University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


View from the Bridge

Thomas K. Frazer, Dean and Professor USF CMS

Thomas K. Frazer, Dean and Professor USF CMS

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy during this remarkably unpredictable time. 2020 has continued to deliver us challenges in spades, and my first two and a half months as Dean have repeatedly reminded of the African proverb: “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that David Hollander, PhD, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, September 26th, 2020. He leaves a tremendous legacy, the last 20 years of which were spent as part of our family at the USF College of Marine Science. We invite you to read the beautiful tribute written by David’s close colleagues and friends, and to join our Facebook group. If you knew David, certainly you have a story or memory to share – and it helps us all to celebrate his legacy as we grieve this devastating loss.

We dedicate this issue of Rising Tides to you, David. We will miss you, and together, we forge ahead.

We must also celebrate the swells of 2020. One is the announcement that we were awarded a five-year, $9 million cooperative agreement by NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey to launch the Center for Ocean Mapping and Innovative Technologies (COMIT). The center, led by Steve Murawski, PhD, will develop new technologies and approaches to ocean and coastal zone mapping in line with NOAA’s commitment to building resilient coastal ecosystems, communities, and economies. Enjoy the official announcement here. We look forward to keeping you apprised of the exciting work that will be done by our team.

The rest of this issue offers a rich spectrum of stories we hope you enjoy. I could not be more proud to serve as your Dean, and I look forward to becoming a stronger ‘sailor’ together with you as we navigate the seas of 2020, with all of its ups and downs. Please feel free to reach out any time. Stay safe.


Dean Thomas Frazer, PhD

Dean Thomas Frazer, PhD

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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.