The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem

A tale of two Gulf spills: A research consortium of 17 institutions from 5 countries studying the impacts of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.

R/V Weatherbird Log-Greta Helmueller

R/V Weatherbird Log-Greta Helmueller

Hello! My name is Greta, and I am an incoming master’s student at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. I originally hail from the great state of Minnesota, which doesn’t have too many oceans, so this is my first time doing any sort of oceanographic fieldwork ever! Therefore, I thought I’d dedicate my blog post to sharing things that I’ve learned about being on a research cruise as someone who has zero experience with the ocean:

  • The Gulf of Mexico is unbelievably blue. More blue than I ever could’ve imagined.
  • Sharks HURT when you drop them on yourself. Their skin is like sandpaper and leaves a nasty rash called “shark burn.”
  • You get to see a lot of cool stuff on cruises, like dolphins, sharks, and fish taller than you are!
  • The term “cruise” is kind of misleading. It’s a lot of early mornings and late nights with nothing but work during the day. It’s DEFINITELY not a vacation!
  • However, so far it’s been an incredible experience unlike any I’ve ever had before that I would highly recommend to anyone, provided they like hard work.
When it is 110° F on the boat deck, a swim call is a refreshing break.


Fin clip
Greta and Dr. Shannon O'Leary take a fin clip from a Ocellated moray to study genetic variation at the Harte Research Institute.
R/V Weatherbird Log-Samantha Bosman
Simeon Pesch, Student of the Month, July 2016

Podcasts from The Loop

The Loop is a series of podcasts which take an in depth look at C-IMAGE research. Partnering with Mind Open Media reporters Ari Daniel Shapiro and David Levin, our researchers share the importance of their studies and how they help our understanding of oil spills. David and Ari have produced eight podcasts and have more in the queue. The podcasts are linked below. Plug in and learn about our research!

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