are accelerating polar ice cap melting and global sea level rise. Currently, my research is divided into four focus areas: 1) climate evolution and the development of Antarctica's ice sheets over the last 65 million years, 2) the role of the high-latitude oceans (the Southern Ocean and the subarctic North Pacific) in Glacial- Interglacial carbon cycling over the last 800,000 years, 3) climate variability in Antarctica over the last 12,000 years, and 4) the influence of Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater on Atlantic circulation between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago. My students and I use a multi-proxy geochemical and micropaleontologic approach to investigate a broad range of climate and biogeochemical problems.
When I am not doing science, I am hard at work at my second full time job... Mom to Ellen, my precocious 6 year old daughter. On weekends, you can often find me, Ellen, my husband Matt Hommeyer (a consulting geologist for Terra Environmental in Tampa), and our 7 year old black lab, Sespe, swimming and/or paddleboarding at Pass-A-Grille or Fort De Soto. I am an avid runner, gardener, and I maintain an active Pilates practice. Post-tenure, I intended to rekindle my pottery habit. But why wait? After all, marine sediments are clay rich and geochemistry comes in handy for mixing magnificent glazes.
I am thrilled to be a member of the faculty at USF's College of Marine Science! My academic career began with a B.S. in biology from East Carolina University. It was at ECU that I first came to realize how intrigued I had always been about life in the oceans. After all, I had plenty of time to contemplate the topic growing up on the low-lying coast of northeastern North Carolina. Whether I was fishing, surfing, knee-boarding, or simply walking on the beach, I often wondered what was going on below the water's surface, out of my sight. How many animals were down there? How deep was it and what was the bottom like? Was there anything dangerous lurking that could harm me?
These childhood questions were reinforced when I would watch fishing boats return to their ports to offload their catch. Whether they were inshore crab or shrimp fishermen or the offshore folks going after tuna, wahoo and mahi mahi in the Gulf Stream, I was amazed at how many animals they brought to port, day after day. How many animals were out there, indeed! But such weighty questions that the saltiest of scientists argue about today were quickly replaced by some childhood distraction ... you know, like time to play baseball (my earliest career goal was to play for the Chicago Cubs). But thanks to several wonderful science teachers in both high school and college, plus a good peppering of serendipity (not to mention a rotten batting average in little league baseball), I realized that I could pursue a career in marine science that would allow me to answer those questions that captivated me. After earning a bachelor's degree, I continued my academic path at San Francisco State University (M.A.), Oregon State University (Ph.D.) and Florida State University (Postdoc) where I continued to receive excellent guidance and mentorship.
Today my research continues to explore the questions that inspired such childhood excitement and awe that I held regarding marine ecosystems. Broadly, my work seeks to understand the patterns and processes concerning population and community dynamics of marine organisms. Essentially, why do we find different abundances and communities of animals at different places and at different times? Moreover, what are the factors leading to, and consequences of, such differences? I attempt to answer these questions in the field and laboratory, combining experimental and observational approaches, both with and without the influences of human activities. As such, my work straddles the fields of general ecology and fishery science, as I seek to integrate these basic and applied disciplines. Although many colleagues would quickly refer to me as a "fish guy," my research program includes animals lacking a backbone (invertebrates) and recently those lacking gills (marine mammals), and has included various habitats including tropical coral reefs, subtropical reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, and rocky reefs, as well as temperate kelp forests.
Modern fisheries science developed in the aftermath of World War II, when an influx of men returning from war combined with new technical innovations to make fishing a powerful influence on coastal ecosystems. For the first time, human beings had the ability to accidentally eradicate fish populations on a global scale. Primitive, yet elegant theories took shape on how fish grow, reproduce and die. Thus, the first generation of fisheries models, powered by the slide rule, was born. Move forward to today. Fisheries catch has quintupled and humans exploit such a wide range of species that one fishery steals the prey base from another.
Some fish populations are under such intense fishing pressure that even normal variation in climate carries an extinction risk.
However, cheap computing power has allowed us to build vastly more sophisticated models that can represent the full complexity of marine food webs and the impact of climate on marine management decisions.
