August 2018
U pcoming Events

Sat., Sept. 15
9 am-1pm
National Estuaries Day
Stop by our booth at the Environmental Learning Center in Vero Beach! Event INFO

Wed., Sept. 19
4 & 7 p.m.
Ocean Science Lecture Series:   Indian River Lagoon Health Update ," Leesa Souto, Ph.D., Marine Resources Council of East FL
(details below in newsletter)

Sat., October 27
IRL Science Festival
Veteran's Memorial Park, Fort Pierce

Monitor Effects of Discharges from Lake Okeechobee with LOBOViz
Real-time data from water quality monitoring sensors in the St. Lucie Estuary is available online through FAU Harbor Branch's Land Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory network and the Indian River Lagoon Observatory. Click here to access LOBOViz. 
James M. Sullivan, Ph.D., Named Executive Director of FAU Harbor Branch
Sullivan Will Also Lead Environmental and
Ocean Science Research at FAU
An internationally renowned researcher and leading oceanographer has been named executive director of Florida Atlantic University ’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute .

James M. Sullivan , Ph.D., who joined FAU’s Harbor Branch in 2015, has served as interim executive director since March. In this new role, Sullivan will develop, implement and lead FAU’s environmental and ocean science research and programs, one of the university’s four pillars. His appointment was effective beginning July 28. 

“Dr. Sullivan is an outstanding addition to our environmental and ocean science research team and is uniquely poised to take the helm at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute,” said Daniel C. Flynn , Ph.D., FAU’s vice president of research . “His collaborative spirit and impressive background, knowledge and expertise working in both academia and industry make him a dynamic leader who will successfully direct the strategic vision and mission of this Florida Atlantic University pillar.”

Read more here .
Applications are being accepted for FAU's Marine Science & Oceanography Graduate Degree Program!

Dive into a Master of Science program that puts you in an active research community of scientists, engineers and educators. A partnership between FAU's Harbor Branch and Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, this expanded classroom includes coastal Florida and one of the most biodiverse estuaries in North America, the Indian River Lagoon. WATCH VIDEO to learn more. Areas of concentration include:
  • Marine Biology
  • Coastal & Geological Science
  • Conservation & Ecology
  • Remote Sensing & GIS
  • Chemistry
For more information and to apply online, click here .
2018 Summer Interns
Present Findings
Harbor Branch Summer Intern Program Celebrates 45 Years
This past summer, 20 interns from 16 colleges and universities participated in the 2018 Summer Intern Program at FAU Harbor Branch. During their 10-week internships, the interns work alongside Harbor Branch faculty mentors to devise, develop and complete their independent research projects in Ocean Engineering and Technology, Aquaculture, Marine Mammals, Marine Biology, Microbiology and Marine Natural Products. At the culmination of the program, each intern presented a written report and on August 2 gave an oral presentation on their project to an audience including Harbor Branch faculty and staff, friends of Harbor Branch, program sponsors, and family members.  

(PICTURED ABOVE: 2018 Link Foundation Summer Interns with Link Foundation Board Members Andy Clark and Donna Wilt)
The Harbor Branch Summer Internship Program was launched in 1974 with support from the Link Foundation. Currently the major sponsors are the Link Foundation and the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation, which funds students to work in Harbor Branch’s marine biomedical and biotechnology program. This year additional interns were supported by the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology, the James Pomponi Memorial Internship, and the Fort Pierce Yacht Club.  Click here to learn more about the internship program.
Throughout its history, the Harbor Branch Summer Intern Program has hosted 637 college and university students from around the world. This year’s Summer Intern Symposium Program celebrated the 45 th anniversary of the program and the 65 th Anniversary of the Link Foundation. Andy Clark, Link Foundation Board Member, recognized the late Marilyn C. Link during a special presentation. Link, Harbor Branch’s first Managing Director (1974-1982), served on the Boards of the Link Foundation and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Foundation. She provided inspiration, leadership, and guidance to several generations of employees and students at Harbor Branch. 
2018 Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation Summer Interns with Skelly Foundation Board Member Erik Joh.
NSF & USDA/NIFA Fund $1.2 M Project to Develop Hybrid Robotic Maintenance System
Fish farming plays an important role in securing food safety in the United States and around the world. Since 2014, more farmed fish than wild-caught fish are consumed globally and half of all seafood comes from farms. However, for fish farming to be sustainable and economically viable, drastic improvements to current labor-intensive and resource-inefficient operations are required.

FAU Harbor Branch's Bing Ouyang, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $1.2M, four-year Integrative (INT) project grant from NSF and USDA/NIFA to design, develop and field-test the H ybrid A erial/ U nderwater RobotiC S ystem (HAUCS) – a transformative robotic system that will bring fundamental innovations to how the aquaculture farms operate. Co-PI's on this project are Paul Wills, Ph.D. of FAU Harbor Branch, Jason Hallstrom, Ph.D. of FAU I-SENSE and Tsung-Chow Su, Ph.D. of FAU's Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering.
RAD-LIDAR Conference at HBOI, Nov 5-6
The R ecent AD vances in LIDAR (RAD-LIDAR) Conference aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists to exchange ideas and results on theoretical, technical developments, and applications in the field of laser light scattering in the presence of scattering media. Event INFO
Paige-Karjian Joined by FAU Graduate Students at International Conference
FAU Harbor Branch Assistant Research Professor & Clinical Veterinarian Annie Page-Karjian, DVM, PhD, and FAU graduate students Catherine Lo and Grace Dodillet represented HBOI at the 67th Annual International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association, in St. Augustine, FL. Page-Karjian presented on "Further investigation into the pathophysiology of chelonid herpesvirus 5 and its potential relationship to renal fibrosis in juvenile green turtles ( Chelonia mydas )." She also presented a poster about her collaborations with Dr. Justin Perrault of Loggerhead Marinelife Center: "Veterinarians & Biologists: Making the Dream Work Through Teamwork."

