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ISSUE 06 | SUMMER 2016

Rising Tides A Publication of The University of South Florida College of Marine Science

4 Faculty Spotlight 12 College News 14 Featured Alumni 7 Ports:

From Safety to Science


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CONTENTS

INSIDE August 2016 EDITION 06

04 Brad Seibel Brad was fortunate in his early career to have opportunities to take part in research projects.

05 Paula Coble

07 Featured Science Article TBPORTS was built by NOAA/ NOS between 1989 and 1991 and became operational in 1992.

What made Paula so remarkable was that in addition to her science career, she was dedicated to enhancing marine education and outreach programs.

06 In Development

12

Our 50th celebration will revolve around our 2017 Eminent Scholar Lecture Series with special lectures, poster sessions, evening events, fieldtrips and a trip down memory lane.

College News Looking for CMS news? You’ve come to right place. We cover college news, alumni news, graduate news, upcoming events.

09 Note to CMS Alumni A place where you can network with fellow CMS alumini as they share personal and professional updates.


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Message from the Dean

Welcome

Message from the Dean

Written by Jackie Dixon, Dean College of Marine Science We passed a major milestone this summer with the completion of our 25th Oceanography Camp for Girls. On June 30th the campers presented their research projects to family and friends after three weeks of intense hands-on learning about the marine environment. I was so proud of each and every one of them. Teresa Greely, Angela Lodge, Paul Aunspaugh, as well as all the graduate, undergraduate and volunteer counselors, create an exciting, engaged, and supportive learning environment. Gregory Wright, the Community Affairs Manager from our sponsor Duke Energy, also got his feet wet on Caladesi Island with the girls and came away very impressed with the experience. I couldn’t tell who was having more fun—the counselors, Greg, or the girls! We plan on bringing together OCG alumna at our upcoming CMS 50th Anniversary celebration. Another major milestone, our 50th anniversary, is coming up in 2017. We are beginning preparations to be held in April 2017. The timing is centered around our Eminent Scholars Lecture Series. The 50th ESLS and Celebration will highlight our many distinguished alumni. Stay tuned for more details as plans get finalized. I hope to see many of you there. Sincerely,

Jacqueline Dixon Dean, College of Marine Science jdixon@usf.edu


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Faculty Spotlight

Brad Seibel Professor, Biological Oceanography Written by Brad Seibel, Professor

here many times over the years and love it.

I grew up in small town middle America. Actually many small towns in many middle American states, including Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Texas. Despite my land-locked youth, I always had an inexplicable affinity for the water. When my parents moved to California just as I was starting high school I was excited to be near the ocean. As it turns out we moved to Stockton, California, which is not exactly a beach community. Nevertheless I got certified to SCUBA dive and chose to pursue marine biology in Santa Barbara. There’s really no good reason to leave Santa Barbara so I stayed on there for graduate school as well. I subsequently criss-crossed the country several times, by-passing the land-locked states, to take postdoctoral fellowships at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Miami, Florida and at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. From there I accepted a faculty job at the University of Rhode Island where I stayed for 13 years. I recently jumped at the opportunity to join the College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. I’ve visited

I was fortunate in my early career to have opportunities to take part in research projects ranging from kelp forest fish ecology, to Antarctic oceanography to deep-sea biology. I developed an interest in extreme environments and the animals that love them. There are animals that function just fine with a body temperature of -1.8°C…the freezing point of seawater. There are marine species that can survive at oxygen levels far less than those limiting to humans at the top of Mt. Everest. Some species thrive in acidic waters. In pursuit of such species, I’ve spent more than 3 years at sea and a year in Antarctica. I’ve been to the bottom of the ocean in submersibles and have used remotely operated deep-submergence vehicles extensively. Climate change, we now know, is leading to ocean warming, deoxygenation and acidification. By understanding the physiological tolerance of marine animals to these climate-related variables, we can begin to understand how they will respond to climate change. That is the goal of much of my recent work.

Brad Seibel in Antarctica

To increase the signal-to-noise in my studies, I focus on “extreme animals”. That is, animals that are already living on the edge of environmental limitation due to their extremely activity levels and high oxygen demand. In particular, I’ve focused on squids. A guiding tenet of comparative physiology states that “for such a large number of problems there will be some animal of choice, or a few such animals, on which it can be most conveniently studied” (August Krogh, 1929). Although the words “convenient” and “squid” are seldom associated, convenience in this context refers to the unique attributes of an organism, or the appropriate comparison of distinct organisms, that conveniently permits insight into a particular physiological question. Oceanic squids have such extraordinary capabilities or properties that their study is of inherent interest and permits truly novel insight into the limits of adaptation and environmental tolerance, even though difficulties in capture and laboratory maintenance may render their study decidedly inconvenient. I look forward to many years working with the great faculty and staff at the College of Marine Science.


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Faculty Spotlight

Paula Coble Marine Biogeochemistry and Chemo-optical Oceanography Written by Kendra Daly, Professor

Marine Chemistry has been cited more than 1,770 times.