I am part of a new and rapidly evolving field of marine science that attempts to predict quantitatively the impact that human beings have at the ecosystem scale. I build rather large and data-intensive ecosystem models that take years to develop and test. Due to the time commitment involved, I build models so that they are capable of investigating a wide range of scientific questions. My current projects focus on the BP oil spill, red tides and marine protected areas. I find the work fascinating and I am delighted to be able to address scientific questions of wide interest to society. One of the best things about my job is that I play a synthesis role, which is a nice way of saying that I am a tertiary consumer of data. Thus, I am privileged to interact with some of the best marine scientists in the world, taking their data on specific places and species, and hopefully providing added value that relates their work to the big picture of ecosystem structure and function.
My interest in fisheries began when I worked as a deckhand on my uncle’s salmon gillnetter. After completing an undergraduate degree in marine biology, I earned a PhD at the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre in Vancouver, Canada – an institute well known for its work on ecosystem modelling. As a Vancouver native, I must credit serendipity rather than foresight for my involvement with the Fisheries Centre and with modelling. Very few people go into marine science because they love math and computer programming, so I seem to have stumbled into a specialization that provides the technical challenge I enjoy and yet deals with some of the most basic and understandable questions on the role that human beings play in the biosphere. I hope that my work can contribute in some way towards building a new understanding of how human beings might live sustainably on this planet: protecting our traditional fishing communities and livelihoods, while preserving the biodiversity and resiliency of the marine environment.
In 2012 and 2013, our twenty-seven ranked or endowed faculty members include four Distinguished University/Research Professors, nine Professors, ten Associate Professors, and four Assistant Professors. Despite the challenging economic climate our faculty continues to grow.
Dr. Cameron Ainsworth received a 2013 Sloan Fellowship for early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. Cam is one of only two Sloan Fellowships awarded this year in the state of Florida.
Dr. Mya Breitbart was selected by Popular Science magazine
(October 2013 issue) as one of their ´Brilliant 10´ - an annual feature profiling 10 young scientists who are doing truly groundbreaking work in their fields.
Bob Byrne was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union for his contributions to the understanding of ocean Acidification. He was also awarded the USF Innovation Award for his contributions to development of new sensors to measure ocean chemistry. Dr. Byrne was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2013 and awarded USF Excellence in Innovation Reward in 2012.
Don Chambers was lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 for the 5th Assessment Report (Chapter 3, Observations: Oceans). He is also a member of five different NASA Science Teams that set the agenda for future research.
Kendra Daly serves on the NSF Regional Class Research Vessel Science Oversight Committee, is Chair of the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Scientific Steering Committee, and is a member of seven other national advisory boards.
Dr. Eugene Domack was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (Dec. 2012) and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, Feb. 2013)
Al Hine just stepped down from six years of service on the UNOLS-Fleet Improvement Committee.
Pam Hallock Muller, who was elected a Fellow of the Paleontological Society and was recognized for her excellence in Minority Mentoring by the Sloan Foundation. Our faculty continue to lead the field at national and international levels via their service on high profile panels and committees. Dr. Pamela Hallock Muller was also chosen as one of the Top 25 Women Professors in Florida. Hallock Muller specializes in the research of human impact on coral reefs.
Frank Muller-Karger is Chair of the Interamerican Institute for Global Change Research Science Advisory Panel and is Director of the International Ocean Institute USA (IOI-USA).
Steve Murawski has been appointed as a member of the National Academy of Sciences USA oversight board for the International Institute for Advanced Systems Analysis (IIASA) and also to the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Murawski was also awarded the Dwight A. Webster Memorial Award from the American Fisheries Society for "Meritorious/Prestigious Service to the Profession and Fisheries" in May 2012. Dr. Murawski was also appointed as the United States Academic Delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and as a committee member for the Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences 2015 (NAS committee).
Bob Weisberg is on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) and is a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Coastal and Environmental Research Program (CERP). Leadership matters and our faculty are at the forefront.
ARCS Collaborative Award Ceremony on February 9th, 2013 honored "Catalysts in STEM". CMS faculty and staff, including Drs. Kendra Daly, Al Hine, David Hollander, Ernst Peebles, Robert Weisberg, and Chad Lembke.
USF College of Marine Science was selected to be the Hillsborough County Secondary Business Partner of the Year and Dr. Frank Muller Karger was selected as the Business Partner of the Year (nominated by the Stewart Middle Magnet school).