Lo gave a poster presentation on her thesis research, "Anthropogenic contaminants in stranded cetaceans in the southeastern United States, 2012--2017," and Dodillet presented a poster on her thesis research, "Dynamics of stress and immune competence during rehabilitation of debilitated sea turtles." Lab volunteer Ashley Schenk, Ph.D., also joined the team at the conference.

(PICTURED ABOVE: Dodillet, Page-Karjian & Lo at the 67th Annual International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association, in St. Augustine, FL )
Hines Presents at Joint Meeting in Vancouver
Microbiology Research Professor Peter McCarthy, Ph.D. and FAU graduate student Hunter Hines recently travelled to University of British Colombia, Vancouver, to participate in the joint meeting of the International Society of Protistologists and the Phycological Society of America. Hunter presented a short lecture titled “Expanding biogeography of tropical flagship ciliates, a Florida case study” and a poster “Flagship ciliates from freshwater ponds and soils of Florida, USA." Both presentations attracted a great deal of interest as this is the first study of ciliates in this part of the USA.
Harbor Branch In the News
Algae Blooms and Human Impact
"FAU Harbor Branch is hoping to find out more about the health effects of blue-green algae by looking for a related toxin in people's bodies."- Angela Rozier, WPTV
< Donations are needed to support this human impact study. Click here to donate today!
Algae Monitor Successfully Installed in Lake Okeechobee
"Satellite images tell us every few days how an algae bloom on Lake Okeechobee — the source of blooms in the St. Lucie River — has been growing and shrinking over the summer.
Now there's a device in the middle of the lake that will give us updates every hour." -Tyler Treadway, TCPalm. See article here.
Mission: Ocean Discovery
Special Ocean Science Lecture Series Presentation- Sept. 19
Indian River Lagoon Health Update
Leesa Souto, Ph.D.
Marine Resources Council of East Florida
Leesa Souto, Ph.D., will present the first ever Indian River Lagoon Health Update report at FAU Harbor Branch, Johnson Education Center Auditorium, on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 4 & 7 p.m,
The local non-profit organization, the Marine Resources Council of East Florida (MRC), has teamed with the U.S. EPA’s National Estuary Program and Applied Ecology Inc. to produce the first-ever comprehensive health analysis of the entire Indian River Lagoon (IRL) system. It is common knowledge that the health of the lagoon is in peril. For the first time, we now have a baseline of health, backed by 20 years of available science provided by the governing water management districts, to guide future restoration efforts and policy moving forward to improve the water quality of the failing IRL system.
HBOI Co-Hosts Teacher Open House Sept. 19
St. Lucie County teachers can check out the various educational opportunities available locally on Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Lucie County Aquarium and at FAU’s Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Visitor’s Center.
There are two host locations for this event and teachers are invited to either (or both!). 

  • The open house at the St. Lucie Aquarium will offer free admission to registered teachers, snacks and light refreshments, and our educators will be onsite to discuss Smithsonian education programs for K-12 classes. 
  • The second open house at FAU’s Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Visitor's Center, 5600 U.S. 1, Fort Pierce will feature onsite outreach staff to discuss marine science research, careers and education programs. FAU Harbor Branch is also offering a free Immersion Tour from 10:30 a.m. to noon for middle and high school teachers. Space is limited for this opportunity to see the research campus, so please register by Sept. 5 by calling 772-242-2293. 
Takeaway packets containing information about field trips and ideas from several area educational organizations will be available at each site. 
This is a great opportunity for teachers to visit two science organizations and learn about the opportunities for their students, as well as have a lot of fun in the process. Both open houses will feature takeaway information about other educational opportunities for K-12 groups on the Treasure Coast from several environmental organizations. For more information, call FAU Harbor Branch's ODVC at 772-242-2293.
Clean-Up a Success
A group of 21 FAU Harbor Branch employees, students, volunteers and summer interns participated in the recent Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup. The crew cleaned up islands in the Indian River Lagoon located between HBOI’s channel and Vero Beach. They reported filling an entire dumpster with trash by the end of the event. Thank you to all the volunteers!

Right Whale Lesson Plans Available for Grades 1, 3 & 5

We wish our K-12 educators all the best as they begin the 2018-19 school year! Just a reminder that FREE lesson plans covering the endangered North Atlantic right whale are available for 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade students! Access the lesson plans here .

This educational resource was created to spread understanding and awareness of North Atlantic Right Whale through a collaboration between  FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center , and the  Marine Resources Council , with assistance from  NOAA Fisheries  and the  Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission . Funding was provided through sales of  Protect Florida Whales  specialty license plates granted through the  Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation
Notes from the Harbor Branch Aquarist

What does it take to set up and maintain the educational aquarium displays at the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center?

Click here to read Harbor Branch aquarist and graduate student Brandon McHenry's monthly feature on the Reef2Reef Forum. He discusses one of our Marine Ecosystem Health Exhibit tanks that contains three types of seagrass found locally in the Indian River Lagoon and showcases their importance as the nursery grounds for the almost 1,000 fish species that live in the IRL.