Dr. Paula Coble was an exceptional member of the CMS faculty from 1992 until her retirement in December 2014. She obtained her Ph.D. with Dr. Robert Gagosian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography, where she pioneered work on fluorescence properties of dissolved organics in seawater. During her postdoc at the University of Washington, she developed new 3-D fluorescence spectroscopy techniques for analysis and characterization of organic matter in natural waters. While on the faculty of the College of Marine Science, Paula published papers on a variety of topics, including carbon cycling, fluorescence of dissolved organics in seawater, laser fluorescence sensor development, marine organic geochemistry, ocean color, chemistry and biology of subsurface particle layers in low oxygen waters, biogeochemistry of the ocean, and marine denitrification. Her classic paper “Characterization of marine and terrestrial DOM in seawater using excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy” in

What made Paula so remarkable was that in addition to her science career, she was dedicated to enhancing marine education and outreach. She was the Founder and Executive Producer of Project Oceanography and the Founding Director of COSEE Florida (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence). Project Oceanography created about 80 TV shows over an eight year period on a variety of ocean topics aimed at middle school science students, which were shown across the United States and internationally. In addition, Paula served as a Program Scientist in the Earth-Sun System Division for Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, bringing NASA science to a large audience. Paula also mentored a number of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. One of her former students, Dr. Robyn Conmy, now a research at the US Environmental Protection Agency, says “Paula is a remarkable scientist.

Paula Coble

Not only was she a pioneer in fluorescence applications in marine biogeochemistry, but her ability to mentor and inspire students and colleagues alike is unsurpassable, especially during the countless weeks at sea. Even today, I reach out to her for scientific and personal advice.” Paula and her husband, Sandy Rhodes, are currently enjoying life in the San Francisco Bay area in California. Paula spends time with her one-year-old granddaughter and is learning the finer points of dressage, riding her Hanovarian mare.


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In Development

E. Howard Rutherford Director of Development

Written by E. Howard Rutherford, Director of Development The College of Marine Science and I are reaching a mutual milestone this year- we’re both turning 50. Although one of us doesn’t look a day over 40! Typically, a momentous event like this is the perfect time to pause and reflect on where we’ve been and where we would like to go. Recently, the College of Marine Science (CMS) completed its 2016 – 2021 Strategic Plan, which honors our past accomplishments as well as positions the College for future success. This plan builds on the collective efforts of current and past faculty, graduate students and staff who have contributed towards the many achievements over the last 49 years and we want to honor and celebrate these successes with you. Please mark your calendar for USF’s College of Marine Science 50th Anniversary celebration scheduled from April 6 – 9, 2017. We are still in the preliminary planning stages for our celebration and assembling our planning committee. Alumni, faculty, graduate students, staff and community partners have already offered their assistance but there is always room for one more. Our 50th celebration will revolve around our 2017 Eminent Scholar Lecture Series with special lectures, poster sessions, evening events, fieldtrips and a trip down memory lane. Turning 50 also is a time to think about leaving a legacy. The College’s legacy…. Well, is you, the next generation of educated leaders as well as a more ocean literate citizenry. Personally, we can also have a long-term impact on the people and programs at CMS. Through a planned gift, we have an opportunity to continue to support the best and the brightest graduate students and faculty for generations to come. Please join the College and I in celebrating the BIG 50 and consider how together, we can position the College of Marine Science to become one of the top oceanographic institutions in the world, and one that is recognized as a leader in applying science to society’s needs through research, service and training of future scientists. Please contact me if you would like to learn more about how you can make a long-term impact on our graduate students, faculty and programs. My number is 727.553.3376 or email me at hrutherford@usf.edu.


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Featured Science Article

PORTS: From Safety to Science Mark Luther

By: Dr. Mark Luther, Associate Professor USFCMS, Steven D. Meyers, Chief Scientist in Luther Lab, and Jeffrey Scudder, Chief Field Engineer in Luther Lab. On May 9, 1980 the 580 foot freighter M/V Summit Venture was approaching the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay, when it was overtaken by a violent, blinding thunderstorm just as it was making a critical turn toward the center span of the bridge. The ship was blown off course and crashed into a main support pier of the bridge, collapsing the south-bound span. Thirty-six people in vehicles – including a Greyhound bus - fell 165 feet into the water; only one survived. The M/V Summit Venture rests against a collapsed bridge pier of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as a car hangs precariously over the edge of the remaining bridge deck. The St. Petersburg Times reported that as the owner of the car was crawling up the bridge deck to safety, he looked back and his passenger was going back to the car to get his golf clubs. (Photo by St. Petersburg Times) In the wake of this disaster, the Tampa Bay maritime community worked with their Congressional delegation to provide funding to the NOAA National Ocean Service to establish the first Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System in the bay. TBPORTS makes measurements of currents, tides, winds, waves, visibility, barometric pressure, and air and water temperatures at critical locations in the shipping channels and port facilities of Tampa Bay, with data automatically distributed to end-users every 6 minutes. TBPORTS was built by NOAA/NOS between 1989 and 1991 and became operational in 1992. In 1993, we negotiated cooperative agreements to house the system in the USF College of Marine Science and were the first to serve real-time oceanographic and meteorological data over the Internet – see http://tbports.org. Since TBPORTS became operational, ship groundings have decreased, loading of bulk cargo has become much more efficient, and the slack current window for bringing large ships through current-restricted portions of the channel has been widened by several hours. TBPORTS data also are used in search and rescue, hazardous material spill response, water quality studies, storm surge monitoring, fisheries studies, and harmful algal bloom tracking, among other uses. An earlier economic study demonstrates that the quantifiable economic benefits of TBPORTS exceed the operating costs by at least a factor of 20 to 50. The success of TBPORTS made it a prototype for a national PORTS® program (yes, NOAA trademarked the acronym) operated by the NOAA National Ocean Service. By 1994 San Francisco Harbor and Houston/Galveston Bay had implemented their own PORTS® installations. Today PORTS® operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 27 ports around the United States. TBPORTS is the first to provide data to ships over the Automated Identification System now required on large commercial vessels, and again is leading technological development for other NOAA PORTS® installations.


