2015 Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Award

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Robert Hardy, a USF College of Marine Science student who graduated in December 2014 with a Master’s Degree, was selected as one of four recipients of the 2015 USF Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Award. This is the highest award given to students by the Office of Graduate Studies of USF.

This is in recognition of his thesis entitled “Assessments of surface pelagic drift communities and behavior of early juvenile sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico.” The award letter stated “your work stood out among the best, and the committee was very impressed with not only the theme of your research, but also the extent of your professional development to date.” 

The College of Marine Science is very proud of Robert’s achievements, as his research is a reflection of the University of South Florida’s academic excellence.

Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico


Speaker:  Dr. Pat Hogan

Affiliation: United States Naval Research Laboratory

Seminar Title: Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico

When: Oct. 9, 2014 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Dr. Bob Weisberg

View Pat Hogan flyer

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Published in Fall 2014

Duke Energy presents $15,000 to USF Oceanography Camp for Girls

CALADESI ISLAND, FL - Melissa Seixas, Government and Community Relations Manager, with Duke Energy presents a $15,000 check to Gary Mitchum, Associate DeanTeresa Greely, Oceanography Camp for Girls Director, and E. Howard Rutherford, Director of Development, to support the University of South Florida College of Marine Sciences’s Oceanography Camp for Girls.

The campers departed afterwards for Caladesi Island to study currents, beach profiling, sand composition and flora and fauna.

Erin Symonds Receives Fulbright Award

ST. PETERSBURG - Ms. Erin Symonds of the University of South Florida has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to Costa Rica to continue her doctoral research at the MarViva Foundation, where she will provide complementary, enhanced measurements and source identification of pollution from biological sources in order to improve watershed management practices.  This research will support MarViva's Greater Tempisque River Watershed (GTRW) management project and will help to improve MarViva's understanding of fecal pollution in the GTRW and promote further water management actions.

As a PhD candidate, Erin represents the USF College of Marine Sciences, where her academic achievements have been noted inside and outside the classroom. Her doctoral studies are supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR (Science to Achieve Results) Fellowship (2011-2013). In 2013, Erin was a member of a team awarded a USF Interdisciplinary Challenge Grant to execute a rapid assessment of microbial risk from consuming lettuce in the Cochabamba Valley of Bolivia. She is currently the student representative for the USF College of Marine Science Curriculum Committee. Erin has presented her research at National and International scientific conferences and has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Additionally, she developed and instructs a course on water sciences intended for motivated high school students through Duke University's Talent Identification Program. As an active member in the community, Erin frequently promotes science education through involvement in the St. Petersburg Science Festival and as a guest speaker at local schools and organizations.

Upon completion of the Fulbright research grant, Erin will defend her dissertation graduate with her doctorate in Marine Science. As a PhD holding scientist, she intends to continue to dedicate herself to the protection of human and environmental health, formally and informally through education, research and capacity building as a post-doctoral researcher and later as a university professor and researcher. Erin received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Virginia and her master's degree from USF in Marine Science. Erin returned to USF for her doctorate after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, where she helped establish a water quality laboratory and monitoring program.

Dr. Linda Lucas, Director of the Office of National Scholarships said of Erin's award, "We are very proud of Erin's many significant accomplishments. She will be a wonderful ambassador from the US during her Fulbright experience." The Office of National Scholarships identifies, recruits and mentors high achieving students to apply for national merit scholarships across all disciplines. The scholarships and fellowships are for creative, motivated and academically strong students who are leaders in and out of the classroom.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.


Marine Science Happy Hour Networking Event July 8 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Join us today for the Tampa Bay Marine Science Networking Happy Hour from 5-7pm.  This month's event will be located at Ceviche, in St. Petersburg in the Flamenco Room downstairs located at 10 Beach Dr. NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701.  It's Tapas Tuesday and they will have tapas drink specials. Street parking is available or you can park in a nearby garage.

Nametags will be provided and you may want to bring business cards to share. There were many jobseekers at the June event.  If you are looking to hire or in search of a new opportunity plan to attend. Please feel free to share this invitation with others who may be interested in attending.  You may sign up for the networking event here.

Shark Week Special: Jawesome at the Dali

ST. PETERSBURG - USF College of Arts and Sciences' Trailblazers Series hits the road this coming Shark Week in St. Pete.  This amazing event if free.  Join us for our first Road Scholars event with Professor Phil Motta presenting a Jawesome lecture on Shark and Fish Research.  This event takes place Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 7 PM at the Dali Museum.  In partnership with the USF College of Marine Science and the Poynter Institute.  Please RSVP for this event. 

STEM Academy visits Fort De Soto Park

FORT DE SOTO PARK, FL - A coastal marine field research expedition was recently held at Fort De Soto State Park Field trip that Dr. Teresa Greely lead. The primary objective of the day was to learn field sampling techniques for analyzing three marine ecosystems and some of the organisms contributing to medical science research.

To read more about the STEM summer program please visit

The Art of Experimentation, A profile: Patrick Schwing

ST. PETERSBURG - Mind Open Media reporter David Levin sits down with C-IMAGE post-doc Patrick Schwing from the University of South Florida.  Dr. Schwing studies benthic foraminifera from the Gulf of Mexico and uses these single-celled organisms to tell us something about the health of the seafloor.

Learn more about C-IMAGE.

Published in C-IMAGE

USFCMS Rising Tides, v2 - Summer 2014

ST. PETERSBURG - Welcome to the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science (CMS) second Newsletter, Rising Tides.  To sign up for the newsletter and future events please click on the following sign up link.

Welcome back new and returning CMS students

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Today we are welcoming our new and returning students to the College of Marine Science.  Welcome back students.  Go Bulls!

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