University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


USF College of Marine Science Joins Ocean Visions Network

Erosion of dunes following Tropical Storm Eta. (Credit: Justin Birchler, USGS. Public domain.)

Erosion of dunes following Tropical Storm Eta. (Credit: Justin Birchler, USGS. Public domain.)

Written by Kristen Kusek, Former Communications Director for USF CMS

The USF College of Marine Science (USF CMS) announced it has joined the Ocean Visions Research Consortium. The mission of the Ocean Visions Network, established in 2019, is two-fold: to address the disconnect between research and ocean solutions, and to mobilize research universities and institutions, professional ocean-focused societies, NGOs, IGOs, foundations, business and financial institutions, into action.  Its stated vision is easy to support: “A world where smart design and equitable solutions foster a thriving ocean for all that depend on it.”

One key focus area for Ocean Visions is to build coastal resiliency, which aligns well with research priorities at the CMS, said CMS dean Tom Frazer. The CMS was recently named the home for the new state-funded Flood Hub for Applied Research & Innovation.

“We’re excited to contribute our cross-disciplinary expertise to this ambitious program,” said Frazer. “The challenges in front of us require all-hands-on-deck, and we’re up to the task.”

CMS Associate Dean and Professor Gary Mitchum and Professor Frank Muller-Karger participated in Ocean Vision’s third virtual “Coastal Solutions” workshop, held in April 2021.

The CMS joins the following partners of the Ocean Visions research consortium (as of Sept 15, 2021), which also includes “acceleration and impact partners”:

  • Georgia Tech
  • Smithsonian
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Stanford University
  • MIT
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
  • University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • Birch Aquarium (Scripps)
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

The CMS research team is well represented in the coastal resiliency space, with demonstrated expertise in climate change science including long-term sea level rise, shoreline change, paleoclimate reconstruction, ocean circulation, carbon cycling and ocean acidification.  Other key areas of research emphasis include trace metal biogeochemistry, water quality, harmful algal blooms, food web interactions, fisheries ecology and management, and oil spill response and recovery.  All align well with the other stated goals of the Ocean Visions group:

  • To reverse the climate crisis in the Ocean (e.g., ocean-based solutions to thermal and chemical stress, ocean-based carbon dioxide removal)
  • To build a climate-resilient aquatic food system (e.g., aquaculture, including microalgae and macroalgae, ocean-based low carbon diet)

“We are delighted to welcome these new partners and the critical capacity and expertise they bring to our collective work to design solutions to the hugely complex problems facing our oceans,” says Ocean Visions Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer Brad Ack. “We look forward to their engagement within our Network to achieve our shared goals.”

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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.