Marine & Environmental Sciences
News, Notes & Events

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Marine Science Students Present at 2019 SEAMAMMS

Graduate and undergraduate students presented at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium March 28-30 in Washington, D.C. at Georgetown University.  Master's of Marine Science student Brigid Tye and Bachelor's of Marine Sciences student Sena Tay presented poster presentations. In addition to the conference, SSU students had a unique opportunity to tour the Smithsonian’s “Whale Warehouse” with its large collection of marine mammal skeletons including the blue whale skull seen here.  

SSU Marine Science Students Lead Marsh Clean-Up


SSU Marine Science students led a Marsh Clean-Up event on October 24, 2018 behind the Marine Biology building on campus. Seventeen volunteers across campus participated in the event consisting of Savannah State University students and faculty. 

SSU Graduate Named as Knauss Marine Policy Fellow 

SSU's very own Jordan Rutland (MS in Marine Science, class of 2018) will serve as a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in Washington, DC this year!  These are very prestigious and highly competitive positions. Jordan and the other fellows will spend a year applying their ocean science and communication skills in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. She will be 1 of 3 fellows representing the state of Georgia, with the other 2 fellows coming from UGA.  Jordan completed her thesis on “Life history indices of female common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in waters near Savannah, Georgia” last spring in the SSU Dolphin Science (SSUDS) lab with Dr. Tara Cox.  Jordan will be the 3rd SSU student to serve as a fellow, following in the footsteps of Sanya Compton (class of 2009 & 2015) and Shelly Krueger (class of 2010). We are very proud of her!

GA Sea Grant Announcement:
National Sea Grant Announcement:

Marine Science Students Present at 2018 SEAMAMMS

Several graduate and undergraduate students presented at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium March 23-25 in Conway, SC at Coastal Carolina University. Jordan Rutland and Emily Griffin, Master's of Marine Science students, presented oral presentations as did Candice Vinson, a Bachelor's of Marine Sciences student. Shaiane Cardoso-Pinto, a Master's student presented a poster presentation. Emily Griffin won best oral presentation by a graduate student for her thesis work, "Examining stock structure of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) through photo-identification and genetic analyses."

Marine Instrumention Students Field Surveying Trip with Zulu Marine


Zulu Marine introduced side-scan sonar in a classroom session for the graduate Marine Instrumentation students, then embarked on a field surveying trip up the Wilmington River. Students learned to deploy instrumentation and interpret images of the estuarine channel.The students boarded the 41’ Munson Research Vessel at the Savannah State Dock, learning setup and best practices during the trip to the target site. During the survey students took turns in the cabin watching the scan in real-time on the monitor. Once the survey was complete, the students watched as the data was processed and targets marked. Thank you to Zulu Marine and Rusty and Alex Batey for providing this hands-on learning experience.

Wando High School Wins 2018 Regional Stingray Bowl


Wando High School Team: Reese Alspector, Coltan Green, Coach Jessica Anderson, Joseph Harnett, Rebecca Cottingham, Samantha Herbert

On Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 Wando High School – Mt. Pleasant, SC took the Southern Stingray Bowl for the second year in a row. They won 42 to 28 against Holy Spirit Preparatory, Atlanta Ga.  The Wando students will move on to finals in Boulder Colorado.  The finals theme is “Our Ocean Shaping Weather.” Hosting the 2018 NOSB finals competition with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder is especially timely. The influence of ocean-atmosphere interactions on inland weather is more evident than ever – in Colorado, there are milder winters in the Rocky Mountains, lower water levels in the Colorado River, and fewer snowfalls atop Vail mountains. Additionally, Boulder serves as a hub for weather research, both private and federal, with organizations including the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory. Researchers at each of these institutions are striving to understand the dynamics and interplay between weather and climate, as well as their short and longterm effects on biological, physical, and social systems.