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Featured Science Article

PORTS® real-time water levels have allowed larger ships with deeper drafts and larger cargo capacity to more safely navigate within har bors, significantly increasing operational efficiency and safety. As ship drafts have increased, their clearance with the bottom has decreased to as little as 1 m. Even so, PORTS® has yielded more than a 60% decrease in ship groundings and collisions in some locations, leading to a commensurate decrease in related spills of pollutants. John Gray, USF/CMS graduate assistant (seated on the vessel) assists Rick Cole and Jeff Scudder (standing on the platform) in deploying a new sea cable to the ADCP at the Skyway. (photo by Mark Luther)

When spills do occur, real-time information on water levels, currents, surface wave height, period and direction provided by PORTS® facilitates response and cleanup operations. The near-continuous observational data provided by PORTS® is used for a variety of purposes. Operational circulation and surface wave models which include PORTS® data in their boundary conditions have been implemented by NOAA for 13 US harbors. These models provide maps of marine conditions across their domains in near real-time as well as 24-hrs into the future. Again, Tampa Bay was a prototype with its nowcast-forecast model first developed at USF. These models also provide predictions of spill trajectories, allowing for more focused protection strategies to be applied to those areas most at risk from contamination. PORTS® data also has recognized scientific value. At USF, TBPORTS provides funding for graduate students and TBPORTS data has fuel numerous theses and dissertations. Data from TBPORTS has been an integral part of studies on estuarine flushing and residence time, the development Harmful Algal Blooms, and the restoration of sea grass in Tampa Bay. The accumulating data at TBPORTS locations provide information relevant to the protection of ly important estuaries and harbors, particularly when paired with long-term water quality data and observational data from other sources. Utilizing the now 25 year long record of current profiles from TBPORTS and other data with the Tampa Bay model, we showed that the subtidal circulation of Tampa Bay varies according to the volume of freshwater being discharged by local rivers in a nonlinear manner and to deviate from the theoretical vertically-sheared structure. Estuarine response to hurricane conditions is important for many coastal areas, particularly those along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The volume of Tampa Bay was shown, using both TBPORTS data and a numerical model driven by the same data, to swing by 40% in less than 24 hours during Hurricane Frances. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), which produce toxins that kill marine life and can cause respiratory distress in adjacent human communities, can be tracked with numerical circulation models.


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Featured Science Article

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TBPORTS inspired other real-time coastal ocean observing systems at USF. In March of 1993, an unpredicted severe storm system, later dubbed the Storm of the Century, struck the west coast of Florida in the middle of the night, causing severe coastal flooding from Tampa Bay northward into the Big Bend region. After this storm, emergency managers from Pasco and The M/V Summit Venture rests against a collapsed bridge pier of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as a car hangs precariously over the edge of the remaining bridge deck. The St. Petersburg Times reported that as the owner of the car was crawling up the bridge deck to safety, he looked back and his passenger was going back to the car to get his golf clubs. (Photo by St. Petersburg Times)

Citrus counties approached us to develop real-time water level, wind, and rainfall monitoring stations along their coastlines. This led to the development of the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS – see http://comps.marine.usf.edu/) in the college that operates observing stations along the coast (directed by Mark Luther) and on the West Florida Shelf (directed by Bob Weisberg). COMPS is now part of both the South-Eastern Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), two of the 11 Regional Observing Systems contributing to the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), with over 2500 monitoring sites around the US and Pacific Islands (see https://ioos.noaa.gov/). It is estimated that 50% of the world’s population lives in a coastal zone, with a majority of this coastal population residing in and around urbanized estuaries, due primarily to the proximity of maritime transportation and port facilities. This concentration of population, and particularly of maritime transportation infrastructure, leads to pressures on coastal ecosystems and vulnerability to coastal hazards. There is also a significant economic vulnerability in these concentrations since 90% of global commerce and 95% of US international trade relies on maritime transportation and its supporting distribution and industry infrastructure. With increased uncertainty of future coastal conditions arising from projected climate change, real-time monitoring will assume an even greater role in protecting maritime operations in the coming years and decades.


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Upcoming Events

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Save the Date Please mark your calendar for the 2016 College of Marine Science Fellowships and Awards Luncheon. The college celebrated the excellence of their graduate students through the award of their endowed fellowships. These endowed fellowships are a point of pride for the college and reflect years of successful engagement with the community.


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Notes to CMS Alumni

Albert (Al) C. Hine Professor Dear Department/College of Marine Science Alums: As you can see in our section called Alumni/ Alumnae Tidbits, we have a number of responses from you guys. Many thanks! As I have written in earlier issues of Rising Tides, we really think it is important to hear from our former grads to learn what you have been doing with your lives after leaving Bayboro Harbor. The place has changed enormously, but if you visit, you will still recognize the place.

One big story is the replacement for the R/V Bellows. Many of you had your first cruise on the now venerable vessel. But, after nearly five decades, the vessel deserves a rest. The keel laying ceremony for the new, unnamed vessel occurred very recently and this wonderful new facility should be in operation in 12-18 months. In 1981, I clearly remember taking Lee Kump, David Mearns, Mark Evans, and a few other DMS students at the time to Cay Sal Bank on the R/V Bellows to conduct high-resolution seismic reflection profiling and diving. Time flies. Keep sending in the “tidbits” about yourselves—just one or two sentences crowing about your latest achievement would be great. Please email me at at: hine@usf.edu. As I have asked before, how we can make this form of communication better? We are just “following our noses” so to speak with Rising Tides. What are we missing? How can we communicate with our former grads more effectively? Please tell me.