Dr. David Mann has left the college to become President of his company, Loggerhead Instruments.
Albert C. Hine, professor in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida, has participated as co-chief scientist on over seventy-five research cruises at numerous sites around the world, including two legs on the JOIDES Resolution scientific, ocean drilling vessel. He is a winner of the prestigious national Francis P. Shepard Medal for outstanding research contributions to marine geology.Bootstrap Geologist: My Life in Science by Gene Shinn
Eugene A. "Gene" Shinn is Courtesy Professor at the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg and adjunct professor at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Author of hundreds of scientific articles, he has received numerous honors from the Geological Society of America as well as the Twenhofel Medal, the highest award given by the international Society for Sedimentary Geology. The books can be obtained at
The University Press of Florida.
Dr. Teresa Greely leads our education and outreach efforts. Some highlights from key programs are:
PRE-COLLEGE STEM PROGRAMS: In 2013 the Oceanography Camp for Girls (OCG) completed 23 years of offering ~1000 teen-aged girls in Pinellas County 3-weeks of STEM ocean immersion engaging in field and lab-based research, career explorations and science mentoring. As part of USF Tampa STEM Academies and Worldstrides Science program, we have provided 20 coastal geology and ecology fieldtrips for ~200 future STEM career students.
SPOONBILL OCEAN SCIENCES BOWL (NOSB): February 1st, 2014 will be the 10-year anniversary of the Spoonbill Bowl. What is it? A tournament style academic competition designed to challenge high school students' knowledge of math and science in the context of the ocean. NOSB promotes careers in sciences and engineering and broadens public awareness and understanding of the importance of ocean-related research. To date, over 500 students and coaches have participated because of our wonderful volunteers.
NEW PROGRAM: C-IMAGE Teachers at Sea program provided 8 FL teachers direct, authentic ocean explorations with the mud, microbes and mammals of the Gulf of Mexico (part of the GoMRI—post Deepwater Horizon Gulf Ecosystem Recovery & Monitoring); Teachers conduct Ship to Shore virtual tours of research at sea via Skype and Adventures at Sea blogs. C-IMAGE Outreach activities engage the public in Gulf research that expands understanding of the Gulf ecosystem. Give a listen to the C-IMAGE podcasts and follow the research.
NEW PROGRAM: 2013 NOAA B-WET Tampa Bay program is a graduate course providing FL teachers with Coastal Field Sampling and Watershed Science research and education. Activities include monitoring Tampa Bay watershed via a research cruise aboard WBII, river paddle down Little Manatee River, coastal ecology to make habitat and critter comparisons, and beach processes at Caladesi Island.
TEACHING from Sea: 2012 initiated first USF courses taught from sea aboard the JOIDES Resolution and Weatherbird II using Skype; ship to shore teaching with Greely's USF Honors College courses, CMS Geological Oceanography course, and K-12 classrooms throughout Florida.
PUBLIC OUTREACH: 2013 2nd annual St. Petersburg Science Festival with 14 CMS Exhibits and over 10,000 visitors.
We are extremely proud of our 104 graduate students. One point of pride is our success recruiting and mentoring under-represented minority students. We have maintained a proportion of minority students from 14% to 19% over the last five years, significantly higher than the national range of 4% to 14%. Another point of pride is our Marine Resource Assessment Program, which continues to thrive and now has twenty-eight students, up from 15 in 2011.
View our marine science degrees awarded in 2013.
We have an outstanding record of student success. Twenty-one students graduated in 2012. Our ten Ph.D.'s (Heather Broadbent, Gregory Ellis, Philip Thompson, Cheska, Burleson, Laura Lorenzoni, Melanie Parker, Digna Rueda De Romero, Carrie Wall, Daniel Otis, and Peter Simard) all found work within their field of study. Out of eleven M.S. graduates (Adam Brame, Claire Crowley, Chris Dufore, Darren Dunlap, Mark Hartman, Bridgit Mathers, Sheila O'Dea, Lindsey Flynn, Ryan Lloyd, Benjamin Ross, and Daniel Sensi), all but two found work in their field of study or continued for a Ph.D.
Our students have won numerous awards in 2012 - 2013. A few are highlighted below.
