News and Events

New Satellite Data Confirm Accelerated Sea Level Rise

TAMPA, FL - Twenty-five years of satellite data prove climate models are correct in predicting that sea levels will rise at an increasing rate.

In a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that since 1993, ocean waters have moved up the shore by almost 1 millimeter per decade. That’s on top of the 3 millimeter steady annual increase. This acceleration means we’ll gain an additional millimeter per year for each of the coming decades, potentially doubling what would happen to the sea level by 2100 if the rate of increase was constant.

Read the full article

West Florida Shelf and Tampa Bay Responses to Hurricane Irma: What Happened and Why

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Join SECOORA for a webinar that analyzes the West Florida Continental Shelf's response to Hurricane Irma using a combination of in situ observations and numerical circulation models.

West Florida Shelf and Tampa Bay Responses to Hurricane Irma: What Happened and Why

Presenter: Dr. Bob Weisberg, University of South Florida College of Marine Science
Date: February 13, 12 PM ET

Hurricane Irma impacted the west Florida continental shelf (WFS) as it transited the State of Florida from September 10-12, 2017, first making landfall at Cudjoe Key and then again at Naples, as a Category 2 hurricane.  The WFS response to Irma is analyzed using a combination of in situ observations and numerical circulation models. The observations include water column velocity, sea surface temperature, winds and sea level. The models are: 1) the West Florida Coastal Ocean Model (WFCOM) that downscales from the deep Gulf of Mexico, across the shelf and into the estuaries by nesting the unstructured grid FVCOM in the Gulf of Mexico HYCOM and 2) the Tampa Bay Coastal Ocean Model (TBCOM) that provides much higher resolution for the Tampa Bay vicinity (Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway and all of the inlets connecting these with the Gulf of Mexico) by nesting FVCOM in WFCOM.

Both the observations and the model simulations revealed strong upwelling and vertical mixing followed by a downwelling as the storm passed by.  This was accompanied by a rapid drop in sea surface temperature by about 4 degrees C and large decreases in sea level with negative surges causing drying in the Florida Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Tampa Bay estuaries and the Big Bend region.  The transport and exchange of water between the shelf and the estuaries and between the shelf and the Florida Keys reef track during the hurricane have important ecosystem and sediment transport implications, including an inlet breach that occurred at the Pinellas Co. Shell Key preserve.

Register Here

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 14:49

Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics of Extracellular Electron Transfer


Speakers/Affiliations: Jeffrey Gralnick, University of Minnesota

Seminar Title: Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics of Extracellular Electron Transfer

When: Feb. 16, 2018 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Larry Dishaw (USF Health)

Jeffery Gralnick's Research

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 16:10

Assistant professor to co-chair next week’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Assistant professor Kristen Buck will co-chair the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) in Portland, Oregon, February 11th – 16th.  Over 4000 attendees from a vast array of ocean-related scientific disciplines will engage in presentations, workshops, town halls, art and music sessions, film screenings, career-building events, and even a 5k Fun Run. 

Begun in 1982, and held biennially, OSM is the only scientific meeting focused specifically on the ocean and aquatic sciences related to the ocean.  One co-chair and one chair represent each of the three society partners of OSM:  American Geophysical Union (AGU), Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS).  Dr. Buck’s service as a chemical oceanography counselor for TOS led to an invitation to become a co-chair for OSM, a position through which she will learn the ropes and gain valuable experience for the next meeting in 2020 in San Diego, where she will serve as chair.  

Amid the busyness of co-organizing a large, week-long event, Dr. Buck will also give a talk on an upcoming product release of GEOTRACES data.  GEOTRACES is an international effort to study the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes.  She will also play a lead role in the town hall on biogeochemistry in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Focusing on the role of women in science and the challenges faced, a select number of town halls, panel discussions and other activities will provide an opportunity for women to learn career and interpersonal skills.  Inspiringly, all three of the lifetime achievement awards presented by the society partners will be received by women this year.

