University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


Greetings from the Development Office

Laurie Scott, Director of Development

Laurie Scott, Director of Development

Written by Laurie Scott, Director of Development for USF CMS

I am very excited to have recently joined the USF College of Marine Science (CMS) as its new Director of Development. Many of you know my predecessor, Howard Rutherford, who has been promoted to the USF Foundation as Senior Director of Development, Office of Gift Planning. Howard and I continue to work together closely to raise funds for, and promote public awareness of, the College of Marine Science.

I came to USF from the Baker Institute for Public Policy, a thinktank at Rice University in Houston, Texas. I have also held fundraising roles in the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the National Audubon Society, among others.

Considering the fact that more than 80 percent of our oceans are unmapped, unobserved and unexplored, it is clear that we have barely scratched the surface in our understanding. There is so much more work that needs to be done, and that certainly fuels my enthusiasm for the great work going on here at the CMS.

I am truly honored to have the opportunity to help advance the outstanding research and graduate-level education the CMS provides. Our scientists are investigating critical research questions addressing sea level rise, coastal flooding, ocean acidification, sustainable fisheries, red tides, coral reef health, trace metals in seawater, seafloor mapping, paleoclimate, sensor development, and so much more.

Our fundraising priorities are to establish new fellowships to attract more talented graduate students to our program, and we also intend to establish a Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Another important initiative to support cutting-edge research is the Dean’s Innovation Endowment for Research Support. On the education and outreach front, I’m very excited about the College’s work with underserved youth through a new initiative called Guardians of the Gulf, which teaches our local youth how to become stewards of our coastal environment. It is being piloted this spring with the Boys and Girls Clubs in St. Petersburg, the St. Pete Innovation District, and US Ignite. Stay tuned for more!

I look forward to connecting with the CMS community, including alumni, supporters and friends, and I welcome a call or email to say hello. 

View the February 2020 Rising Tides Newsletter

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Mission Statement

Our blue planet faces a suite of challenges and opportunities for understanding and innovation. Our mission is to advance understanding of the interconnectivity of ocean systems and human-ocean interactions using a cross-disciplinary approach, to empower the next workforce of the blue economy with a world-class education experience, and to share our passion for a healthy environment and science-informed decision-making with community audiences near and far.