University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


Ocean Circulation Lab replaces weather buoys in the Bay

Enjoy this video compilation documenting the cruise.

Written by: Carlyn Scott, Science Communication Assistant at USF CMS

The College of Marine Science’s Ocean Circulation Lab (OCL) recently returned from a five-day mooring cruise in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the Florida Institute of Oceanography’s R/V Weatherbird II, replacing weather buoys and collecting water samples used for ride tide monitoring.

The OCL is headed by physical oceanographer Dr. Robert Weisberg, and the lab studies ocean circulation and its ecological impacts in the Gulf via direct observations and models. Their direct observation techniques include moored buoys, which collect meteorological and circulation data, and it was the maintenance of these buoys that prompted the recent cruise into the Gulf.

The cruise was even able to recover an Ocean Technology Group ocean glider that was running low on battery power and return it to campus.

Chief scientist Jay Law was happy with the cruise and attributes its success to hard work by the Weatherbird II crew and the science party, particularly the students on board. “I really enjoyed seeing the students rise to the occasion this week,” said Law. “From our own graduate students leading sampling operations to young undergraduate volunteers getting their first taste of being at sea, it was fun watching these young scientists respond to the challenge.”

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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.