Dr. Buck’s primary responsibility for this year’s meeting is the fantastic lineup of artists, many of who will be on hand to present and discuss their work.  The recognition of art and film as an effective channel to communicate important conservation messages has grown, and so has the inclusion of art within the schedule of events at this year’s OSM.  Art exhibits will be spread through the conference center, and attendees should keep an eye out for a tapestry of marine organisms made by Karen Nicol, a series of curated images of plankton, and a collection of artistic representations of ocean science from the Schmidt Ocean Institute.  A film called “Fragile Legacy”, which has a connection to the Blaschka exhibit made by Cornell University, relates the fragility of glass to the fragility of phytoplankton in the ecosystem. 

Artists and musicians from the scientific community, as well, will showcase their hidden talents.  The Tuesday night Jam Session attracts an ever-increasing number of loyal followers, and the Pecha Kucha-style session on Wednesday night beckons from the interface of art and science as presenters use timed slide-shows to creatively express their ideas on the theme of a ‘fluid ocean’. 

While the broad offerings of a conference devoted to an inherently interdisciplinary science can be challenging (there are 57 town halls!), the organizers of this year’s Ocean Sciences Meeting hope to keep the week exciting for all in attendance by offering something for everyone and by making all feel welcome.  Attendees will be able to engage with their peers and mentors, interact with authors who they previously knew only through the scientific literature, network with future collaborators, attend career mixers, and have fun doing it. 

See below for a list of key events for students and early-career scientists as well as artistic, musical and theatrical events.

Download full schedule



Student and Early Career Workshop (see contact details in Scientific Program)



MPOWIR Town Hall, 12:45-1:45 pm, Room D137-138

Early Career Mixer, 6-7:30 pm, Oregon Ballroom Lobby

Student Mixer, 6-7:30 pm, Portland Ballroom Lobby



Career Panel, 12:45-1:45 pm, Oregon Ballroom 204 (see contact details in Scientific Program for free ticket)

Society for Women in Marine Science, 12:45-1:45 pm, B117-119; also meets Weds, same time, B110-112

Jam Session, 8-11 pm, Ringlers Pub



Pecha Kucha evening ‘Fluid Ocean’ theme, 8-10 pm, Spirit of 77



5K Run/Walk, benefits local Surfrider foundation chapter, 6-7 am, meet at Tomodachi Friendship Circle

TOS Members Meeting, 12:30-1:15 pm, F149

Movie night/artist meet and greet, 6:30-8:30 pm, Portland Ballroom


Written By: Sean Beckwith

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 14:38

Biogeochemistry and Hydrology of Coastal Sinks and Springs


Speakers/Affiliations: James GareyUniversity of South Florida, Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Seminar Title: Biogeochemistry and Hydrology of Coastal Sinks and Springs

When: Feb. 9, 2018 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Pamela Hallock Muller

James Garey Website

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 16:00

Virtual buoys made possible by satellites freely provide oceanographic data at the click of a mouse

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Constantly scanning the earth in large swaths, satellites remotely sense the oceans and continuously transmit their data, 0’s and 1’s representing infrared and visible electromagnetic radiation, the portions of the spectrum most relevant to life on earth.  Dr. Chuanmin Hu and his group, the Optical Oceanography Laboratory, specialize in using optics and remote sensing to study algal blooms and water quality. 

By taking optical measurements of the surface of coastal and inland waters and by examining samples of floating seaweed, Dr. Hu and fellow researchers look for improvements to algorithms that are used to interpret remotely sensed data.  Students in the lab group play an integral role in conducting field work and processing data. 

Through the Virtual Buoy System (VBS), a vast network of virtual stations that receive georeferenced satellite information, the lab group provides a wealth of physical and optical water parameters on their website, with updates performed weekly. 


Additionally, the Sargassum Watch System (SaWS) uses standard and custom algorithms to monitor and track Sargassum seaweed and other floating algae.  An Integrated Red-tide Information System (IRIS) has been established to monitor red tides in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  These three projects and more, along with data and map links to Google Earth can be found on the Optical Oceanography Laboratory website.

Funding by NASA and NSF allows Dr. Hu’s lab to provide these products to agencies and the general public in order to make informed decisions, whether they be for resource management or for personal occupation and leisure.


