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Florida Institute of Oceanography

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

When Bill Hogarth was told the Florida Institute of Oceanography's new research vessel was going to be named after him, he had a pretty reasonable - and funny - reaction. 

“I said, ‘Somebody knows something I don’t know!’ I think, it’s (the naming) usually after you’re dead, I said, ‘I’m retired but I didn’t know I was dying at the same time!’” 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Among the $410 million worth of projects struck from the new state budget by Governor Rick Scott's veto pen are a number of items with ties to the Tampa Bay area.

While officials from USF and FIO and local politicians look on, Duckworth Steel Boats owner Junior Duckworth (center, back) performs the ceremonial keel laying of the new research vessel.
Amie Blodgett / USF News

Next summer, a group of marine researchers and local politicians who gathered at a Tarpon Springs shipyard for a ceremonial keel laying plan to return for the dedication of a new research ship.

With the touching of a blow torch to the keel Wednesday morning, construction formally began on the 78-foot vessel at Duckworth Steel Boats.

While the University of South Florida received funding in the state budget for its downtown Tampa medical school and a St. Petersburg business school, money that would have gone to a new research vessel was removed by Governor Rick Scott's veto pen earlier this week. The Florida Institute of Oceanography, the collaborative effort of dozens of research institutes and agencies, is based out of the USF College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. The $6 million FIO was seeking would be used to buy a research boat to replace the aging Bellows. The Tampa Bay Times reports that FIO officials and state lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do next.

USF Students Help Rescue Boater

Jun 22, 2015
Andrew Warren & Eric Rabinowits

Students aboard the Florida Insitute of Oceanography's Weatherbird II research vessel helped rescue a distressed boater near Egmont Key on Saturday night.

Those on the vessel heard an emergency call at around 9 p.m. from the U.S Coast Guard about three boaters in the water two miles away from where their craft was. The Coast Guard managed to rescue two men but a third was still missing in the water.

C-IMAGE Consortium

On April 20, 2010, a wellhead a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

In the subsequent leak, more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled out. On the Gulf’s surface, the oil covered up to 68-thousand square miles – an area roughly equal to the size of Florida.

USF News

Among the big winners in the 2014-15 state budget signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday is the University of South Florida, which picked up funding for a number of projects that still needed support.

According to USF News, all five of the university's top legislative priorities were met.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Last year's federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunity, and Revived Economies (RESTORE) Act made hundreds of millions of dollars in funds available for projects related to the Gulf region's recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Now the University of South Florida is making a concentrated effort to bolster its reputation - and its funding coffers - by planning new research efforts on the effects of the disaster.

Almost 80 researchers, faculty and administrators from over a dozen USF colleges and divisions attended an oceanography summit Friday at the Marshall Student Center.

The 'usual suspects' were there from the Colleges of Marine Science and Engineering, as well as the Florida Institute of Oceanography. But what made this event unique was that representatives also came from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, even the Library.