SSU Environmental Science at Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students


SSU Environmental Science students, Choi Rowan and Boski Patel, presented their research titled “ Evaluation of Trace Elements Concentrations from Nine Wastewater Treatment Plants in Savannah, Georgia” at the ABRCMS meeting in Phoenix, AZ, November 1-4, 2017.  They were mentored by Dr. Kenneth Sajwan, coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at SSU.  Dr. Sajwan also served as a judge at this large student research conference. 
Concentrations from Nine Wastewater Treatment Plants in Savannah, Georgia” at the ABRCMS meeting in Phoenix, AZ, November 1-4, 2017.  They were mentored by Dr. Kenneth Sajwan, coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at SSU.  Dr. Sajwan also served as a judge at this large student research conference. 

Recycling Day Event at Savannah State University

The Savannah State University Environmental Science Program and the Environmental Science Club partnered with the City of Savannah Water Reclamation FOG Department (Fats, Oils, and Grease), Waste Management, SSU Physical Plant for the Savannah State University exclusive Recycling Day Event.  The event on 15 November 2017 was the first of this type, allowing campus and community to bring glass, paper, plastic and waste cooking oil and grease for recycling.  The key to this activity was to raise awareness of the importance of keeping fats, oils, and grease out of the City water systems.  This has been a major problem for years and the City aims to improve the situation by partnering with area stakeholders to maximize its reach to the citizens. Most of the more than 50 visitors expressed appreciation for the event and that they would like to see more in the future. Approximately 75 gallons of grease and five bins filled with recyclable items were collected during the 6-hr event. Planning is already underway for the next Recycling Day so look for announcements from Savannah State and The City of Savannah.  For more information on the FOG program contact Dr. Sue Ebanks at Savannah State University ( or our City of Savannah Partner, Ms. De’Anna Franklin, Environmental Compliance Inspector at 1400 E. President St. Savannah, GA 31404. 912.651.6620.ext1002 (Office), 912.547.2116 (Mobile), Email:

 SSU Recyling Day Event Table

SSU Recycling Day Event and Oil Collected

SSU Students Win at the GIS Day Competition

This year's Geographic System Information (GIS) Day had a remarkable showing from SSU students. Congratulations to Khadiyja Kemp-Masters, urban studies and planning graduate student, and Emily Griffin, marine sciences graduate student, for placing first and second, respectively, in the graduate student competition. Congratulations to Candice Vinson and Gina Humphreys, undergraduate students in marine sciences, for placing first and second in the undergraduate student competition.

GIS Day serves to make the community aware of GIS technology and the important contributions it makes in the fields of science, technology, information and the humanities. GIS Day in Savannah had 26 entries representing five area schools.

Marine Science Students Tour NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson

Ensign Gump and Commander Van Westendorp (SSU Master of Marine Science class of 2005 and former NROTC instructor) gave SSU students, staff, and faculty fun and informative tours of the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson on Friday, October 27, 2017.  The vessel was docked in the Savannah River on River St after completing hydrographic surveys adjacent to the outer harbor. The Thomas Jefferson recently returned from completing hydrographic surveys in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to determine whether the ports could be reopened following the hurricanes ( The students learned about opportunities to work in the NOAA Corps, ship operations, and seafloor mapping.

SSU Tour NOAA Thomas Jefferson S-222

SSU Tour NOAA Thomas Jefferson S-222

Congratulations to MSMS Graduate Brandon Coleman!

Congratulations to Brandon Coleman (class of 2006-B.S. and 2012-M.S.) on his new job as an Ecologist II with the Atlanta office of Atkins, an international engineering firm.  Brandon's duties will include evaluating the environmental impacts of Georgia Dept. of Transportation projects, leading wetland delineations and ecological surveys, coordinating with construction plan designers, and preparing permit applications and conducting site reviews for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

BSMS Graduate Pursues Master's Degree at University of Delaware

Cassandra Harris

Congratulations to May 2017 SSU Marine Science graduate Cassandra Harris, who will start a master's degree in Marine Biosciences at the University of Delaware later this month. She will work with Dr. Jennifer Biddle on a project combining behavior and metagenomics. Cassandra will examine predator-prey interactions and microbial connections between the species. Cassandra was a part of the NSF OEDG and NIH RISE Programs at SSU.