Cheers,

Al Hine, Professor


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Alumni Tidbits

Alumni Tidbits Esther Peters (DMS MS 1978, Norm Blake major advisor ) associate professor in environmental science and policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. and is quoted in the Palm Beach Daily News about damage to coral reefs off Palm Beach, FL:

David Mearns (CMS MS 1986, Albert C. Hine major advisor) has just published a paper entitled, “A Portuguese East Indiaman from the 1502–1503 Fleet of Vasco da Gama off Al Hallaniyah Island, Oman: an interim report, in the International Journal of Nautical Archeology.

Shana Smith (DMS 1992) is an award-winning family entertainer, among other things. Shana is totally terrific and we are thrilled to host her Book release celebration. The USFSP Alumni Society is excited to present an upcoming event featuring USF Marine Science Alumna extraordinaire,Shana “Banana” Smith. Shana is also one of the USFSP Green and Golden Alums, Class of 1992.

J. William Louda (DMS PhD, 1993, Bill Sackett major advisor) Environmental biogeochemistry, chlorophylls, carotenoids, phycobiliproteins and sunscreen pigments, microalgal community assessment and water quality. Phone: (561) 297-3309
 Fax: (561) 297-2759
 Email: blouda@fau.edu Eunil Lee (DMS PhD 1996, Larry Doyle major advisor) is Head of the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration Ocean Research Division. Matt Patterson (CMS MS 2000, Pamela Hallock major advisor) is with the National Park Service in Miami. Email: Matt_patterson@nps.gov Keith Hackett (CMS MS 2002, Pamela Hallock major advisor) is the Country Director, Peace Corps, Burkina Faso. He can be reached at: Keith Hackett muraya1@gmail.com Jyotika Virmani (CMS PhD 2005, Robert Weisberg major advisor) is now the Prize Lead for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE - a $7M global competition to incentivize the development of autonomous, fast, and high resolution deep-sea floor mapping technology (2000m and 4000m) and high-definition underwater imagery. Embedded in this is a $1M NOAA Bonus Prize to incentivize the development of technologies that can autonomously detect a biological or chemical signal underwater and then track it to its source.

Shihadah “Shay” Saleem (CMS MS 2007, David Naar major advisor) is a Senior Museum Educator and Coordinator of GOALS (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for Girls at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. Throughout the year she provides teens, families and communities with opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming, from free workshops, paid internships and summer experiences.


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Alumni Tidbits

Alumni Tidbits Kelley Anderson Tagarino (CMS MS 2008, Pamela Muller major advisor) says that sea level rise is indeed on the minds of people living in American Samoa. It is especially interesting here due to the traditional land tenure system, where land is held via chief titles and passed down through the generations. This means some titles could be tied to submerged land in the fairly near future - then what does their chief title mean? An interesting thought exercise.... There is no property tax as the government has no claims on that land, and thus little jurisdiction to tell folks how to adapt to future SLR issues. However, this also allows for rapid adaptation, as there is no gov’t red tape holding land owners back. I do indeed work with the communities here on raising awareness of climate impacts, I also work with gov’t leaders such as our Congressional Rep, Hon. Aumua Amata. Amata is my neighbor, and her land is very, very low, so she is keenly aware of SLR and associated issues - she may be the only Republican who believes climate change is happening; too bad she doesn’t have a vote! In general, many people want sea walls, but of course these have their own issues and those are areas I try to educate people on as well. We have shallow fringing reefs here, so I try to remind people these are their best line of defense, and to reiterate how important it is to keep them healthy. One neat project that I was a bit involved in five years back is the Amouli Village Resiliency Plan - the village really came together to plan how to adapt to SLR. Their motivation was driven by a simple inundation animation video that Dr. Chip Fletcher created for us - this was pre-LiDAR, but was (and remains) one of the most effective and powerful tools to motivate folks towards planning. We now have a nice arial LiDAR dataset from 2012 that was used by NOAA in the digital coast SLR viewer and I have been working with partners to develop village level inundation videos. You can see more about the Amouli project at the link below.

Inia Soto (CMS PhD 2013, Frank Muller-Karger major advisor) is working with Consortium Concorde; Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems. It is one of 12 research consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to conduct scientific studies of the impacts of oil, dispersed oil and dispersant on the Gulf’s ecosystem and public health during 2015-17.


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College News

COLLEGE NEWS

Retirement of the R/V Bellows and its New Replacement “Many of us in the Department/College of Marine Science sailed on FIO’s R/V Bellows over the years. Our program was the largest single user of this vessel throughout its 46 year life span as the State’s research vessel. We used her as an at-sea teaching classroom. Equally as important, many funded research cruises made significant discoveries that led to successful MS theses and PhD dissertations. And, many of these theses and dissertations were published in highly regarded scientific journals. FIO’s 46 year old R/V Bellows

The R/V Bellows and her crew have made an indelible mark on our understanding of the waters surrounding Florida, the Caribbean Sea, and the western North Atlantic Ocean. She will be missed, but her successor should be a wonderful state-of-the-art replacement. We greatly look forward to this new vessel’s first cruise in about 12-18 months. We anticipate that this new vessel will make an even greater contribution to understanding Florida’s marine science and oceanographic environment and will be the platform that will launch many future careers. Finally, we anticipate that it will be the platform used to make fantastic new discoveries.” FIO Council Chair Wade Jeffrey, Dean of USF’s College of Marine Jacqueline Dixon, USF Trustee Stephanie Goforth, State Representative Kathleen Peters, USF System President Judy Genshaft, FIO Council Member and University of North Florida Professor Courtney Hackney, Mr. Duckworth, Mayor of Tarpon Springs Chris Alahouzos, State Senator Jack Latvala, FIO Director William Hogarth. (l-r) Photo by Aimee Blodgett


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College News

CONGRATULATIONS June 2016 - We had four successful PhD Defenses. Congratulations to Drs. Erin Symonds, Michael Marinez-Colon, Kwasi Barnes, and Natasha Mendez-Ferrer.

