On Friday, Feb. 10, the leaders of Mote Marine Laboratory and the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee signed a new agreement that will result in closer ties between the two organizations and lead to the development of new classrooms and teaching laboratories on Mote’s campus.
Mote Marine Laboratory, established in 1955, has a long history of educating students in the marine sciences through its many formal and informal K-12 programs and especially through its internships for undergraduate and graduate students that bring more than 150 college students a year to its campus. Many of Mote’s Ph.D. scientists also participate in graduate education programs through their adjunct status at colleges and universities nationwide.
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Campus opened in the 1974-75 academic year, providing courses for upper-level undergraduates, graduates and continuing education students. Today, the campus serves more than 4,800 students annually, including classes in south Sarasota County. USF Sarasota-Manatee will begin offering Freshmen classes in Fall 2013.
Through this new agreement, USFSM will complete the build-out of classrooms and teaching laboratories in Mote’s Ann and Alfred Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center, which already houses a conference room and offices for Mote staff dedicated to dolphin, sea turtle and manatee conservation programs. The buildout
will include dry teaching labs, wet teaching labs, a lab support room, two research labs, offices, two academic support rooms and a lounge.
Working together, USFSM and Mote will also create new joint appointments for Mote researchers who will serve as faculty and will allow USFSM faculty and students to work closely with Mote staff on the research programs and initiatives under way at Mote.
Organizations like the National Science Foundation have long supported hands-on research experiences for undergraduate students as a way to improve the nation’s expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The Mote-USFSM partnership will serve to directly implement such a strategy for Sarasota
and Southwest Florida by linking the growing USFSM undergraduate science degree programs with both innovative basic research and applied science and technology programs taking place at Mote.
“Mote has a long history of working with USF in many different areas of marine research, including shark research and our Aquaculture Park in eastern Sarasota County,” said Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, President & CEO of Mote. “We’re very excited that this agreement will create new avenues for Mote staff to help educate the next generation of marine
scientists and for USFSM faculty to have the opportunity to work with us on our world-recognized research programs.”
“This is a real win/win/win because the students become the real winners,” said Dr. Arthur Guilford, Regional Chancellor for USF Sarasota-Manatee. “This will provide the students with the ability to work with high-quality scientists who are engaged in exciting fields of research. This is a unique, real-world model for undergraduate research.”
“One of our goals when Mote’s Board of Trustees approved a new strategic plan was to set a course for the future that included supporting a new generation of marine researchers,” said Bob Carter, Chairman of Mote’s Board. “It’s exciting to see our 2020 Vision and Strategic Plan taking shape through strong partnerships like this one with USF
Rocky D. Bull, Mascot for USF Sarasota-Manatee poses with Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, President & CEO of Mote, Dr. Arther Guilford, Regional Chancellor of USF Sarasota-Manatee and the Mote Aquarium Mascot, Gilly.