Written By: Sean Beckwith

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 18:38

Tampa Bay Marine Science Networking Happy Hour Event Feb 1 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Our next Tampa Bay Area Marine Science Networking Happy Hour will be Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 4:30-6:30pm at the Tavern at Bayboro. This event will also serve as the 2nd Annual Vembu Cheers - a memorial to his passing a year ago.  Even if you didn't know Vembu please join us, it will be just like our other events.  The event is self pay and name tags will be provided.

You can park at street meters or in the nearby USF garage in visitor spaces.  Find a potential employer or collaborator, a new grad student, a new major professor - or just meet other science professionals outside your office, because networking is not just for when you are not working. Please share this notice and join us - and bring your ocean science professional friends and colleagues.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:49

Measuring the heat of the Ocean: From a small business to global impact


Speakers/Affiliations: Tony Haymet, Former director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, now co-owner of MRV Systems

Seminar TitleMeasuring the heat of the Ocean: From a small business to global impact

When: Feb. 2, 2018 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Kendra Daly

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 17:01

Biomechanics of swimming and suspension feeding


Speakers/Affiliations: Kevin Du ClosUniversity of South Florida, Department of Integrated Biology

Seminar TitleBiomechanics of swimming and suspension feeding

When: Jan. 26, 2018 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Don Chambers

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 19:18

Crossing the Ross Sea Polynya and other antics

ROSS SEA, ANTARCTICA - The JOIDES Resolution is now following RV/IB Nathaniel B Palmer into the Ross Sea Polynya, which is Earth’s largest ice making factory. Cool air temperatures encourage surface water freezing which creates sea ice. Strong winds then move this ice around, freeing up more space for sea ice formation. The Ross Sea is highly productive in the summer months, where sunlight, a stable water column, and abundant dissolved nutrients stimulate huge phytoplankton blooms. These blooms are consumed by krill, which are consumed by predators like penguins, seals, and whales.

View the full article by Imogen Browne

Last modified on Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:18

Inspirational Commencement Speech Delivered by Joshua P. Kilborn

TAMPA, FL - On Saturday, December 9, 2017, graduate student Joshua P. Kilborn delivered an impactful commencement speech.  

View on YouTube

Last modified on Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:14

35th Annual Graduate Student Symposium

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Please join us Friday, January 12, 2018, at 9:30 am in the MSL Conference Room for the 35th Annual Graduate Student Symposium. Come out and see the next generation of marine scientists present their research. There will be free breakfast goodies and free lunch from The Campus Grind (taco 'bout a delicious meal in store for up to 70 people), and coffee.

Kicking off the symposium will be our plenary speaker, Dr. Kara Radabaugh present her talk on "Blue Carbon in Tampa Bay Coastal Wetlands and Other Mangroves Tales." Dr. Radabaugh is a Biological Scientist at Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute specializing in Coastal Wetlands Research. She is a USFCMS alumni and former student of Dr. Ernst Peebles.

Oral presentations will last from 10:15 am to 3:45 pm in the MSL Conference Room. Each oral presentation will last up to 12 minutes, followed by up to 3 minutes of questions. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place oral presenters based on the scoring from our four official judges.

Poster presentations will last from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm during the first TGIF of the semester in the MSL Student Lounge. One prize will be awarded for Best Poster according to scoring by two official judges. So come on out an enjoy some refreshments as you talk to CMS students about their research.

Downloadable Files

2018 GSS Abstract Booklet

Judging Rubric (Observer)

2018 GSS Schedule


Last modified on Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:48

USFCMS Dean Jackie Dixon publishes new paper on deep earth cycling of carbon and water

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The origins of carbon dioxide and water lie within the deep earth.  In times long past, extensive volcanic outgassing produced our oceans and atmosphere. A new paper by the dean of the College of Marine Science sheds light on recycling of volatiles into the deep Earth by subduction and out of the deep Earth through eruption and degassing of seafloor volcanoes.  Her model improves upon the standard model of subduction, known as the “subduction factory”. 

Jacqueline E. Dixon, Ph.D., a geochemist by training, recently published an article in the AGU journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.  Her research explores the origins of water and carbon dioxide on earth using measurements of water and carbon dioxide concentrations and ratios of hydrogen and other stable isotopes. 

This recent paper provides a comprehensive review of and presents new data on stable isotopes in mid ocean ridge basaltic glasses.  Dr. Dixon and fellow researchers show that water in enriched oceanic basalts is mostly recycled seawater that has been added to the mantle through deep melting of subducted slab igneous crust and sediments.  The model proposed in the paper extends the subduction factory concept down through the transition zone of the mantle and recognizes the important role of carbon in melting of sediments and basaltic crust in the downgoing slab.  These melts play a role in the complex dehydration and rehydration processes that support recycling of volatiles into the deep mantle, eventually returning to the surface in the form of lavas erupted at mid-ocean ridges and ocean islands such as Hawaii.


View Publication

Light Stable Isotopic Compositions of Enriched Mantle Sources:  Resolving the Dehydration Paradox

Supporting Information for Light Stable Isotopic Compositions of Enriched Mantle Sources

Supporting Excel Data Files for Light Stable Isotope Paper (.zip)


By: Sean Beckwith


Last modified on Monday, 08 January 2018 19:02

Seminar Schedule Spring 2018

2018 Spring Seminar Schedule

* Fridays at 3:30 PM, MSL Conference Room, (MSL 134)
Note: Some seminars are scheduled for Thursday (3:30PM, MSL 134)

* Speakers highlighted in green have been confirmed. Speakers in black are tentative.


Jan. 12, 2018

Student Colloquium


**Cancelled** Jan. 18, 2018

Speaker: Joe Calantoni

Affiliation: Naval Research Laboratory

Title: Munitions Mobility and Burial in Underwater Environments

Host: Patricia “Soupy” Dalyander (USGS)


Jan. 26, 2018

Speaker: Kevin duClos

Affiliation: University of South Florida, Department of Integrated Biology

Title: Biomechanics of swimming and suspension feeding

Host: Don Chambers


Feb. 2, 2018

Speaker: Tony Haymet

Affiliation: Former director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, now co-owner of MRV Systems

Title: Measuring the heat of the Ocean: From a small business to global impact

Host: Kendra Daly


Feb. 9, 2018

Speaker: James Garey

Affiliation: University of South Florida, Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Title: Biogeochemistry and Hydrology of Coastal Sinks and Springs

Host: Pamela Hallock Muller


Feb. 16, 2018

Speaker: Jeffrey Gralnick

Affiliation: University of Minnesota

Title: Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics of Extracellular Electron Transfer

Host: Larry Dishaw (USF Health)


Feb. 23, 2018

Speaker: Ellen Prager

Affiliation: Science and Program Advisor, Celebrity Cruises Galapagos

Title: Galapagos Islands: The unique wildlife, geology, and environmental issues

Host: Don Chambers


Mar. 2, 2018

Speaker: Aditya Nayak

Affiliation: Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University

Title: Characterizing coastal turbulence and in situ oceanic particle fields using particle image velocimetry and digital holography

Host: David Murphy, USF College of Engineering

(Note: St. Petersburg Grand Prix March 9-11, so Thursday only for a seminar).


Mar. 6, 2018 - Special Seminar

Speaker: Jason Link

Affiliation: Senior Scientist for Ecosystem Management, NOAA-NMFS, Woods Hole, MA

Title: Global ecosystem overfishing: clear delineation in the context of a changing climate and real limits to production

Host: Cam Ainsworth/Steve Murawski


**Cancelled due to weather in the northeast** Mar. 8, 2018

Speaker: Marilyn Brandt

Affiliation: Univ. of Virgin Islands

Title: The lesser of two evils: comparing the impact of catastrophic events on coral reefs of the US Virgin Islands

Host: Cara Cooper

Mar. 16, 2018

Spring Break (no seminar)


Mar. 23, 2018

Speaker: Joe Kuehl

Affiliation: University of Delaware

Title: What can a Teapot teach us about Loop Current predictability?

