The Ocean Technology Program utilizes innovative ocean technology to accomplish various interdisciplinary scientific goals through expertise in sensors, autonomous assets, field operations and engineering. Although we welcome collaboration with researchers in all fields of marine research, much of the research that we pursue is in Marine Biogeochemistry, using sensors of chemical and physical properties to study the sources and fate of nutrients, like C, N, and O, in both coastal and open ocean ecosystems. The rates and magnitudes of biological production and physical nutrient transport processes are of particular interest.

Ongoing projects in the program include routine environmental monitoring of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico using autonomous buoyancy-driven underwater vehicles (Slocum gliders) that relay measurements of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a fluorescence, CDOM fluorescence and particle backscatter via satellite communications, and development, production and deployment of Programmable Hyperspectral Seawater Scanner (PHySS) instruments in coastal Southwest Florida, capable of detecting the presence of various phytoplankton taxa, including the toxic red tide-producing Karenia brevis.

Current infrastructure includes a network that receives incoming data streams from deployed instruments, then relays them to publicly-accessible platforms in near-real time. These interfaces are designed to provide an early warning system of the environmental conditions conducive to, and the presence of, red tide blooms in the region to local, state and federal agencies. They also facilitate the study and management of our local coastal environment by researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders. As a member of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), a regional division of the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), data from deployed gliders can be accessed through the GCOOS Gandalf V2 data portal and data collected by PHySS instruments is available at coolcloud.mote.org. We also house a facility for CAD design and fabrication of 3D printed components, as well as a mill and drill press for other materials.

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