Florida Tech President, Public Visit University-Sponsored Research Vessel

By  //  February 16, 2018

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studying oil spills, red tides & other environmental concerns

Florida Tech First Lady Mary Helen McCay (third from left), and President Dwayne McCay (next to her), joined university trustees and others on the deck of the Research Vessel R/V Higarth On Monday In Port Canaveral. (FIT IMAGE)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Institute of Technology President Dwayne McCay and First Lady Mary Helen McCay were among dozens of visitors to a new research vessel that will help faculty and students conduct marine research and tackle some of the state’s most vexing ecological issues, from hurricane erosion and oil spills to red tide.

The R/V W. T. Hogarth spent Monday at Ocean Club Marina in Port Canaveral, the second of 10 visits planned at ports around Florida through late March.

Named after William Hogarth, the marine research scientist who served as director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) from 2011 to 2016 and was former dean of the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, the $6 million, 78-foot, coastal-class ship was built at Duckworth Steel Boats in Tarpon Springs. It was launched May 23 and is sponsored in part by Florida Tech.

As many as 800 principal investigators from Florida Tech and 30 other Florida universities and institutions that comprise FIO will utilize the Hogarth for data collection, observations and research.

Members of the public line up to see the newest Florida Tech-sponsored research vessel, the R/V W.T. Hogarth, on Monday at Port Canaveral. (FIT Image)

Equipped with berths for 10 scientists, as well as wet and dry laboratories, satellite internet, fisheries eco-sounders, bathymetric equipment for bottom-sounding, and a dynamic positioning system, the R/V W.T. Hogarth has already garnered attention for her advanced technology for use in studying oil spills, red tides and other environmental concerns.

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“A central and critical aspect of educating oceanographers and ocean engineers is shipboard knowledge,” said George Maul, a professor of oceanography at Florida Tech and author of The Oceanographer’s Companion: Essential Nautical Skills for Seagoing Scientists and Engineers.

“At sea, students will begin to learn the language of the seaman – specialized communication skills that are essential for conducting research and for safety-of-life-at-sea. During research cruises, Florida Tech students will learn how to handle oceanographic instruments in smooth and rough seas, take marine observations, analyze and store data, and a bit of seamanship.”

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