Host: Robert Weisberg


Mar. 30, 2018

Speaker: Sean Cox

Affiliation: Simon Frasier University, Vancouver

Title: State-space modeling applications in fisheries science and management

Host: Cameron Ainsworth


April 5-6, 2018

Eminent Scholars Lecture Series

Spring 2018 ESLS: Successful Achievements of Societal Importance in Ocean Sciences

Join the event on Facebook - April 5, 2018

Join the event on Facebook - April 6, 2018

Watch Live 4/5/18 & 4/6/18 on our YouTube channel

SciCafe Event - Title: Preparing for Our New Climate: Resist, Mitigate, Adapt
Where: Dali Museum
1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Moderator: Rob Lorei, News Director WMNF 88.5
Featuring: Kim Cobb, PhD, Georgia Tech
Sharon Wright, Sustainability and Resiliency Director, City of St. Petersburg
When: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time: Reception at 6:00 PM, Conversation at 6:30 PM
Event Contact: H. Rutherford, 727-553-3355

View the news article for more information

April. 13, 2018

Speaker: Ed Camp

Affiliation: University of Florida

Title: Spatial dynamics of Florida's recreational fisheries and implications for their management

Host: Marcy Cockrell


April. 20, 2018

Speaker: Jess Fitzsimmons

Affiliation: Texas A&M University

Title: The role of colloidal iron species in the marine environment

Host: Timothy Conway


May 11, 2018

Speaker: Marilyn Brandt

Affiliation: Univ. of Virgin Islands

Title: The lesser of two evils: comparing the impact of catastrophic events on coral reefs of the US Virgin Islands

Host: Cara Cooper

Last modified on Monday, 07 May 2018 15:14

Sign petition requesting a more meaningful role for NSF

New Orleans, LA - In light of recent publications of longstanding sexual and physical harassment and abuse in the field, we request that the NSF-directed US Antarctic Program clarify its policies for reporting harassment, investigations of allegations, and enforcements of codes of conduct.  Recent events show that domineering behaviors, mainly by men in power positions (Principal Investigator, lead scientist, senior camp member, etc.) are more common when victims feel empowered to speak out.  However, the remote and physically-challenging environment of Antarctic make this a special case, and a potentially more dangerous one. 

Please sign petition requesting a more meaningful role for NSF in investigating harassment in remote field locations, including Antarctica (login info to left of sign-in). If you are at AGU17, see Brad Rosenheim for details.

Students from Stewart Magnet Middle School visit CMS and FIO

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - A group of 47 students from Stewart Magnet Middle School along with teachers and chaperones visited the College of Marine Science on Friday, December 1st, 2017, to learn oceanographic research practices directly from the scientists themselves.  The magnet school is STEM focused with electives that include aerospace, engineering, environmental, robotics, computer, and video game design.  Their partnerships include NASA, NOAA, Tuskegee Airmen, U.S. Air Force, FBI and more.

Representing the Center for Ocean Technology (COT), the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS), and the Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Lab, students, faculty and researchers of CMS led three groups of Stewart Middle students around the halls and the docks of the peninsular campus in Bayboro Harbor.  Members of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) enriched the tour with explanations of the research fleet and an in-depth tour of the Weatherbird II, FIO’s flagship research vessel.

The introduction to the day’s studies was given by Frank Muller-Karger who has worked with teachers from Stewart Middle to educate students on marine science and technology for the past 18 years.  Dr. Muller-Karger teaches remote sensing and directs the IMaRS group.  After a tour of the Weatherbird and a hands-on demonstration of marine sensors, the students were provided exercises on sea floor mapping and remote sensing of environmental parameters useful to understanding biodiversity.  The young students kept the faculty and researchers on their toes with some astute questions, offering the prospect of at least a few future oceanographers.

View Facebook Album

Written By: Sean Beckwith

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 14:45

The Seas We’ve Hardly Seen: Adaptations to living in the deep dark ocean


Speakers/Affiliations: Peter Girguis, Harvard University

Seminar Title: The Seas We’ve Hardly Seen: Adaptations to living in the deep dark ocean

When: Dec. 8, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Mya Breitbart

Join event on Facebook


USFCMS Sloan Students and Directors Attend the Institute

ATLANTA, GA - CMS Sloan students, scholars and directors attended the 24th Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in Atlanta October 2017.  The Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, which is sponsored by Compact for Faculty Diversity, is a four-day conference with the largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars in the country.  The Institute focuses on faculty and PhD student diversity. This year the two guest speakers were Judge Glenda A. Hatchett and Margot Lee Shetterly.

