USF College of Marine Science

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Right now, if a researcher wants to confirm there’s a red tide outbreak – you know, that algae bloom known as Karenia brevis that turns water red or brown, kills marine life and makes a horrible stench – they have to take a water sample, bring it back to the lab, put it on a microscope, and literally count the number of algae cells.

Elizabeth Herdter / USF College of Marine Science

A team of marine scientists, led by representatives of the University of South Florida, are about midway through a six-week expedition looking for evidence left over from the two largest accidental oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

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.

At the Gulf State Park Pier in Orange Beach, Ala., Wetzel Wood casts his fishing line into the rough surf of the Gulf of Mexico. He pulls his bait, a cigar minnow, through the water just beyond where the waves break for the shore.

"On a good day you'd catch king mackerel, Spanish mackerel," he says. Wood first learned to fish at the pier with his grandfather in 1969. "I've seen a lot of different things out here. It's been wonderful."

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 photo

The University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science announced late Friday it has been awarded a $20.2 million grant by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The money will be used to continue the school's studies of the ongoing effects of the 2010 BP oil spill, which became the largest spill in the nation's history.

Amie Blodgett / USF News

Ground-breaking scientist, mentor to students, role model to young girls -- all by the age of 35.  Such dedication has earned Mya Breitbart a prestigious honor.

Popular Science magazine has named the University of South Florida Associate Professor of biological oceanography as one of its "Brilliant Ten," its annual list of some of the country's brightest young scientific minds.

Like the 110 honorees before them, the members of this year's class are dramatically reshaping their fields--and the future. Some are tackling pragmatic questions, like how to secure the Internet, while others are attacking more abstract ones, like determining the weather on distant exoplanets. The common thread between them is brilliance, of course, but also impact. If the Brilliant Ten are the faces of things to come, the world will be a safer, smarter, and brighter place.--The Editors

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.

USF College of Marine Science

Researchers at USF's College of Marine Science are finding new and creative ways to use social media to share what they're learning. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media looks at how one teacher used Skype to continue teaching her Honors College classes while in the middle of the ocean on a once in a lifetime research cruise. It also shows us how an underwater vehicle is using Twitter to share the information it’s discovering with both researchers and the public.