Dr. Erin Symonds

Dr. Michael MarinezColon

Dr. Kwasi Barnes

Dr. Natasha MendezFerrer

STUDENT AWARDS

Elizabeth Brown

Kara Vadman

The Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research has announced the Graduate Student Awards for 2016. 2016 Johanna M. Resig Foraminiferal Research Fellowship - Elizabeth Brown, “Morphological variability in the Globigerinoides ruber-elongatus plexus and its implications.” University of South Florida, USA. 2016 Loeblich and Tappan Student Research Award - Kara Vadman, “Mg/Ca-temperature calibration and reconstruction of bottom water paleotemperatures on the Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica using benthic foraminifer Trifarina angulosa.” University of South Florida, USA.

Shaojie Sun

IIleana Freytes Ortiz

Shaojie Sun receives NASA fellowship Shaojie Sun will receive a NASA fellowship to continue his research in oil spill remote sensing. As in the past the selection, it was very competitive. Out of 425 applications only 73 were selected. Ileana Freytes Ortiz selected for USGS NWCSC MOSS Fellowship in Science Communication Ileana Freytes Ortiz, a PhD candidate, was selected as one of two recipients of the USGS NWCSC MOSS Fellowship in Science Communication (United States Geological Survey, Northwest Climate Science Center, McCall Outdoor Science School) .


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Featured Alumni Mark Evans, College of Marine Science - DMS MS 1983; DMS PhD 1989 Before I attempt to puff up my post-Bayboro career, I would like to thank Al Hine for his many years of friendship and patient mentoring. I first met Al when he led a field course in coastal processes at the UNC Marine Science Lab in Morehead City, NC. Upon arriving at the Morehead City airport late at night, the airport closed, everybody left, and I had no clue about where I was or how to proceed. So I called Al, he picked me up at the airport and very graciously put me up for the night. Shortly after that summer course, Al landed at USF and took me on as a graduate student. It’s possible that if Al had known how many years later I would be barging into his office with some trivial problem, he may not have taken that call. Thank you.

Mark Evans working on his retirement cabin in the NC Mountains after a career in the Centers for Disease Control

So what have I been doing since I left the warm embrace of the Marine Science program? Well, initially, I moved to Sarasota ABD when my wife was offered a job at Mote Marine Lab. During this time I took a job with Sarasota County reviewing coastal building permits of various stripes.

The only occurrence of note during this employment was meeting William Royal. Bill was conducting an illegal excavation of Little Salt Creek in south Sarasota County. The excavation was being conducted as part of his ongoing paleontological and archeological adventures (Bill discovered the 10,000 year old human remains in Warm Mineral Springs). In the course of our conversations he showed me his fireplace embedded with mammoth teeth and tusks, and other fossils recovered in southwest Florida. If you get a chance, look up “William Royal, The Man Who Rode Sharks.” Meanwhile, presentation of my dissertation research at the 1988 SEPM conference led to a teaching position at the University of Rhode Island. I went there sans family and the forced isolation allowed me the appropriate focus to complete my dissertation and finally receive my PhD. However, the URI position was a temporary job and rent on the beach house we were occupying went from off-season affordable to exorbitant. So with brand new degree in hand, we moved to my Father-in-laws hobby farm in rural Tennessee. Chasing pigs in the rain with brooms and rakes led me to question my chosen career path. At this point, I was pretty well convinced that PhD stood for pig herder. While my daughter remembers this as the best summer of her life, my job prospects seemed bleak. However, another scientific conference (the 1989 International Geological Congress) led to a teaching position at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. At that time, Emory University was quite generous to its untenured lecturers. I had a light teaching load, time, and limited funds for conducting research. However, a couple of years teaching spoiled undergraduates convinced me that I was not cut out for the academic world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is directly adjacent to the Emory campus and a recently formed step-child of CDC, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) was seeking environmental scientists to evaluate the public health implications of hazardous waste sites.


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Featured Alumni Mark Evans, College of Marine Science - DMS MS 1983; DMS PhD 1989 The recently enacted Superfund law was identifying hundreds of hazardous waste site across the county and nobody knew whether people living around those sites were being exposed to those hazardous substances or if so, whether they were getting sick from those exposures. This was very appealing and seemed like an opportunity to use interdisciplinary science to help people. I had spent many years obtaining several academic degrees, but this job was the beginning of my education. The nuts and bolts part of this job is analyzing concentrations of toxic substances in air, water, soil, etc. and using those concentrations to estimate exposure doses to people. Often, the measured data are lacking so transport models must be used to estimate concentrations in areas of potential exposure. The estimated doses are then compared with doses that can make you sick. One thing I have learned is that every substance is potentially toxic. To paraphrase Paracelsus, the difference between a poison and a remedy is the dose. That is the applied science aspect of the job, the artful part is trying to explain those results to people who think they have gotten cancer from those exposures. Like Lake Wobegone, where every child is above average, it turns out that every community has an excess of cancer cases. People are understandably emotional when they think their children are being poisoned. Community meetings are a regular part of the job; they are often tense, and occasionally police officers are required. Ironically, people often get very mad when you tell them they are not being poisoned. Did I mention the lawyers? There are always lawyers and I really enjoy responding to comments from lawyers. Over the course of my career at ATSDR, I have worked on a number of controversial sites, including many of the Department of Energy nuclear facilities (Oak Ridge, Hanford, Savannah River, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and others), many DoD sites (including the Vieques Naval Bombing facility, PR, Fort Detrick, Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, NC, and others). Camp Lejeune, NC is a particularly controversial site and I am currently evaluating exposures to groundwater contaminants via soil vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion is the migration of volatile gases of chlorinated solvents and hydrocarbons from groundwater or shallow vadose zones into overlying buildings. It is the environmental contamination du jour (much like radon and arsenic of a few years ago) and fraught with uncertainty in terms of statistically representative sampling and analysis. There are significant sources of shallow groundwater contamination at Camp Lejeune and we are attempting the unprecedented task of assessing historic vapor intrusion (before groundwater remediation reduced subsurface contaminant concentrations). During my career at ATSDR I have also conducted training on exposure assessment for ATSDR, state agencies, and the health and environmental agencies of Wales, France, Ireland, and Romania. One of my career highlights was conducting a site assessment in Wales and having the resulting report published in the Welsh language. Evans is a common Welsh name and I was able to find birth and marriage records of my ancestors in the National Archive of Wales. All in all, it has been a good ride. There are always new challenges and new things to learn. I doubt that I have made much of a difference, but at least I pretend. I will soon retire from ATSDR and begin my next career as a woodworker and day laborer. I expect that the furniture I build will have a longer shelf life than the various reports and papers I have written. I am currently in the process of remodeling and moving to a small cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. Between that, a new grandchild, a backlog of furniture projects, and extended bicycle tours, I expect to stay busily occupied.