In December, Brittany Leigh, is a first year PhD student who is jointly advised by Mya Breitbart in the College of Marine Science and Larry Dishaw in the College of Medicine, was accepted to the highly competitive ASSEMBLE (Association of European Marine Biological 5 Laboratories) program. Brittany will travel to Berlin, Germany for 6 weeks this Spring to collaborate with a top microbial ecologist, then to the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dorhn in Naples, Italy (the premier Ciona lab in the world!) for training and to perform her research "Seasonal and host dynamics of gut microbial colonization in Ciona instestinalis: effects on immunity".
Adrienne George, advised by Pam Hallock Muller, earned an NSF EAPSI Fellowship to conduct coral reef disease research in Taiwan in 2012. She is a McKnight Fellow & a Leadership Fellow in the USF Doctoral Student Leadership Institute. Natasha Mendez-Ferrer, also advised by Pam Hallock Muller, was selected for the 2012 Joseph A. Cushman Student Research Award to study photic stress in diatom symbionts of large benthic Foraminifera.
Julia Galkiewicz, co-advised by Pam Hallock Muller and Christine Kellogg from the USGS, was selected as one of three winners of the USF 2012 Outstanding Dissertation Award. The selection process was extremely competitive and the committee was very impressed with not only the theme of her research, but also the extent of her professional development to date.
In June 2012, CMS Ph.D. student Erica Hudson Ombres, advised by Jose Torres, was selected as a 2013-2014 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. The National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, established in 1979, provides a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with "hosts" in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one year paid fellowship.
Dinorah Chacin, advised by Chris Stallings, received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her research to understand how species interactions and communities respond to natural variability in the ecosystem, as well as to anthropogenic effects. She is currently studying water clarity as a seascape factor and its effects on demography and behavior of visual organisms.
Tasha Snow, Ileana Frytes Ortiz and Michelle Guitard were recently recognized by the National Science Foundation's 2013 Graduate Research Fellowship Program Competition. Michelle received Honorable Mention designation.
The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The NSF received over 13,000 submitted applications for the 2013 competition, and made 2,000 award offers.
Ileana is investigating the effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey relationships in the Fish Ecology Lab of Dr. Christopher Stallings. She completed her B.S. in Integrative Biology at the University of Puerto Río-Piedras. Tasha and Michelle are studying marine geology with an emphasis in paleoceanography under the advisement of Dr. Amelia Shevenell. Ileana and Michelle are participants in the NSF Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate program at USF.
On October 12, 2012, we recognized fellowship award recipients and their generous supporters at the First Annual College of Marine Science Fellowship Luncheon. Through the leadership of former Dean Peter Betzer, our $16M endowment provides ~$300K/ yr for endowed fellowships to CMS graduate students. Members of the faculty, donors, friends, alumni, and administrators convened at the Poynter Institute's Great Hall to honor this group.
Mary Abercrombie – Mahaffey Family Graduate Fellowship
Brian Barnes - William and Elsie Knight Endowed Fellowship for Marine Science
Joshua Breithaupt – Von Rosenstiel Endowed Fellowship
Jenny Fenton – Von Rosenstiel Endowed Fellowship
Alisha Gray - Southern Kingfish Association's Fellowship
Danielle Rene Greenhow - George Lorton Fellowship in Marine Science
Jacquelin Hipes – Von Rosenstiel Endowed Fellowship
Sarah Kwon – Von Rosenstiel Endowed Fellowship
Rebekka Larson - St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership Fellowship in Coastal Science
Timothy Lee – Peter R. Betzer Fellowship
Christin Murphy - The Jack and Katharine Ann Lake Fellowship in Marine Science
Brendan O'Connor - Tampa Bay Parrot Head Fellowship in Marine Science
Erica Hudson Ombres - William Hogarth Marine Mammal Fellowship
Mark Patsavas - Garrels Memorial Fellowship in Marine Science
Holly Rolls - Gulf Oceanographic Charitable Trust Endowed Fellowship in Marine Science
Benjamin Ross - Gulf Oceanographic Charitable Trust Endowed Fellowship in Marine Science
Paul Suprenand - Carl Riggs Fellowship in Marine Science
Esa-Matti Tastula - Paul Getting Endowed Memorial Fellowship
Robert M. Ulrich - Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club / Mary & Al Bridell Memorial Fellowship
Carlie Williams - William and Elsie Knight Endowed Fellowship for Marine Science
Katie Wirt - Linton Tibbetts Fellowship
Dominika Ewa Wojcieszek -The Wells Fargo Fellowship in Marine Science
Bo Yang - C. W. Bill Young Fellowship
Congratulations to Chad Lembke of COT, the 2013 David K. Costello Award for Interdisciplinary Engineering
This award recognizes the ability to develop engineering devices having interdisciplinary applications; leadership in writing peer-reviewed publications and/or proposals: and facilitation of the technical education of students enrolled in the College.