CMS Sloan students and directors met Margot Lee Shetterly the author of “Hidden Figures,” which reached number one in The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers list. The book was partly funded by the Sloan Foundation and was eventually made into a film. Sloan provided autographed books to Sloan students, scholars and directors at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

Last modified on Friday, 01 December 2017 15:40

Remote Sensing, a necessary tool for studying biodiversity at effective scales

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - From local to global and micro to macro, the applications of remote sensing are integral to understanding biodiversity across regions and filling the data gaps that exist between them. 

Dr. Frank Muller Karger and his group at the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing collaborate with a larger network of scientists and resource managers to catalog biodiversity as it has never been done before:  with consistency of data from region to region and at scales that reveal the important connectivity among the gradient of marine habitats.

Sanctuaries Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (Sanctuaries MBON) is part of a global consortium of BONs that are building web portals of real-time and historical data through which scientists and environmental resource managers can assess the ecological well-being of the region they are tasked with studying, maintaining or improving. 

On-going bimonthly cruises in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) are conducted by NOAA AOML scientists and members from IMaRS to gather a suite of water quality data.  Pairing water samples with satellite observations, IMaRS member Megan Hepner uses GIS maps to display biodiversity of coral reef fishes along the entire reef tract of the FKNMS.  Simpson and Shannon diversity indices – statistical methods used to classify ecosystem integrity and resilience – show that greater diversity is found in the Lower and Upper Keys than in the Middle Keys.  Dr. Muller-Karger and assistant Dr. Enrique Montes oversee the assimilation of the sampling efforts and observations into the Sanctuaries MBON research initiative. 

Tools like infographics will be a key point of interaction on the sites for both resource managers and members of the general public to learn about the biological composition of some protected ecosystems and any changes in diversity over time.  GIS maps hosted on the MBON web portal provide further spatial and temporal visualizations of ecosystem health and diversity in three National Marine Sanctuaries:  the Florida Keys, Monterey Bay and Flower Garden Banks. 

An additional layer of sampling within the MBON initiative is environmental DNA (eDNA).  The Marine Genomics Lab led by Dr. Mya Breitbart at the USF College of Marine Science is responsible for analyzing seawater samples for trace amounts of genetic material left behind by anything from microbes to whales.  New methods allow for fast, affordable interpretation of the DNA present in concentrated water samples.

The size, depth, and unforgiving surface conditions of the ocean make it impossible to continuously monitor conditions from all desired locations.  Satellite-based remote sensing provides solutions at exceptional spatial and temporal scales.  Careful groundtruthing is required to match sea surface conditions to the data derived from sensors orbiting the earth, and once that is accomplished, the result is unparalleled coverage of terrestrial and oceanographic ecosystems. 

Analysis of satellite data has allowed researchers from IMaRS to study phytoplankton blooms off the Texas coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, explore outbreaks of Dengue fever in the Caribbean, and improve wetland mapping methods for coastal areas.  In addition, the lab is improving characterization of the impacts to coastal areas from red tides, storm-generated sediment plumes, water quality events, and land cover changes. 

Concurrent satellite observations of biological and physical variables from around the world allow observation networks to map the data in near real-time.  Some records span nearly three decades, and without these long term measurements, our understanding of changes throughout time would be lacking over much of the surface of the earth.  The list of global measurements includes:  vegetation biomass (land and ocean), winds, currents, waves, rainfall, cloud cover, land topography, and more.  As Dr. Muller Karger states, “This allows us to see how biological processes on land and in the ocean react to, or in some cases modify, environmental variables that force them.”

Understanding diversity of life in the oceans is crucial to managing and preserving these resources, and the use of remotely sensed data enables the study of biodiversity on the proper scales.


