Event Overview


February-May 2022

Students met once weekly to prep for the research cruise. Lectures on fisheries, sediments, seafloor communities, water columns, and other topics were given with complementary scientific papers and journals for students to learn about the history of the Gulf of Mexico and the Deep Water Horizon Spill. Preparation prior to the research cruise included drafting a cruise plan and on-hand training in task groups.

Competencies developed by this course include:

1) Scientific background/objectives (including social, economic. and ecosystem service implications)

2) Proposal and cruise plan writing

3) Field methods training

4) Safety and navigation

5) Preparing supplies/equipment

6) Sample processing, handling, and storage

7) Science communication and outreach

8) Logistics/problem solving

9) Networking


May 14-22

The research expedition aboard the R/V Weatherbird II (operated by the Florida Institute of Oceanography, FIO) begins mid-May. Students will execute the research plan including pre-expedition mobilization, execution of the cruise proposal/field plan, and post-expedition de-mobilization under the supervision of the professors and collaborators. While at sea, students will collect sediment cores, benthic fish samples, water column measurements, and the collection/redeployment of a sediment trap mooring.

The “at Sea” component will develop the following student competencies:

1) Planning ship time/activities/personnel

2) Collaboration with ships crew, science party

3) Safety and navigation

4) Equipment deployment, retrieval

5) Sample processing, handling, and storage

6) Problem-solving

7) Science communication and outreach

8) Networking


May-December 2022

Students will interact with the PI, Co-PI’s, and collaborators as well as perform lab analyses toward the execution of the research objectives. The Teams will be reintegrated to synthesize the sediment core, sediment trap, water column, and benthic fisheries data to create professional products including reports, presentations, and publications. Students will be required to present (poster and/or oral) research results at the EC Student Research Symposium during the spring term, and a student-organized local meeting hosted by EC and collaborative partners USF, USGS, TBW. Selected student leaders will have the opportunity to present at national conferences (AGU, GSA, Ocean Sciences).

The “Scientist at Sea: Post-Expedition” course offered in the fall semester, will develop the following competencies:

1) Laboratory instrumentation, methods

2) Sample processing, analysis

3) Data synthesis, interpretation

4) Professional products (reports, presentations, theses, publications)

5) Science communication

6) Collaboration with scientific colleagues

7) Networking