Marine Resource Assessment
Marine resource assessment (MRA) deals directly with interactions between living resources and anthropogenic or climate-driven factors, including bio-physical interactions, predator-prey relationships, overfishing, and identification of essential linkages that determine habitat quality. Students who select the MRA concentration are expected to interact strongly with one or more of the state and federal resource-management agencies located near the College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg, including the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office, and the Florida Integrated Science Center of the US Geological Survey. These agencies, all within one mile of the campus, represent a collective wealth of knowledge, expertise, and practical experience and serve as vital assets to MRA students.
The MRA concentration teaches resource assessment scientists to incorporate relevant ecosystem-level variables into the traditional, single-species assessment process, complementing and enhancing the development of the science-based management policies that protect living marine resources. The MRA curriculum prepares students for employment in academia, environmental consulting, and government agencies. In the US, government employment opportunities include six National Marine Fisheries Service Science Centers, five regional Fishery Management Councils, two interstate Marine Fisheries Commissions, and a large number of state marine fisheries management agencies.
Sample Research Groups
- C-IMAGE - A global ten-year, $36.6 million research program to understand the impacts of the oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.
- C-SCAMP - a program funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to collect high resolution bathymetry data and other data products to improve our understanding of reef fish and sea turtle habitat on the West Florida Shelf.
- COMIT - a five-year, $9 million cooperative agreement with NOAA to develop new technologies and approaches to ocean and coastal zone mapping to help build resilient coastal ecosystems, communities, and economies.
- GOMURC - a multi-state university-based research consortium to promote scientific knowledge, workforce development, and understanding that informs natural resource management decisions at state, regional, national and international levels.