Written By: Sean Beckwith

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 17:34

Trends and Phenology in Linked Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Cycles in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary


Speakers/Affiliations: Jeremy Testa, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Seminar Title: Trends and Phenology in Linked Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Cycles in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary

When: Dec. 1, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Yun Li

Join event on Facebook


Cognitive bias is scientific research


Speakers/Affiliations: Pete Rose, Rose & Associates

Seminar Title: Cognitive bias is scientific research

When: Nov. 17, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Gene Shinn

Join event on Facebook


USF Alumni Roundtable


Title: USF Alumni Roundtable


Merrie Beth Neely, MS '96, PhD '08
Marine Habitat Habitat Resource Specialist II, Earth Resources Technology, Inc.


Beau Suthard, MS '05
Client Program Manager, APTIM

Bio: Beau graduated from Eckerd College in 1997 with a BS in Marine Science (Geology Track), and from USF CMS in 2005 with an MS in Geological Oceanography under Al Hine. After graduating, Beau immediately joined Coastal Planning and Engineering (now known as APTIM) as a Coastal Geologist. Beau is currently a Client Program Manager with APTIM, and is responsible for managing the St. Petersburg, Florida office. This office conducts all of APTIM’s offshore geophysical and geotechnical survey work. This work includes seafloor and sub-seafloor mapping in support of environmental and marine infrastructure projects, including identifying sand resources for shore protection projects and site assessment and clearance for marine infrastructure projects like pipeline routes and offshore wind farms.

Steve Walker, MS '84, P.G.
Principal Consultant, ENERCON Services, Inc.

Bio: Mr. Walker holds a B.A. in Geology from New England College and an M.S. in Marine Science (Geology) from the University of South Florida College Of Marine Science.  He began his career as an applied scientist in 1984 at the Southwest Florida Water Management District working as part of a team establishing an ambient ground water quality monitoring network covering most of west-central Florida.  In 1986, he became a consulting hydrogeologist and environmental consultant for a national environmental firm and in 1990, along with three colleagues, founded an environmental science and engineering firm (Terra Environmental Services, Inc.) located in Tampa, Florida.  Mr. Walker has provided consulting services to hundreds of clients throughout the United States for a wide-range of projects including development of ground water supplies for private companies and municipalities, science and engineering studies at contaminated sites including for some of our nation’s most complex Superfund sites, environmental construction and operations services to implement cleanups at some of those sites, investigations of marine, riverine and lacustrine sediment investigations, and authored hundreds of technical investigation plans and reports.  His work has included extensive interaction and negotiations with state and federal agencies and on some projects, collaboration with academic researchers to bring their knowledge gained from research to difficult-to-solve, real-world environmental problems.  He also has provided technical and regulatory support to private-sector clients and litigation support for parties involved in legal actions related to environmental and regulatory matters.  In 2015, Terra Environmental was acquired by ENERCON Services, Inc., a growing national firm engaged in providing environmental and engineering services  private- and public sector clients throughout the US, where he continues his consulting work.
Mr. Walker is also a volunteer patient advocate for people diagnosed with serious and terminal diseases, and has worked for approximately 17 years to improve patient access to emerging medical progress.  He lives in Saint Petersburg, FL and tries mightily to make it to happy hour on time every Friday.

Monica Wilson, MS ’07, PhD ‘13
Oil Spill Research Extension Specialist, Florida Sea Grant College Program, UF/IFAS Extension

Bio: Monica graduated from Eckerd College in 2003 with a BS in Marine Science (Geology) and Computer Science. She received her MS from USF’s College of Marine Science in 2007 and her Ph.D. in 2013 in Physical Oceanography. After graduate school, Monica joined Florida Sea Grant as a member of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative outreach team. Her role is to transfer information between GoMRI oil spill scientists and coastal stakeholders.  The oil spill science outreach program’s focus is on the two-way transfer of information between the people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf of Mexico or who are involved in the protection and management of Gulf of Mexico coastal and marine resources; and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative scientists, administrators and board of directors.


When: Nov. 9, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Howard Rutherford

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Tuesday, 07 November 2017 17:59