Vision — To support excellence in marine science, technology and education through infrastructure, programs, information and people.
Mission — Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) is chartered to provide infrastructure support to facilitate collaborative research and education related to Florida’s coastal and ocean environment, and to serve as a coordinating body across academia, state and federal agencies, ocean science organizations and the private sector in addressing new opportunities and problems to be solved through research, education and outreach. FIO is an enabler, a facilitator and coordinator.
The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) coordinates with FIO members through cooperation and collaboration with programs, information and people. FIO provides a vessel fleet of both ships and boats that enable and support scientific marine research on the Gulf of Mexico, its ecology, marine life and sustainability. The information gleaned from the studies assist in monitoring not only the Gulf of Mexico, but also the world’s deep-water and coastal oceans and many facets of marine life. FIO operates out of two locations with FIO headquarters located on the USF College of Marine Science campus on Bayboro Harbor and the Keys Marine Laboratory (KML), situated right in the middle of the Florida Keys: KML is a platform that facilitates unique opportunities for short and long term field and laboratory experiences and research for undergraduate and graduate students and academic and non-academic scientists and provides easy access to Florida Bay, the Everglades National Park, the Florida Current, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
For generations of Florida marine science students, the first taste of life as a research scientist on the seas likely began with the help of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. Each year, FIO vessels host scores of undergraduate and graduate students from member institutions either on board the R/V Weatherbird II and R/V Bellows as floating classrooms, or at the Keys Marine Laboratory in Layton on the Florida Keys where students study reefs and reef communities, mangroves and algal communities. Marine science faculty at Florida state universities can apply for free ship time which allows them to take students into the environment they study. Learn more about our Multi-University Courses.