Aquarium Science Students Team Up with May Howard Elementary

Aquarium Science Students Beeler Class Notes



A big thank you goes out to Dr. Chris Hintz and students in the SSU Aquarium Science Program. Students in our 2016-17 aquarium science courses completed a year-long outreach project at May Howard Elementary school. They collected animals for, established, and maintained aquaria in the 3rd grade classrooms, in addition to providing instruction and mentorship to the 3rd graders.

Dr. Joe Richardson Featured in Southern Tides Magazine

Check out Dr. Joe Richardson, former MSCI Faculty in the March 2017 Issue of Southern Tides Magazine!

Dr. Richardson is featured in the article A Walk on the Wild Side: Beach Walks with Dr. Joe by Captain J. Gary Hill.

MSCI Student Studies Coral Reefs at University of Virgin Islands

P. Owen Clower

Patrick Owen Clower, SSU Marine Science class of 2017, will start his M.S. studies in Marine & Environmental Science at the University of the Virgin Islands in August to study coral reefs. Owen was a part of the NOAA LMRCSC and NIH RISE Programs at SSU and has been an avid outreach volunteer for the department since he was a freshman.  Congratulations, Owen!





MSMS Graduate Now at SC Department of Natural Resources


SSU MSMS graduate, Emma Schultz, is enjoying her new job as a seasonal Sea Turtle Technician for the SC Dept. of Natural Resources in Charleston, SC.  She assists with the sea turtle stranding network along the SC coast, coordinates with nesting volunteers, and patrols for nests on SC barrier islands.




Marine Science Graduate Prepares for NOAA Fast Rescue Boat Crew Status

Ensign Chelsea Parrish

Ensign Chelsea Parrish just completed NOAA's Rescue Swimmer Training program this week instructed by Stephen Wigley of Marine Rescue Consultants, LLC from Newport Beach, CA. Chelsea has been completing various trainings and earned several certifications in order to become the Rescue Swimmer for NOAA Ship Oregon II. Before she can be placed on the Fast Rescue Boat (FRB) crew that responds to a man overboard, she must complete one final qualification--the Diving Program swim test.

Swim Test

SSU Student Now with USACE

Nicholas Castellane

Congratulations to SSU Master of Science in Marine Sciences student, Nicholas Castellane! Nick is now a Biological Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Nick was supported on the Dept. of Education Title VII grant at SSU while completing research on the release of dissolved organic carbon by zooplankton in Dr. Aron Stubbins' lab at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He will return to Savannah later this semester to defend his M.S. thesis. Other SSU Marine Science alumni who have worked with USACE include Megan Singleton (M.S. 2007, now at the U.S. Dept. of Education) and Ellie Covington (B.S. 2001; USACE-Savannah Planning Division).

Ebanks Part of NAGT Traveling Workshop Leadership Committee

Our very own Dr. Sue Ebanks was selected to join the National Association of Geoscience Teacher's (NAGT) Traveling Workshop Leadership Committee. The Traveling Workshop Program brings national leaders in geoscience education to campuses across the country interested in strengthening departments and programs, building stronger courses, and learning new pedagogies. To learn more about NAGT's Traveling Workshop Program, see:

SSU Student, Staff and Faculty Article Publish in PLOS One

Congratulations to Carolyn Kovacs, Robin Perrtree, and Dr. Tara Cox on their article "Social differentiation in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that engage in human-related foraging behaviors" accepted for publication in PLOS One. Go SSUDS lab!

Archived News







Sea Turtle Conservation on Tybee Island

Sea Turtle ConservationSSU Marine Sciences professor Chris Hintz (fourth from right above) has volunteered his time and expertise to the Tybee Sea Turtle Project for the past six nesting seasons. The Tybee Sea Turtle Project is a volunteer organization permitted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to monitor and assist nesting sea turtles on this developed barrier island. Every day in the summer, volunteers walk the 3-mile long beach looking for turtle crawls, evidence of a sea turtle nest. The Sea Turtle Project coordinator, Ms. Tammy Smith, then investigates and identifies the nest for protection during the 50-70 day incubation on Tybee beach. At the end of the incubation period, the volunteers will sit by the nests, particularly in highly impacted areas of Tybee, to ensure the hatching turtles are oriented properly and make it to the ocean for their journey to the Sargasso Sea at the start of their life. Five days after a nest emerges, Ga DNR protocol is for Project volunteers to dig up the nest and inventory the number of hatched and unhatched eggs, live and dead sea turtles who remain in the nest. The live turtles are released at sunset by the Project volunteers.

