Principle Investigators


Gregg Brooks is a Professor of Marine Science/Geosciences at Eckerd College (starting in 1990). His expertise is in sedimentology/geochronology with primary research interests focusing on the record of sediment input to coastal and marine systems resulting from both natural and anthropogenic influences. Since 2010, he has worked on the DwH oil spill in the NGoM with funding from the C-IMAGE (2011-2020) and DEEP-C (2011-2014) consortiums, and most recently (2018-2020) a single investigator grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). During this period, he has served as author or coauthor on five book chapters with one EC student as coauthor, 15 peer-reviewed publications with 15 EC student coauthors, and 87 conference presentations with 96 EC student coauthors. He regularly serves as formal mentor for >35 undergraduate EC students/year, and has served on >30 undergraduate thesis committees.

Patrick T. Schwing: Dr. Patrick Schwing is an Assistant Professor at EC. He is a marine geochemist and an expert in benthic foraminifera and sedimentary biogeochemistry. He has served as a member of the science party, co-chief, or chief scientist on 16 research cruises throughout the GoM since 2010. Dr. Schwing has also coordinated all GOMRI, C-IMAGE sediment collections amongst 13 domestic and international research partners. He is involved in projects in the GoM including characterizing benthic foraminiferal impact and recovery, and the establishment of GoM-wide environmental benthic baseline measurements. From these projects, he has published over 30 research products since 2015, all having been supported by undergraduate researchers and co-authors.

Rebekka A. Larson is a Research Scientist at EC, Marine Science with expertise in sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochronology, and sedimentary processes in coastal and marine environments. Her research focus is refining and developing methods and approaches of high-resolution investigation of sedimentary records of events in deep sea to coastal environments. She has extensive experience in field coordination, collection of field samples/data, and supervises/maintains the sedimentology and short-lived radioisotope laboratories at EC. This includes student training, management, and development associated with field sampling, lab analyses, and professional products. Her responsibilities also include data synthesis, interpretation and production of reports and publications for projects in the GoM and Caribbean.


Collaborator Steve Murwaski will engage with undergraduate students during the classroom and field portion of the course through 1) field methods training and preparation, 2) deployment, retrieval of equipment and processing of samples onboard the research vessel and 3) offer opportunities for students to engage with USF/CMS research. Dr. Murawski will coordinate with project personnel on the continuation of a demersal longline time series.

Steven A. Murawski: Dr. Murawski is a fisheries biologist, ecologist involved in understanding the human impacts on ocean ecosystem sustainability. He has developed approaches for understanding fishing impacts on marine fish complexes exploited in mixed-species aggregations. Such assessments inform investments to rebuild the GoM from multiple stressors including effects of oil spills and nutrient enrichment. Dr. Murawski served as Director of C-IMAGE, which was funded by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. He is also a USA Delegate and former vice-president of the International Council for the Exploration of the SEA (ICES) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Ocean Studies Board. In 2013, he was appointed a committee member for the Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences 2015. This survey, managed by the National Academies, will set science priorities for the next decade in context of current state of knowledge, ongoing research activities, and resource availability.

USF/CMS is one of the top ten marine science programs in the United States and is comprised of 26 faculty, ~100 graduate students, and ~100 staff. CMS researchers secure ~$15M in annual research funding with faculty expertise in biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography, as well as marine resource assessment. USF/CMS has been successful in recruiting and mentoring under-represented minority students, which has increased to 19% over the last five years. USF/CMS hosts a weekly seminar series, which will expand the opportunities for EC undergraduates to network with a diverse, global group of geoscience professionals.

Collaborator Julie Richey will lead the investigation of seasonal and interannual variations in water column processes in the GoM using a sediment trap time series (2008–2020, and continuing with this course) of particulate flux. Dr. Richey will engage with students during the classroom and field components of this course, and offer opportunities for those students to engage with research at the USGS.

Julie Richey: Dr. Richey’s research focus is reconstructing temperature and hydroclimatic variability in the GoM/Subtropical Atlantic Ocean using a broad range of different paleoclimate archives. In addition to generating proxy-based paleoclimate records, she works on proxy development and calibration studies to improve quantification of past changes in temperature, salinity and precipitation in both terrestrial and marine environments. Dr. Richey has published 27 works since 2007, the majority of which are focused on the GoM and subtropical Atlantic.

The USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center has a primary focus of investigating coastal and marine environmental processes and their societal implications related to natural hazards, resource sustainability, and environmental change. The USGS also hosts weekly “brown bag” lunch lectures by local and international researchers, which will also expand opportunities for EC undergraduates to network with a diverse group of geoscience professionals.

Tampa Bay Watch (TBW) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs. TBW trains and organizes citizen volunteers, students, at-risk youth, and civic organizations to participate in environmental projects while heightening community awareness of the fragile nature and importance of the environment. TBW implements environmental educational programs that serve groups who have historically experienced exclusion from opportunities in science and environmentalism and support efforts to ensure a diversified staff and Board.

Critical Staff:

Weather God: to facilitate good weather and sea conditions. Offerings are highly recommended.

Pocket Ninja: Lives on the multicore and facilitates deployments and operation of the multicore.