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Featured Alumni Dana Wetzel, College of Marine Science - DMS MS 1995; PhD 2000

Dana taking water sample as part of her Alaska project

My story may be a little different than usual for a CMS graduate student, but it is how my marine science career began. Texas A&M University (TAMU) is where I received my BS in biochemistry over a decade before I applied to grad school at the St. Petersburg campus of USF Marine Science. After moving to Florida with my husband a few years earlier, I started teaching high school chemistry and physics in Lee County, because that was all I could find to do with only a BS in biochemistry (darn my TAMU dean for being spot on with that prediction). Of course since I had absolutely NO education classes under my belt, I took evening classes to become certified to teach, while I was teaching. I really can’t believe the school district let me get away with that one! There was a special teacher training opportunity to work with Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) to become immersed in the field of marine science. Somehow I got really lucky and was one of 20 teachers selected to participate in this two year program. While in this program, Science Educators at Sea (SEAs as we fondly called it) I had a career epiphany.

During my freshman year at TAMU, I was a marine science major but then changed to biochemistry. My epiphany was a realization that I should never second guess my heart, and mine still resided with marine science. Thus, it was back to school for me. The circumstance of having three young children, a full time job and commuting over 100 miles each way is not ideal for going back to grad school. As a result, I didn’t participate in the traditional marine science graduate school experience of cruises, late night study sessions and general student camaraderie. Even so, I felt I had won the lottery when I was accepted as a master’s student in 1993, although I still had those pesky little realities of commuting, taking classes, doing research while still teaching full time two hours away from St. Petersburg. Research for my MS on the 1993 Tampa Bay oil spill took place every other weekend for a year, while I camped out on friends’ sofas. When I began my Ph.D. in 1996, I lived Monday morning through Thursday evening in a garage apartment (really a euphemism for a large closet) in Old St. Petersburg while doing research and taking classes. On Thursday evenings, I drove back to my home in Estero, Florida so that I could attend my children’s soccer and T-ball games. My weekends were spent cooking for my family for the upcoming week, cleaning house and being a mom for the next three and a half days in order to give my husband a much needed break from being Mr. Mom. It was an interesting time to say the least, that could never have happened without my family’s support. Ted Van Vleet was my advisor during my time at CMS and he was amazingly patient with my less-than-normal approach to attending grad school. He also is/was, in my opinion, quite an exceptional mentor. Without a doubt, Ted was a guru of marine pollution and a master of oil spill science, having studied under James Quinn (University of Rhode Island). James Quinn is still considered as one of the preeminent organic geochemists of all time. Because I was a student under Ted, who was a student under Quinn, I was thrilled to learn recently from John Farrington (Dean Emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic and also a former Quinn student), that I am a “Grand Quinnlin”; a huge honor!