Sea Turtle Conservation WavesDr. Hintz participates regularly in the excavations and outreach opportunities. So far this season the four excavations he has participated in have led to the release of over 40 hatchling sea turtles that had not emerged by day 5 and were at risk of perishing in the nest. In some cases, like it was on Aug 2, 2016, the seas are particularly rough from an onshore breeze and incoming tide. Volunteers must then wade out into the waves to help the hatchlings make it through the heavy surf before potentially be predated on the beach while it is still dusk.

Nationwide, sea turtle nests are at record high this 2016 season, including record numbers in the states of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Tybee Island has had higher than average number of nests but the current record number of nests was set in 2013.

Baby Turtle Please remember that all sea turtles are protected species under the Endangered Species Act and cannot be legally handled except by permitted volunteers. The best way you can help protect sea turtles is to not use artificial lights (e.g., flashlights or cell phones) on the beach at night; and turn off any lights on your beachfront homes as soon as it is dark. Scientists have shown direct correlation between reduced female nesting and beachfront lighting. Hatchling sea turtles are directed by light, which coming from the dunes causes their misdirection away from the ocean.

Photos courtesy of Mary Lambright.

Jav'ar Henry to Pursue Graduate Degree in GIS

Congratulations to Jav'ar Henry, SSU Marine Science class of 2012! Starting this fall, Jav'ar will be pursuing a Master's Degree in Professional Science with specialization in applied Geospatial Information Systems at Tennessee State University. He will work in the Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis Laboratory mapping wetlands using multi-temporal remote sensing data and conducting landscape based assessment of spatial dynamics, condition and vulnerability of Tennessee wetlands. Jav'ar was active in research throughout his time at SSU and an intern in the NSF EDGE Program. Since graduating he has worked as a GIS technician for the National Park Service (VA) and a Biological Science Technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (MO). His time spent learning about fish with Drs. Gilligan and Curran, and GIS with Dr. Cox paid off!

SSU MSMS Graduate Returning to Sea

CDR Christiaan Van Westendorp, a 2005 graduate of SSU's Master of Science in Marine Sciences program and former SSU NROTC instructor, is returning to sea. He has been serving the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps in the role of liaison to the Oceanographer of the Navy. His next adventure will be to command the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson based out of Norfolk, VA. To learn more about NOAA vessels and opportunities, you can visit the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster on River St. in Savannah on July 17th, 2016 or contact SSU's Dr. Dionne Hoskins.

Another Marine Science Graduate Working with NOAA!

Katie (Miller) Watson will start a new job with NOAA contractor CSS-Dynamac starting next week.   She will initially be based at the Univ. of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.   CSS-Dynamac provides services to NOAA's National Ocean Service including management, planning, data acquisition, quality control, GIS, statistical analysis, modeling, communications, outreach, and training. Katie graduated from SSU in 2008 with a B.S. in Marine Sciences and was previously employed by  Meritech Environmental Laboratory in NC.

Dr. Cox Named Secretary of Society for Marine Mammalogy

Dr Cox

Congratulations to SSUs Dr. Tara Cox.  Dr. Cox was recently elected Secretary for the Society for Marine Mammalogy Board of Governors. SMM is an international scientific society with the mission to promote the global advancement of marine mammal science and contribute to its relevance and impact in education, conservation and management. There are over 2,000 members from at least 25 countries.  Dr. Coxs SSU Dolphin Science (SSUDS) lab participates in both research and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  Her very active lab group is currently comprised of lab manager, Robin Perrtree; 3 graduate students: Jessica Thompson, Rachael Randall, and Jordan Rutland; 6 undergraduate interns:  Cristin Archer, Zoe Wong, Bryan Hall, Erin Arneson, Janet Ferguson-Roberts, and Sedonna Goeman-Shulsky and 4 volunteers: Emily Griffin, Chelsea Spaulding, Kate Doyle, and Noelle Hawthorne.  Many others have contributed to their time intensive field work and image analysis.  Lab members have come to SSU to work with Dr. Cox from far away as Canada, California, and Maine.

