College of Marine Science Students Garner Top Honors

TAMPA, Fla. (April 29, 2009) Two students at USF’s College of Marine Science have won top awards for their presentations at national and international conferences while the Marine Science Advisory Committee won the 2008-09 Outstanding Student Organization Award at the Celebration of University Leadership Ceremony.


Carlie Williams, a graduate student in the college’s paleoceanography lab, has been singled out for outstanding student paper honors from the American Geophysical Union for her research presentation on meltwater and abrupt climate change in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the last ice age some 21,000 years ago. Williams presented her research at the 2008 Fall American Geophysical meeting in San Francisco.


Christine Cass, a graduate student in the college’s zooplankton ecology lab, earned a student poster award – given to just the top 5 percent of student posters - at the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography’s 2009 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Nice, France. Cass’ poster was titled “Using Metabolic Parameters to Assess Copepod Tolerance to Low-Oxygen Environments in the Eastern Tropical Pacific” and highlighted a portion of her dissertation research carried out off the coast of Costa Rica. Cass studied oxygen consumption rates of the tiny crustaceans and their tolerance to low oxygen levels.


And the Marine Science Advisory Committee was honored by USF’s April 22 at the Celebration of University Leadership ceremony for the committee’s outreach programs, leadership and service to the college. Faculty advisor Mya Breitbart noted the committee’s long list of successful events ranging from coastal cleanup efforts to holiday events which enhance student life.


 “These social events are absolutely the glue that holds the College of Marine Science together as a cohesive unit, and provide critical opportunities for the graduate students to interact with the faculty, and with each other,” Breitbart said.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.