The winner receives a $1000 award and a commemorative plaque, which is funded by the David K. Costello Award for Interdisciplinary Engineering Endowment.
During late February and early March engineers from the Center for Ocean Technology successfully conducted at-sea testing for 2 major systems developed at COT in 2012 and 2013. These are the C-BASS (Camera-Based Assessment Survey System) video system and the SIPPER 4 imaging system. C-BASS records video images of reef fish as it is towed behind the Weatherbird-II. Also deployed as a towed system, SIPPER 4 generates images of plankton found in the water column.
CMS faculty member Dr. Steve Murawski envisioned C-BASS as a system to monitor fish species over vast areas of the West Florida Shelf. The long term goal is to develop software capable of classifying the species recorded in the video. This will be an important asset in assessing commercially important fisheries. C-BASS employs both high and low resolution camera systems to record video. Information is transmitted in real time to operators on deck.
SIPPER 4 is the latest version of the planktonic imaging systems first developed at COT over 10 years ago. Advancements in camera technology make possible a modular system that is capable of utilizing multiple imaging systems. The larger system images zooplankton – small animals and fish. The smaller imaging system is capable of imaging microscopic plants. Images from both SIPPER 4 systems are classified according to specie by the PISCES image classification software.
For more than four decades, the Florida Institute of Oceanography, housed in the same building as the USF College of Marine Science, has unified marine science interests across Florida in the cause of understanding and stewardship of the oceans. Many students, staff, and faculty in the Department and now College of Marine Science (formed in 2000) have been using the Florida Institute for Oceanography's research vessels for years as a viable and inexpensive way to conduct research along the west Florida shelf, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and even all the way down to Puerto Rico.
Having the R/V Bellows and eventually the R/V Suncoaster virtually in our backyard has directly aided our marine science program and for sure has provided invaluable sea-going experiences for members of our program. Even though FIO provides ship availability for some 21 members of the FIO Consortium within the state including the 10 state universities, the USF Department/ College of Marine Science has bought ~50% of the shiptime over the years. We have been, by far, the primary user.
Eventually, the R/V Suncoaster became too old and unsafe to conduct seagoing operations, and she was sold. But, in her place, FIO, through Bill Hogarth's hard work, obtained a former UNOLS vessel called the R/V Weatherbird II. She is much larger than the R/V Suncoaster and provides a much greater level of at-sea capability. So, FIO's (and our) seagoing capability advanced enormously with the acquisition of the wonderful new vessel.
FIO recently took a leading national role in the scientific assessment of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, involving numerous scientists and students from around Florida. FIO's R/V Bellows and R/V Weatherbird II continue to take scientists out to sea on research and sampling cruises to investigate the oil spill.
In February, with Dr. Kendra Daly as the PI and Leslie Schwierzke-Wade as the Chief Scientist, the R/V Bellows went to the northern Gulf of Mexico to collect on-going samples of zooplankton, water quality parameters, and sediments for hydrocarbon analysis.
In March, Dr. Steven Murawksi and engineers from the Center for Ocean Technology took the R/V Weatherbird II out along the underwater pipeline to test their new fish-camera, CBASS.
We would like to remember CMS faculty members and alumni who have recently passed. Benjamin P. Flower, a gifted paleoceanographer and marine geologist, supportive colleague, and dedicated educator. During his USF career, Ben mentored 14 graduate students, including 8 doctoral students. He worked closely with graduate students, training them to be future colleagues, and in 2012 he received a prestigious graduate mentoring award.