Dr. Jolvan Morris Accepts Position with the NOAA Office of  Protected Resources Division in Gloucester, MA

Congratulations to SSUs Dr. Jolvan Morris who has accepted a position with the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office of NOAA in the Protected Resources Division in Gloucester, MA.  Dr. Morris has served as a postdoctoral researcher in the NOAA LMRCSC African American Fishermen Oral History Project under the guidance of Dr. Dionne Hoskins.  She also recently served as an Environmental Science instructor and co-PI on the CHARTing grant overseen by Dr. Sue Ebanks. Dr. Morris is seen on the right in this photo taken during fishermen interviews with graduate student Keya Jackson.

Morris Jackson

As an Environmental Specialist for Integrated Statistics, Inc. in support of NOAA, Dr. Morris will be part of the Endangered Species Group working on Section 7 consultations for energy related projects (e.g., wind energy, hydropower). She will also help with Students Collaborating to Undertake Tracking Efforts for Sturgeon (SCUTES), a K-12 outreach program focused on movements, behavior, and threats to shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon species along the East Coast of the United States. Shortnose sturgeon are listed as endangered , and Atlantic sturgeon are listed as threatened in the Gulf of Maine and endangered throughout the rest of their range due to previous overfishing, ship strikes, incidental catch mortality, and several other human-made factors. 

Dr. Morris is the 2nd successful postdoctoral fellow in SSUs NOAA LMRCSC Program and the 6th within SSU Marine Sciences.  Previous postdoctoral researchers include Dr. Dionne Hoskins (NOAA), Dr. Deidre Gibson (Hampton Univ.), Dr. Ashanti Johnson (Univ. of Texas Arlington), Dr. Matthew Ogburn (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center ), and Dr. Chip Cotton (Florida State Univ.).

Kamilya Daniels Attends Fisheries Management Graduate Certificate Program at Oregon State University

Kamilya Coleman

Congratulations to Kamilya Daniels, SSU class of 2015, who has started the Fisheries Management Graduate Certificate Program at Oregon State University.  Kamilya will complete an 18 cr intensive program of study and a capstone project with her advisor Dr. Susie Dunham.  Kamilya completed an internship at OSU after leaving SSU (photo below with colleague Cheyenne Coleman, class of 2016).  Kamilya was also an NSF EDGE intern and a frequent participant on EDGE estuarine research cruises.  In Dec. 2013, Kamilya, Chelsea Parrish, Terry Anderson, and Ashton Arnold led sampling efforts with Dr. Pride on a 3-day cruise down the GA coast aboard the R/V Savannah.  They collected CTD profiles as well as water, sediment, and grab samples as far south as the St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL

MSMS Graduate to Attend NOAA CORPS Officer Training this Summer

Chelsea parrish

Congratulations to Chelsea Parrish!  After graduating with her M.S. degree in Marine Sciences in May 2016, Ms Parrish will be joining the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps.  Ms Parrish is a proud 2013 graduate of the SSU Department of Biology and a former member of the SSU softball team.  She most recently served as a National Science Foundation GK-12 fellow and resident scientist at Georgetown K-8 School, while completing her M.S. courses and thesis research.  She will attend the US Coast Guard Academy for 4-5 months as part of a Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC-128) alongside the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School starting July 24th. Following graduation from BOTC, she will report to an assigned NOAA vessel and home port for the next 2-3 years. 

The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps provides officers with leadership and command roles under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Department of Commerce. It is one 7 uniformed services of the United States. NOAA Corps officers command NOAA's research and survey vessels, fly NOAA's environmental monitoring aircraft, work as members of mobile national response teams, and serve in a variety of management positions throughout the agency including coastal pollution monitoring, natural resource management, satellite operations, and other scientific and engineering disciplines to provide the accurate and comprehensive information needed to make wise decisions about our environment.

