Dec 01, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Marine Science

University of South Florida
College of Marine Science
140 7th Avenue S, MSL119
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Web address:
Email for prospective students: 
Email for Dean’s Office:
Phone for Academic Affairs Office: 727-553-3944
Phone for Dean’s Office: 727-553-1634
Fax: 727-553-1189

College Dean: Thomas K. Frazer, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research: Gary Mitchum, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: David F. Naar, Ph.D.

College Structure and Location:

The College of Marine Science (CMS) was formed during 2000 from the previous Department of Marine Science, initiated in 1967 with three founding faculty members. The Florida Board of Regents declared it a University Center of Excellence in 1978 and approved the Marine Science Ph.D. degree program in 1982. The CMS at the University of South Florida is constituted as a graduate-level research major that forms the basis for educational opportunities at the Ph.D. and M.S. degree levels and for public service to the State of Florida.

Located on the beautiful waterfront of Tampa Bay adjacent to the USF St. Petersburg campus, CMS is administratively part of the USF Tampa campus and reports to the Provost of USF. The College is focused on interdisciplinary research in marine science. Our ranked faculty, support personnel, and graduate students work together toward a vision of understanding the unified global ocean system. The College seeks to build new interdisciplinary research teams in collaboration with our local marine science research partners, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA, and Mote Marine Lab.

Mission Statement:

The primary mission of the College is to conduct basic and applied research in ocean science. Here, ocean science is defined by application of the traditional fields of science to the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of the marine environment and the interactions between the marine environment and the adjoining atmosphere and land systems – presently and throughout Earth’s history. Included in the primary ocean science mission is the development of new technologies and tools for exploring the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land systems. The College expects its faculty to develop research majors of outstanding caliber and to fully engage the national and international scientific communities, through the reporting of research results in the most respected oral and written venues, and by professional service. Integral to the ocean science research mission is the education of graduate students.

The College recruits, trains, and graduates productive, creative scientists at the Ph.D. and M.S. levels that are prepared to make independent contributions to ocean science. The faculty are expected to develop outstanding graduate education programs that will afford students the opportunity to participate in all aspects of research. The College recognizes that graduate education requires strong mentoring along with traditional classroom instruction. An ancillary but important mission of the College is education outreach for students at all levels and for the public at large. Our outreach programs have significantly expanded our educational responsibilities, and they are intended to motivate all generations to become scientifically literate citizens and to understand the environment in which they live. The College pursues innovative avenues for educational outreach, including providing various internships and research experiences to undergraduates in the summer. The College teaches a widely popular Introduction to Oceanography course to undergraduates in either online or in-person formats.  Efforts are made to attract more junior and senior level undergraduates into both the ocean science core courses and into advanced courses for which they have pre-requisites. Historically, this is a way in which students have made career decisions to engage in ocean science. In this manner the College maintains close ties with the student body of other University of South Florida colleges and campuses.

Research Facilities:

The College facilities include specialized laboratories equipped for studies in: Scanning and transmission electron microscopy; Trace metal analysis; Water quality; Organic and isotope geochemistry, Physical chemistry, Optical oceanography, Satellite imagery; Sedimentology; Geophysics; Physical Oceanography; Micropaleontology; Physiology; Benthic Ecology; Microbiology; Planktology; and Ichthyology. Additionally, the complex includes the Center for Ocean Technology, which provides instrumental manufacturing and prototyping support to the faculty and students.

The College’s students and faculty have conducted research in the Antarctic, Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Bering, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas. The College has access to several research vessels in conjunction with the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) including the RV Weatherbird II (115 ft), the RV Hogarth (78 ft), and smaller vessels (for more information see Ship time on other vessels in the U.S. fleet of oceanographic vessels, as well as foreign research vessels, is generally obtained through federal funding.

Major Research Areas:

Faculty major research areas as listed within: