University of South Florida St. Petersburg



Students conduct science at sea

By Cliff McBride (University Communications and Marketing) and Dyllan Furness (USF College of Marine Science)

Education and research combined for students aboard a five-day cruise on the Florida Institute of Oceanography’s R/V Weatherbird II.

Organized by researchers at the USF College of Marine Science (CMS), the Collaborative Oceanographic Research & Education (CORE) cruise gave students from the USF St. Petersburg campus and St. Petersburg College the opportunity to apply skills they’ve learned in the classroom to hands-on field studies at sea.

“We’ve been able to give undergraduates and graduates the opportunity to lead a research cruise and perform all the different components that go into that,” said Jay Law, physical oceanographer in the Ocean Circulation Lab at USF CMS, who helped organize the cruise.

Students were involved in planning the cruise, conducting marine science fieldwork and documenting the experience through writing and video.

The cruise included a broad set of fundamental marine science practices including environmental sampling, scientific diving training with multiple reef surveys and mooring work in which the crew inspected buoys tethered to the seafloor.  

“This is an opportunity you’re not going to find anywhere else,” said Law.

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