A memorial fund has been setup in his honor. Donations may be made to the USF Foundation - Benjamin Flower Memorial Fund #260027001, directed to attention of Linda Kelbaugh, USF College of Marine Science, 140 7th Avenue S. St. Petersburg, 33701 or visit www.giving.usf.edu. Eos Obituary.
Hepsi D. Zsoldos, 49, of Newark, DE, passed away January 2, 2013 at Christiana Hospital. Born in Lexington, KY, on June 14, 1963, Hepsi was the daughter of Silvia Tammisto Zsoldos and the late Laszlo Zsoldos. Hepsi was a talented eighth-grade science teacher who was awarded a $10,000 Toyota Tapestry grant and who received the Delaware Marine Science Teacher-of-the-Year Award. Sadly she had to curtail her career when she was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis and two other autoimmune disorders, Sjogren's syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Dr. Renate Ellen Bernstein, lost her life on June 28, 2013. Renate was born in Oberammergau, Germany on July 22, 1950 and graduated from Berlin American High School in 1968. After moving to Massachusetts, she graduated from Boston City Hospital School of Nursing, becoming a registered nurse. Later, Renate and her family moved to Florida, where she had been a St. Petersburg resident for 35 years prior to her passing. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida, continuing on to receive her Master's and Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science; where she most recently worked as a research assistant. Renate was an accomplished marine scientist, widely published in text books and scientific journals, including "Science" & "Nature". She was one of the foremost authorities on marine microorganisms and ocean chemistry.
After almost 4 years with the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, my Instagram Photo Map (an obvious coolness barometer) is looking rather well-populated. Meticulously filtered and blurred, these photos capture and store a host of memories from projects that I’ve worked around the world, from Far East Russia to Australia to our own backyard, the Gulf of Mexico. The advantage of working for such a large Corporation is that there is literally never a dull moment, with deals and transactions
constantly opening new areas around the globe for exploration and production. Each area has its own suite of environmental, regulatory and socioeconomic challenges which ExxonMobil is committed to addressing through a risk-based, scientifically-sound approach. That’s where I come in, particularly if ocean interests are at stake.
My most time-consuming, exhausting, combative, contentious and yet strangely rewarding project was tossed upon me when I first started with ExxonMobil. I took over management of a long-term gray whale research and monitoring program off Northeast Sakhalin Island, Russia. It didn’t matter that I had no experience with marine mammals; I was a new marine scientist at ExxonMobil (a bit of a novelty at a company filled with engineers and geoscientists) so this seemed like a “natural fit” for me. For the next 3 years, I coordinated distribution surveys, photo-identification missions, benthic sampling, biopsy sampling and an unprecedented satellite tagging program that has opened the dialogue on gray whale stock structure across the Pacific Basin. I learned the ins and outs of working with Russians (e.g., never take “nyet” for an answer though it is the most commonly-used word in the Russian language; always say “da” to a shot of vodka...even if it’s lunchtime; do not expect to get any business done until trust has been earned on both sides...note that the vodka will help here as well). Overall, the experience was a test in patience and fortitude, but the people, sights, and lessons learned in Moscow, Vladivostok, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk will forever remain implanted in my mind and heart.
The marine mammal/iconic species research theme has dominated the projects that I have been involved in at ExxonMobil. I took over Project Support Group lead roles under the Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Program, a multi-year, multi-company, and multi-million dollar research program initiated in 2006. I worked closely with professors and scientists at the Office of Naval Research, University of Santa Cruz, University of Queensland, and Virginia Wesleyan College to enable research on potential impacts of sound from oil and gas exploration and production activities on animals including bottlenose dolphins, ringed seals, spotted seals, humpback whales, and loggerhead sea turtles. The results are published in peer-reviewed literature, communicated to regulators, and directly applied in ExxonMobil’s risk assessments. I have been fortunate to establish good working relationships with world-class researchers, and have even met and interacted with a test subject or two, which was nothing short of remarkable.
I was fortunate enough to be a graduate student in the Department of Marine Science just as the program was growing into national prominence. In recognition of the efforts of the faculty, students and staff at the time, USF Marine Science was designated as a Center of Excellence within the State University System. Along with that recognition came an expansion of the academic program to include a Ph.D. degree option in addition to the M.S.
