May 2023

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Director's Note

Sweet Endings and New Beginnings

(Photo credit: Brianne Lehan)

Commencement season is upon us, and the campus here at the University of Florida is abuzz with optimism. Graduating students are happily wrapping up their final days nestled within the Gator community and looking with anticipation to the next phase of their lives and careers. Our faculty, staff and the swarm of parents that descend on campus during this time of year beam with pride as they reflect on the remarkable talent and potential of these students as they walk across the graduation stage and “go confidently in the direction of their dreams.”  

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Britney Hay: Centering Local Voices in Conservation

(Photo credit: Shanna Challenger)

Congratulations to Britney Hay, winner of a 2023 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award, a prestigious and highly competitive fellowship that helps support outstanding graduate research across the country. With this support, Hay, who’s a doctoral candidate in Environmental Engineering Sciences, will advance her research on mangrove ecology and coastal restoration, and hopes to apply this knowledge to conservation efforts in small developing island states.

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In the Field

Robots Revolutionize Cave Cartography

(Photo credit: RoboPI lab, UF)

Researchers from Florida and South Carolina deployed robots 300 feet inside an underwater cave system in Orange Grove, Florida in April to collect data for mapping the system. Md Jahidul Islam, Ph.D., assistant professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Florida and members of his lab collaborated with Ioannis Rekleitis, Ph.D., associate professor at University of South Carolina, to collect visual data with BlueROV2 and Chase-M2 robots alongside human divers. Such experiments prove the benefits of using robots along with human divers for inspecting and mapping cave systems that are often risky and inaccessible to humans.

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Tech Dive

AI Transforms Harmful Algal Bloom Management

(Photo credit: Megan Sam)

Researchers are leveraging a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence transformer model to better manage the water flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River, which will reduce the amount of released nutrients that produce harmful algal blooms (HABs). CCS Postdoctoral Associate, Enrique Orozco-López, Ph.D., collaborates with University of Florida Associate Professors David Kaplan, Ph.D., and Maitane Olabarrieta, Ph.D., and University of South Florida Assistant Professor Mauricio Arias, Ph.D., to guide water managers in delivering freshwater while minimizing the negative impacts of nutrient loads from horticultural activities. 

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Maitane Olabarrieta Recognized as Outstanding Associate Editor of L&O

(Photo credit: Bernard Brzezinski)

CCS Associate Director Maitane Olabarrieta, Ph.D., was acknowledged as an outstanding Associate Editor for the journal of Limnology and Oceanography.

"Serving as Associate Editor of L&O provides me with the opportunity of making novel and cutting-edge discoveries about aquatic systems readily available to our colleagues in a timely manner," said Olabarrieta.


Researchers Tackle Climate Change "Triple Threat"

(Photo credit: Kirsten Isensee)

UF marine ecologist Andrew Altieri, Ph.D., recently returned from Bergen, Norway where he joined the Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE) as one of its newest members. This small working group of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, whose members come from more than 15 countries, meets twice a year towards the goals of increasing research capacity, identifying and addressing knowledge gaps, and providing the latest information to scientists, stakeholders and interested publics.  

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(Photo credit: Bernard Brzezinski)

5/11/23 CCS Gator Engineering Alumni Reception

(Photo credit: UF Water Institute)

2/21/24 Water Institute Symposium

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