NSF GK-12 Program at SSU: Ocean Literacy Teacher Workshop Series

The National Science Foundation GK-12 Ocean Literacy program at Savannah State University (SSU) recently hosted a 7-week workshop series, and subsequent implementation period, for local Savannah teachers. This series provided teachers the opportunity to learn new science activities that were developed for K-12 classrooms using ocean literacy themes. Each week, graduate students from the Master of Science in Marine Sciences program presented teachers with interactive activities. The teachers later implemented the activities in their own classrooms. Many of the activities were developed by NSF GK-12 fellows at SSU and revolved around their Master of Science thesis research. Some of the activities are now published in science education journals. A total of 25 teachers from local elementary, middle, and high schools attended the series and were awarded honoraria based on their level of participation. The teachers enjoyed learning about novel ways to teach various science subjects, which included Were Gonna Crush It: Sediment Creation through Destruction and Flatfish in Motion: A Movement Activity. One of the participants noted that she found all of the topics to date interesting and that they allowed her to liven up the classroom with more hands-on activities. Another participant commented that she enjoyed the diversity of activities and topics. The workshop series enabled graduate students to improve their science communication skills while helping to improve ocean literacy within the Savannah community.

Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium 2016 on SSU's campus

Savannah State, in conjunction with The Dolphin Project, hosted the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium on campus this past weekend. Over 100 researchers, most of whom were students, traveled from along the east coast (and the Gulf Coast of Florida) to share their findings and plan for future collaborations.

Because the conference is student-oriented, we gave several awards for best oral and poster presentations by an undergraduate and graduate student. Three of those awards came to SSU students or at least students with some SSU affiliation:

Best undergraduate oral presentation:

Robin Rowland, Eckerd College, but she conducted her research as an intern in the SSUDS lab during Summer 2015

Do Common Bottlenose Dolphins that Interact with Humans Experience Greater Rates of Anthropogenic Injuries?

Best graduate oral presentation:

Jessica Thompson, SSU

Estimation of site fidelity for common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in a complex estuarine system using the Robust Design and multistate analysis

Clip Clip Image

Possibly most impressive and what created the most buzz was a high school student, Chance McKennie, who presented a poster of work he conducted while in Coast Camp sponsored by NOAA LMRCSC at SSU, led by Victoria Young and Dr. Dionne Hoskins. The judges were blown away by Chance and could not believe the caliber of the Coast Camp program. Chance received a special award for being the first high school student to ever present at SEAMAMMS.

Also worth mentioning are all the SSU students who presented, both oral (Cassandra Harris and Seth Klepal  undergraduates; Rachael Randall  graduate student) and poster (Cheyenne Coleman and Jasmine Torey  undergraduates; Jordan Rutland  graduate student). In addition, two alumni served on a panel discussion Life After SEAMAMMS  Robin Perrtree, MSMS 2010 and Kelli Edwards, MSMS 2014.



Irmo High School Wins 2016 NOSB Regional Competition

Ten teams competed in the NOSB Southern Stingray Bowl this year.  Irmo High School, NC took first place in the single elimination competition.  They will move on to compete against 26 teams at the National Ocean Science Bowl Competition in Moorehead, NC.  This years bowl was supported by over 60 volunteers from Savannah State Univeristy, South Carolina Seagrant, UGA Marex, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Atlanta Metropolitan College, Armstrong State University, Savannah Chatham County Public School System, Tybee Marine Science Center and Georgia Southern University. 

NOSB Regional

Former SSU Postdoc Featured in Fox News' Ailes Apprentice Program

Dr. Ashanti Johnson, former SSU Marine Science postdoc, is featured in Fox News' Ailes Apprentice Program


SSU's First Patent Awarded to Dr. Hintz and Graduate Student

Dr. Chris Hintz, with help from a co-inventing graduate student  Amber Wilkinson, developed a separation process to remove cultured microorganisms from their culture media (e.g., water).  According to the university, their invention received the first patent in SSUs history.  This separation process has potential application in algae biofuel and bacterial pharmaceutical industries.

