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Educators Interview Marine Scientists

In these interviews produced by Dave Bethany, Lucaya Luckey-Bethany, and Logan Luckey-Bethany, eight scientists at the University of South Florida, a SECOORA member, discuss their work and studies in the marine sciences. Further background materials are included to instruct teachers how to set up interviews for their own classrooms and produce case studies based on these interviews. Sample case studies based on these eight interviews are also provided.

Dr. Ken CarterDr. Boris GalperinDr. Rubio-GarciaDr. Pamela Hallock-MullerDr. Al Hine
Dr. Mark LutherDr. John Paul IIIDr. Gabe Vargo

Case StudiesInterview BackgroundCase Study Template

  Dr. Ken Carter

Dr. Ken Carter discusses his work as an optical oceanographer, studying how light works in the ocean. He talks about using satellite imagery to interpret the amount of chlorophyll and suspended sediments that are in the water, and also takes the viewer on a tour of USF's unmanned underwater vehicles to talk about the work they do measuring the sea floor.

 Dr. Boris Galperin 

Dr. Boris Galperin talks about his work as a physical oceanographer, studying fluid turbulence. His work involves studying both small-scale and large-scale fluid turbulence, in Earth's oceans as well as on other planets; studying turbulence on Jupiter, for example, can reveal new information that can then cast light on our own planet.


Dr. L. Rubio-Garcia 

Dr. L. Rubio-Garcia talks about his experiences developing spectrometry sensor systems that allow researchers to monitor microorganisms. He discusses the various implications of this research, both in marine science and the potential medical applications for identifying and tracking diseases through these sensors.

 Dr. Pamela Hallock-Muller 

Dr. Pamela Hallock-Muller discusses the work she has been doing studying the Biscayne Reefs with her graduate students, to compare with a previous study done in the 1970's. She also discusses the reasons for the death of coral reefs, including ozone layer depletion, mangroves on the coasts being cut down which leads to reduced tannins in the water, and nutrients/pollutants going into the water from cities on the coasts. She also stresses the importance of keeping shorelines intact in order to preserve the reefs and reduce the impact of storm surges.

Dr. Al Hine  

Dr. Al Hine discusses his work as a geological oceanographer, studying sediments, ocean basins, and continental shelves. He also talks about his volunteer work in local schools, and describes the teaching techniques he uses to get kids interested in science. He talks about the myriad ways technology has benefited the sciences, and how studying the geologic record of the past can help us predict what could happen in the future. Finally, he stresses the need for interaction and interdisciplinary cooperation between the different branches of science when working to solve various scientific problems and puzzles.

 Dr. Mark Luther 

Interview, Part 1.
Dr. Mark Luther discusses his work in physical oceanography; the study of waves, tides, currents and temperatures. He also talks about his work with the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System, which uses real time measuring equipment to monitor the coast of West Florida and provide data to help manage a variety of marine activities, including marine navigation, search and rescue efforts, and predicting coastal flooding due to storm surges.


Interview, Part 2.
Dr. Mark Luther and one of his grad students talk about working with schools to get the marine sciences into the classroom, using the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) as a learning tool, and the impact of tapping fresh water rivers for potable water on the Tampa Bay Estuary.


Interview, Part 3.
Dr. Mark Luther and one of his grad students talk about his work as the Chairman for the US Global Ocean Observing System Steering Committee (USGSC), his hopes for the development of sensors that will be able to detect water-borne pathogens and pollutants in real time, and ways for non-graduate students to get involved with marine science research.


Interview, Part 4.
Dr. Mark Luther takes the viewer on a tour of the labs, where he gives an introduction to the various kinds of equipment they use to monitor the ocean, such as the acoustic doppler profiler. Dr. Luther and one of his grad students also discuss job prospects for those pursuing degrees in marine science, and show a quick glimpse of the boats they use.

 Dr. John Paul III  

Dr. John Paul III discusses his work as a marine microbiologist, studying microbes, phytoplankton, bacterioplankton and viruses in the ocean. He also discusses the sensors and molecular technologies being developed to detect microbes in the environment, the work he has done with local high school students to get them interested in science, and the current trends and needs in marine science. He also touches on his successes improving wastewater disposal practices in the Florida Keys, and talks about the problems of Florida's Red Tide and the hypoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

 Dr. Gabe Vargo 

Dr. Gabe Vargo discusses his work studying phytoplankton and Florida's Red Tide, as well as the toxin transfer from Red Tide organisms into birds. He discusses the potential impact of current problems in the marine environment, as well as the importance of basic science education for middle school and high school children.

 Case Studies

Written cases from video interviews.

 Interview Background

This material is an introduction to using ocean science and SECOORA resources in the learning environment, and gives further background information on the interviews and case studies.

 Case Study Template

This template provides guidance on developing case studies based on interviews with oceanographers and other scientists, based on the material provided in the template.