Water-Related News

FGCU student-scientists get to use USF's new Research Vessel Hogarth

About 40 Florida Gulf Coast University students got hands-on experience in offshore marine research this week, thanks to a collaboration between FGCU and the Florida Institute of Oceanography.

The opportunity came through a local visit by FIO’s brand-new ship, the 78-foot-long R/V W.T. Hogarth.

This boat, whose home port is St. Petersburg, was built by Duckworth Steel in Tarpon Springs, and is named for William Hogarth, a recently-retired dean of the USF College of Marine Science, and a leader in the scientific response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The state paid for nearly half of the $6 million vessel, with the remainder coming from the city of St. Petersburg, FIO, the University of South Florida, FGCU and other member-universities.

FGCU’s Vester marine research station in Bonita Springs owns boats, but not of the size and sophistication of the Hogarth.

Using the local fleet, “we tend to work inshore, in the estuaries,” said Darren Rumbold, FGCU oceanography professor.

The Hogarth, Rumbold noted, has a deck big enough to hold the students, two faculty members and a generous supply of collection gear.

On Wednesday and Thursday, different groups of about 20 students accompanied Rumbold and Associate Professor David Fugate on day trips that took them 30 miles out into the Gulf.

There, they took water and sediment samples using a CDT Rosette. That’s a cylindrical frame holding water sampling bottles and instruments for measuring depth, temperature and salinity.