Their invention offers many advantages as a pre-concentration technique such as:

    1) keeping the cultured microorganisms viable for future culture inoculation,

    2) is a low-cost, low-energy technique that only requires low-pressure compressed air to facilitate the separation using the patented, uniquely-designed, separation apparatus, and

    3) is an infinitely scalable, continuous process that can be designed to remove organisms at the same rate they are being grown in culture, maintaining the culture at peak growth rates.

MSMS Graduate now ARTI Employee and NOAA Contractor

SSU Marine Science alumnus and former NSF GK-12 fellow,  Brandon Coleman , started a new job in Silver Spring, MD this month working for Advanced Resource Technologies, Inc (ARTI).  ARTI is a NOAA contractor.  Brandon will act as a scientific liaison for external users of NOAA resources within the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). He will inform the nonscientific community (e.g., marine commerce, coastal management, recreation) about the technology and products in CO-OPS and facilitate the use of these resources.  Brandon completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees at SSU.  His M.S. thesis was completed under the direction of Dr. C. Hintz.  In it, he examined nutrients in the Savannah River estuary and the influence of temporal variability in Savannah population size (tourism, college enrollment) on nutrient conditions near the waste water treatment facility.

B Coleman

Dr. Sue Ebanks Weighed in on the Microbead Ban

SSU's Dr. S. Ebanks weighed in on the microbead ban in an interview with WTOC on Jan 4, 2016.

2015 Coastal Georgia Colloquium at Savannah State University

The Coastal Georgia Colloquium was held at Savannah State University Oct. 28-29, 2015.  This event is held every other year and is organized by the Georgia Coastal Research Council (  The event is designed to bring scientists, managers, and practitioners together from across the state to update each other on current coastal research needs, provide updates on ongoing projects and build collaborations.   SSU Marine Science and Biology Dept faculty presented at the event along with SSU alumni who now work at GA DNR and UGA MAREX.


Tree Planting Volunteers

Photo credit - Marshal Litus




Scouts, youth clubs, undergraduate students, graduate students, SSU staff, SSU faculty, and university administrators came out to participate in the tree planting event developed through a partnership with the Savannah Tree Foundation, Savannah State University Environmental Science Club and Facilities Department, and funded in part by the CSX Corporation.  There were numerous student and community groups as well as individuals that participated in the event. Approximately 75 trees were planted in five locations on campus as an investment in the canopy of Savannah State University.  This event has been a stimulus to inspire continued increase in efforts of environmental stewardship here at Savannah State.  For more information on how you can get involved in future events, contact Sue Ebanks, Asst. Professor of Marine & Environmental Sciences, at

ActKey Log     CSX Logo    STF Log ENVS Log

New Ocean Instruments Course Builds/Deploys Drifters to Track SC Floodwater Moving Offshore

Students in the new graduate Advanced Oceanographic Instruments (MSCI 6572) and undergraduate Oceanographic Instruments (MSCI 4572) courses deployed two surface current drifters using Savannah State University's Research Vessel Margaret C. Robinson on Friday October 16, 2015.  In classes leading up to the deployment both the undergraduate and graduate students built the bamboo and canvas biodegradable drifters.  The graduate students devised the experiment to deploy in the historic flood waters caused by the catastrophic rains over South Carolina in early October flowing out of the Edisto River, St. Helena Sound, SC into the coastal ocean.   This real-life experience in experimental development, instrumental design and construction is key for our students to gain while at SSU so they can apply this knowledge out in the workforce or graduate school after graduation.  The hope is that these drifters will send back their positions over the next several months to study the flood water mixing in the ocean; positions are captured by GPS and the data is sent by satellite to ground based data storage approximately every 6 hours.

Students on boat










Although the drifters only report their position and do not report any other information, students are coupling the position with other data freely available data from the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) network of buoys, floats, drifters, and underway ships.  For example, the Ocean Instruments classes are using salinity and wind data from the NOAA Fripp Nearshore Buoy to correlate the flood water current movements with salinity (above) and winds in the area.  This, again, is a real-world example of how oceanographers can use the multitude of oceanographic instruments and data available to understand regional to global scale processes.