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Featured Alumni Dana Wetzel, College of Marine Science - DMS MS 1995; PhD 2000 Before the Deepwater Horizon blow out, there were many fewer oil spill chemists than there are now, making our field rather small in comparison to other marine science disciplines. Because of this, it was a lot easier to keep up with the number of publications coming out in our field and you knew who was doing what and where. Listening to my student peers that were in fields of marine biology and ecology, I realized what a challenge it was to stay on top of the topics in those large research areas and how much harder they had it than me. Speaking of professors and student peers at CMS reminds me of the awe I always felt while in the presence of either of these groups. I wish I had a Starbucks espresso for every time I listened to these folks and thought how absolutely brilliant they were. Many, many times, wondered how much I would give to be able to know just a tiny sliver of what they knew. With faculty like Ted, Al, Bob Byrne, Mark Luther, Pam Muller, John Paul, Paula Coble and many others, along with fellow students that were smarter than I could even begin to wrap my head around, it was really easy to be intimidated by the number of brain trusts striding down the hallways at our venerable institution. My only hope was that I would not be found out as an IQ pretender by the rest of the student body, because I really was a novice in marine science. During my graduate student career, I was always mortified if I had to get up and talk, for fear that my ignorance would be showing. In fact, I probably didn’t know the difference between a water column and column chromatography for quite some time! Finally, after obtaining my master’s and doctoral degrees, I left CMS because Bob Bryne told me it was time to leave the nest. Since I was tapped out after taking his Physical Chemistry of Seawater class, I had to agree; my last reserves of energy were now spent and I had nothing left to give. The final grade I made in that class though was well worth the challenges and still makes me smile. Since graduating from the USF College of Marine Science with a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography, I have been at Mote Marine Laboratory, in Sarasota, Florida. I am a Senior Scientist and the Program Manager of the Environmental Laboratory for Forensics with my own full time staff of three scientists. My work fundamentally centers around marine pollution (mostly but not exclusively petroleum) and its effects on the health of organisms within the environment. My interest is in trying to understanding what the short and long-term exposures to organic contaminants may do to immune function, reproductive fitness, DNA integrity and other essential biochemical processes in a variety of organisms from polychaetes to polar bears in locations from Malaysia to the Arctic. One of the most amazing places where I have been working since 2001 is in the Alaskan Arctic on issues of petroleum and other organic contamination. Working with indigenous Eskimos in this mind-blowing location on implications of severe environmental stressors, has to be one of the most remarkable opportunities I have ever experienced. However, even more astounding is that I have been able to become an advocate for the design and implementation of Arctic monitoring programs and am a member of the NOAA expert working group on oil dispersant use in the Arctic. Since the Deepwater Horizon spill, I have been a scientist with the Federal and Louisiana State NRDA efforts for litigation. In addition to contributing to many other DWH research projects, my program is a part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) funded C-IMAGE consortium where I am the task lead for Ecotoxicology. In support of the C-IMAGE research mission, we are carrying out large scale exposure studies at Mote Marine Laboratory in collaboration with other C-IMAGE scientists. The design, creation and execution of research, for this multi-stressor exposure facility may be one of my proudest, tangible accomplishments and a small legacy to leave behind.


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Featured Alumni Erin Lipp, College of Marine Science - PhD 1999

Erin Lipp and her daughter. “Maskface” and all, making sure my landlocked kids (youngest here) get plenty

It’s been 22 years since I first started as a graduate student in the then Department of Marine Science and 17 years since I graduated with my PhD. Although it seems like yesterday, the evidence of passing time can definitely be seen in the refuse (and treasures?) of my life as an academic and a mom. This opportunity to write about what I am up to now, inevitably led me to think about my time at Marine Science; please indulge my quick dive into such memories! My first interactions with Marine Science at USF actually happened as a somewhat ambitious and very naïve undergrad at New College (down the road in Sarasota). I had decided to create my own major in marine science / marine biology and realizing that I could not get any physical oceanography classes, contacted Bob Weisberg to do an independent study project. I doubt he even remembers this, but he kindly agreed to work with me for a semester. I learned a tremendous amount and later applied for graduate school at USF Marine Science, where I eventually ended up in the lab of Joan Rose for my PhD.

Joan was a recent ‘transplant’ from USF public health and sparked my interest in the interplay between marine science and ecosystem and human health. This is a theme that has continued throughout my career. Just before leaving USF, I got involved with efforts to understand the links between climate change and infectious disease. Through Joan’s connections and my training in marine science, I was invited to participate in one of the earliest National Assessments on climate and health. Based in part on that work and the many people that I met, I took a post-doctoral position at the Center of Marine Biotechnology (now University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) in Baltimore, MD working with Rita Colwell (who was director of NSF at the time; no pressure!). I was able to hone my skills in microbial ecology and was fortunate to work with scientists from all over the globe and disciplines to study the ecology and epidemiology of cholera. After two years in Baltimore, I accepted an assistant professor position as an environmental microbiologist in the department of environmental health science at the University of Georgia. Although I had serious misgivings that I would be able to tolerate the deep south, I’ve been here for over 14 years and have moved through the ranks (I was promoted to full professor in 2014). Following from those early interests as a grad student at USF, I have made the intersection of human and ecosystem health with marine science a key part of my research and academic program at UGA. I have affiliations across 3 colleges and 5 departments (ecology, marine science, and microbiology, in addition to environmental health). Through these interactions, I have worked to develop institutional frameworks for bridging ocean and human health; we hosted a NOAA-sponsored training program in oceans and human health until 2012.


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Featured Alumni Erin Lipp, College of Marine Science - PhD 1999 In the past 5 years, my research has brought me back to my Florida roots. We have been working on microbial ecology of disease in the threatened elkhorn coral in the Florida Keys (and some of my first field trips with the Rose and Paul labs to follow septic effluent in those canals and understanding the potential for wastewater to impact these reefs provided the backdrop for some of this work). We are also continuing to work on ecology of Vibrio, in its role as a pathogen and its function as a blooming taxon in marine waters. In part thanks to Dale Griffin (USF, PhD, 1999) and Gene Shinn and their dust bandwagon, we currently we are looking at trace metals and Saharan dust as a trigger for Vibrio blooms in Caribbean waters. USF marine science has been such an important part of my career, and not just because of academic training. Between working across disciplines, negotiating complex field studies, and ‘growing up’ with a great group of faculty and colleagues, my time at marine science truly shaped how I approach my own career. It is exciting to see the program continuing to grow and excel.

Reunion for Rita Colwell’s 80th birthday (American Society for Microbiology General Meeting 2015). Rita Colwell is a former Director of the National Science Foundation.


