The University of South Florida (USF), along with its local federal, state, and private-sector partners, has been uniquely positioned to become the premier research institution understanding the oceanography of Florida’s coastal ocean required to predict the movement of the oil emanating from the Deepwater Horizon well and the potential impacts that oil may impact on the marine environment.
Being the primary user of the Florida Institute of Oceanography’s vessel fleet, including the well-equipped 115 ft long R/V Weatherbird II, USF scientists maintain an extensive ocean observing system required for modeling and prediction of oceanographic phenomena.
Additionally, USF scientists and engineers have developed unique sensor technologies that have begun to revolutionize data oceanographic acquisition needed for modeling and contamination assessment. USF scientists have mapped sections of the seafloor of Florida’s coastal ocean using the latest geoacoustic and photo imaging tools that would be essential for post-contamination comparative purposes.
Finally, scientists and engineers at USF bring decades of oceanographic research on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coastal ocean, coastline, and estuaries providing baseline information from which oil impact assessments can be made.