Since I wanted to pursue an academic career, I decided to continue my Master's research and develop it into a dissertation. (To be honest, I was just having too much fun). In December 1984 I was the first USF Marine Science student to defend a Ph.D. dissertation. Shortly thereafter I left to start a post-doctoral position at Rutgers University, conducting research on molluscan disease physiology.
From there I was offered a position at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (College of William and Mary) where I was in charge of the oyster fishery monitoring program and continued to research molluscan physiology and pathology. After four great years, I was offered a tenure-track position at the University of Maine. While there I had the privilege to be involved in the formation of the School of Marine Science; continue my research on molluscan fisheries and aquaculture; and lead an institutional effort to increase research capacity in cold-water, marine research aimed at supporting the Maine aquaculture industry. By combining state and federal funding sources, we were able to repurpose an existing building on campus; design and build a new research facility at the Darling Marine Center; purchase a commercial salmonid hatchery; hire five new tenure track faculty (including startup funding, graduate assistantships); and purchase major equipment.
My career has come full circle as I am now back in St. Petersburg teaching at Eckerd College. If any of you have not visited your old home town recently, it has really morphed into an exciting, vibrant center of the arts and sciences. Please come and visit us soon.
One of the last pieces of advice my Ph.D. advisor, Bob Garrels, gave me was to be difficult and unproductive on any committee or administrative assignment I was given, so that I wouldn't be asked to serve on subsequent committees and could avoid the burden of administration. Of course, as was typical, Bob didn't practice what he preached, and I followed his example, not his advice. So here I am as department head in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State, where I've been since I left USF. My administrative model has been Peter Betzer; I do wish I had studied him more closely, but as a graduate student I had other things on my mind.
Of course, shortly after I began my 5-year appointment as head (July, 2011) the Sandusky scandal broke, and I've spent a good chunk of my initial 1.5 years doing damage control. Actually, the department and university have proven remarkably resilient, and the students admirably focused on academics, research and community service. Alumni and industry have continued to contribute their time and financial resources to building a stronger department. We're hiring new faculty, and our number of undergraduate majors is growing exponentially (thanks in part, I'm sure, to the discovery of huge natural gas reserves in the Marcellus shale and the attendant growth in job opportunities for our students). So all's well in Happy Valley.
I just returned from leading a field course to Discovery Bay, Jamaica, and was pleased to find that my MS advisor Al Hine had published the seminal paper on the seismic stratigraphy of the region. Of course, his cruise to Jamaica occurred right after I left St. Pete, but Al took me on other exciting cruises including one to Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas including Cousteau's mysterious blue hole. This despite the fact that I jumped ship during my MS program from carbonate sedimentology with him to geochemistry with Garrels. In fact, it was Al who suggested the move, despite the fact he had paid for two years of my graduate education. His emphasis on the welfare of the student has been my guiding principle of student advising ever since.
The great experience we all had at the Betzer/Blake/Carder/Vargo retirement in November 2007, with alumni spanning three decades of Marine Sciences at USF slipping into their old roles with ease and enthusiasm, reflects what a special place CMS has been, is, and will continue to be. I look forward to the next opportunity for us to gather, tell old stories, meet new friends, and continue the tradition of camaraderie and revelry while pursuing excellence in everything we do.
I graduated from CMS in 1986 with an MS in geological oceanography. Al Hine was my major professor and by the nature of his research, and my own thesis fieldwork, I always found myself working in shallow-water - certainly no greater than about the 200m limit of the continental shelf. That pattern changed when I started work and my first project was an oceanographic study central to the design of a 6,000m rated ROV, which was the first vehicle to reach that important milestone. Since then my perspective about oceanic depth has changed and I no longer consider a project truly deep unless it's below about 3,000m.
However, in May of 2013, I returned to my shallow-water roots and actually putting a tank on my back to dive in less than 20m. The project is an archaeological investigation of two shipwrecks from Vasco da Gama's 2nd voyage to India in 1502. I've been fortunate to secure grant funding from the National Geographic Society Expeditions Council and the Waitt Foundation and to attract a 1st-rate team of nine other archaeologists and scientists to join me. The project is in Oman so we'll be working in partnership with the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture to study, and ultimately excavate these historically important early 16th century Portuguese East Indiamen.