ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Katie S. Davis has received the Fish Florida Scholarship, awarded to students working toward improved public understanding of the marine environment. Katie is a master's student in the College of Marine Science's Population Dynamics and Marine Ecosystem Analysis Lab, and her research is focused on the assessment of benthic communities along the West Florida Shelf using a Camera-Based Assessment Survey System (C-BASS). The habitats of the West Florida Shelf support many economically-important reef fish communities and are composed of various algal, coral, and sponge species. Using video from C-BASS, and in coordination with other researchers within the College, Katie is analyzing the presence of and associations between these organisms.
Katie is also an employee of NOAA Fisheries. One of her goals is to communicate research so that the fisheries can better understand, support, and comply with regulations, and to find ways to enable the public to become more engaged in regulation-making processes. "I believe that the more people know about the marine environment, the more they will appreciate and want to protect it," she says.
"USF is fortunate to have [Katie's] talent, enthusiasm, and work ethic," says Lara Kramer, Director of the Fish Florida scholarship program, "It is Fish Florida's mission to promote public awareness of and encourage the protection of marine fisheries and coastal habitats. Supporting future fisheries research and managers with scholarship funds is just one way of doing that."
A scholarship check of $2500 was sent to the University to be applied toward Katie's tuition for the Fall 2014 semester.
About Fish Florida: www.fishfloridatag.org
About C-BASS: www.marine.usf.edu/news/the-camera-based-assessment-survey-system-c-bass/