Oceanography On the Chopping Block

Word from Tallahassee is that oceanography may be out at FSU!

Florida State administrators this afternoon released a draft of proposed wide-sweeping cutbacks at the university, based on current reductions in state revenue. If enacted, they would dramatically alter the university as we know it. Twenty-one degree programs at FSU would be eliminated, including anthropology, German, oceanography, physical education and hospitality and golf management.

What?  This is not Billy Boy Foothills College with an oceanography program with 5 students.  This is bloody f’in  Florida State University Oceanography Program! Now granted I don’t know the specifics of what is being cut, but the oceanography program only possesses Masters and Ph.d. programs.  The program includes two very prominent deep-sea biologists, Amy Baco-Taylor and David Thistle.  David’s work is required reading for anybody interested in deep-sea biodiversity.  Amy is an up and comer with an already impressive list of publications and no doubt many more on the horizon.  Not to mention there is Allan Clark who wrote the book on El Nino, literally (“An Introduction to the Dynamics of El Nino & the Southern Oscillation“). I could go through the list but let me finish by saying that you would be hard pressed to find a month without a publication from this group in the most prominent journals.

So where does this leave us?  Honestly, it is too depressing to consider.  Even more depressing is that Science Education, Geological Sciences, and Geography are going to be potentially cut as well.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

5 Replies to “Oceanography On the Chopping Block”

  1. Holy sh, I mean…come on!!! That’s worse than whats happening here at UCONN where there were 25% cuts across the board. Only one or two new grad students next year. But the program isn’t going away! Ouch!

  2. What happened to the record industry and is happening to the newspaper industry will eventually catch up to education as well. While these cuts are related to the overall economic condition, I expect we will see many disruptions to traditional academia in the coming years that are precipitated by technology and distributed networks. How we learn and who we learn from is changing.

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