Kudos to the USF College of Marine Science

As the USF College of Marine Science prepares to welcome a new dean, I want to express my appreciation for the support that president Judy Genshaft, provost Ralph Wilcox, and senior vice president for research, innovation and global affairs Karen Holbrook have shown in the three years I've served as interim dean.


During this time, we have been fortunate to add nine new faculty positions and the new dean, Jacqueline Dixon, will have two additional positions to fill upon her arrival in January. Three of the new positions are in a new area of marine resource assessment, which Congress has identified as vital to the future of our fisheries. USF is leading the way in meeting this national need.


USF's foresight in acquiring the R/V Weatherbird II became abundantly clear when we were able to respond quickly to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. With the Florida Institute of Oceanography, scientists from many state and federal entities were able to deploy quickly on critical monitoring voyages. This tragic event also served to highlight the excellent work of USF scientists in modeling the oil spill and dispersant movement, identifying the unseen, deepwater fate of the oil and in providing the public and officials with objective, science-based information and advice.


Because FIO was in position to respond, BP was persuaded to provide $10 million for Florida's marine researchers. I am proud to continue leading FIO as acting director and ensuring that the science needed to understand the impact on the ecosystem will be accomplished.


The students at the College of Marine Science are some of the brightest minds in our nation, and their research and professional development provides real benefits for Florida.


William T. Hogarth, interim dean, USF College of Marine Science, St. Petersburg