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Featured Alumni Melanie (Dotherow) McField, College of Marine Science - PhD 2001 Growing up in South Carolina along the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, I was always more drawn to the smell, feel and beauty of the low country coastline. Our annual family vacations to Garden City, SC fostered my permanent love and relationship with the ocean and coast, from my earliest childhood. In school, I was always good in science but really it was the adventure of the unknown and that magnetic draw of the ocean that got me into marine science as an undergrad at the University Of South Carolina. I was always also interested in environmental politics and social sciences, lead-ing to my participation in a year abroad exchange program with the University of Hull, England during my junior year. This exposure to international living planted the seed for what later turned into my pivotal life decision. Melanie at work explaining her science

My final year at USC I was a legislative intern in the SC State Legislature, assigned to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

That experience of seeing how scientific and technical information actually makes it into the legislative process (or not) was also one of those experiences that one realizes later was invaluable and fundamental to shaping your path, although at the time it seemed almost like a waste of time. During this final year I also made the decision to take some ‘gap years� before going on to graduate school in order to have more adventures and do some good in the world by serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. My first offer from Peace Corps was to develop tilapia aquaculture in the Philippines - which I turned down. That was a fortuitous move because my second offer couldn’t have been better - serving as a field biologist in the newly created Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize. This two-year commitment (1990-92) turned out to be that pivotal experience that really changed my life path and set the foundation for my work in coral reef conservation. On the personal side, the cost of this decision was leaving behind the high school boyfriend with whom I had spent my whole college life. I listened to my gut - and it was right. The Hol Chan marine reserve turned out to be a hotspot of marine science and conservation. We hosted many scientists with whom I got to interact and develop friendships, which then supported my professional development and success throughout life. I also learned interesting technical skills from new techniques treating coral diseases, to field testing fish count methodologies, to installing mooring buoys. It was a sound and lasting experience, learning first hand the constraints and opportunities involved in on the ground coral reef management. After Peace Corps I opted to stay in Belize and work for the new GEF / Coastal Zone Management Project that was starting cutting-edge Integrated Coastal Zone Management, including designing a Network of MPAs (this was back in 1993). During this time I also married my Belizean boyfriend and decided to take root and make my life there, dedicated to coral reef conservation. With that goal in mind I enrolled in the USF marine science department planning to get a MSc and return to Belize to continue consulting on marine conservation projects. I was fortunate to have a great advisor in Pam Hallock, along with interesting projects and reef centric contacts within FIO, FMRI, COT, and USGS.


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Featured Alumni Melanie (Dotherow) McField, College of Marine Science - PhD 2001 I was also fortunate to receive a Knight Fellowship from the Department and the first International Coral Reef Studies fellowship, enabling me to design and implement my own fieldbased PhD research program in Belize. My research explored the role of disturbance events and the impact of management actions on coral reef community structure in Belize. I finished up my dissertation based back in Belize - pregnant with my first child. I managed to birth the former before the latter and landed my first ‘real job’, as the reef scientist and Belize Program Officer for World Wildlife Fund’s new Mesoamerican reef program in 2001. One of my first tasks with WWF was to edit the Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregional Planning document, which enabled me to learn more about the reefs and conservation opportunities in the neighboring countries. We soon realized there had never been a synoptic study of the reefs and none of the regional researchers were familiar with each others reefs. Therefore, I was able to design and lead the first Mesoamerican Reef Expedition in 2001- with a team of six regional biologists that are still collaborating to this day. In addition to supporting WWF’s conservation planning effort, we made policy recommendations for local and national marine resource managers and helped discover new fish spawning aggregations, test larval connectivity models, and develop new methods of assessing tourism carrying capacity back in the the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where it all began (for me personally and as an example igniting the development of more MPAs in Belize). Through the WWF program I also worked with several local NGOs enhancing community participation, and initiating community based management in several MPAs. In 2003 our principle donor foundation asked me to prepare a white paper on how one defines coral reef health - basically we are trying to improve coral reefs but how do we know when we are making progress relative to the funding being spent on improving reef health if we don’t know how to measure it. I managed this task the best I could, with the assistance of Patricia Kramer (who is just moving to St Petersburg this summer) resulting in a detailed Guide to Indicators of Reef Health and Social Well-being (available on www.healthyreefs.org). I also made a pitch for the creation of a more robust and permanent effort to quantify reef health and get all the disparate conservation efforts in the region onto one page in terms of reef monitoring, reporting, and promoting of management recommendations. That was the foundation of the Healthy Reefs Initiative (www.healthyreefs.org). In 2006 the program became a full reality, with funding from the same foundation through the Smithsonian Institution Trust. I became the Director of the new Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative, building the partners from the ground up. We began with three partners and one donor (at about $100,000/year) and now have grown to having sixty-seven partner organizations and an annual budget of about $450,000. HRI works to improve the health and management of the Mesoamerican Reef, which includes approximately 1000 km of interconnected coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove ecosystems. HRI generates two user-friendly documents - a Report Card on the health of the reef and an Eco-Audit that evaluates each country’s degree of implementation of recommended management actions. The program is founded on a collaborative vision and implementation of recommendations, independent verification of results, and public promotion of easy to understand, yet scientifically robust Report Cards on the health of the reef and Eco-Audits of management actions. These reports provide the means for regional collaboration and effective, adaptive reef management to safeguard this globally significant resource. HRI is now fully embedded within the Smithsonian Institution and planning to expand into the Wider Caribbean and beyond. I now work from home in Ft Lauderdale, leading a team of four national coordinators and several consultants (mostly via skype) coordinating activities and research across the four countries and among the 67 part-ner organizations. It’s been an unconventional and exciting ride.


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Connect with USF College of Marine Science Giving - marine.usf.edu/about-cms/giving Web - marine.usf.edu Facebook - facebook.com/USFMarineScience Twitter - @USFCMS YouTube - youtube.com/USFMarineScience

University of South Florida, College of Marine Science 140 7th Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5016 Phone: 727-553-1130

Rising Tides v6 Summer 2016