More Information:

Link to a map of the current position of the SSU Drifters.

Another link to a map of the current drifter position, coupled with IOOS nearshore HF RADAR that shows surface currents in some areas.

Link to table of other drifter deployments to investigate.


Dat Collection Presentation











1SSU Tree Planting: Saturday, October 24, 2015 - Volunteers Welcome!

  Tree Planting

National Science Foundations GK-12 Ocean Literacy Program

Graduate fellows in the National Science Foundations GK-12 Ocean Literacy Program at SSU dedicate 1-2 days per week partnered with a local science teacher in order to enhance their own communication skills, to infuse the ocean sciences into classroom instruction, and to facilitate learning among Savannah-Chatham County Public School System students.  The 2015-16 GK-12 graduate fellows and teacher mentors are:


Keya Jackson  Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, 7th grade Life Science and 8th grade Physical Science with Ms. Amy Rath (a former NOAA LMRCSC intern at SSU)

Chelsea Parrish  Georgetown K-8 School, 6th grade Earth Science with Ms. Leigh Ann Haring

Ashleigh Price  Robert W. Groves High School, Oceanography and Environmental Science with Ms. Kathryn Sukkestad (SSU MSMS graduate)

Coral Thompson  Georgetown K-8 School, 7th grade Life Science with Ms Lafreida Howard

Jessica Thompson  Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, 6th grade Earth Science with Mr. Trent Kissinger

Sarah Webb  Alfred E. Beach High School, 10th grade Biology with Ms. Coriaunda Young (SSU Biology graduate)

Hannah Reilly - Tybee Island Maritime Academy, 1st grade with Ms. Jill Lepo-Wieniewitz

Graduate Student Completing Sea Turtle Research

MSMS graduate student and NOAA LMRCSC graduate fellow, Emma Schultz, is completing thesis research under the supervision of Dr. Dionne Hoskins and SSU alumnus Kemit-Amon Lewis on St. Croix, U.S.V.I.  She is collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to track green sea turtles. To see where the turtles are traveling see  This work is being completed under the US Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Research Permit STX034-14.

Emm Sea Turtle Emma Kemmit

Brigette Brinton and Dr. Curran Publish Peer-Reviewed Journal Article

MSMS graduate Brigette Brinton and Dr. Carla Curran recently published a peer-reviewed journal article:

Brinton, B.A. and M.C. Curran.  2015.  The effect of temperature on synchronization between brood development of the bopyrid isopod parasite Probopyrus pandalicola with molting of its host, the daggerblade grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio.  Journal of Parasitology 101(4):398-404.

Brigette graduated with her MSMS degree in December and is now teaching courses at SSU.  One of their K-12 outreach activities has already been accepted for publication.  

Dr. Hoskins Receives American Fisheries Society Honor

Dr Hoskins

At the 145th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Portland, OR last week, Dr. Dionne Hoskins was awarded the 2015 recipient of the Emmeline Moore Prize.  She earned the prize for her extraordinary commitment and exemplary service to ensuring equal opportunity access to higher education in fisheries science disciplines.   The SSU Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center run by Dr. Hoskins has been instrumental to the growth of research at SSU relevant to NOAAs mission.  In addition to her role as fisheries scientist for NOAA, SSU faculty member, and local school board member, Dr. Hoskins also coordinates the Master of Science in Marine Sciences Program at SSU.  Please see the recent article regarding the prize in the Savannah Morning News: Congratulations, Dr. Hoskins.

Dr. Kenneth Sajwan Receives 2015 recipient of the SETAC Menzie Environmental Education Award

Dr. Sajwan

Congratulations to Dr. Kenneth Sajwan, Program Coordinator for Environmental Sciences at SSU, as the 2015 recipient of the SETAC Menzie Environmental Education Award.  SETAC is the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and their 2015 award targeted improving environmental science curricula and technical education at any level of the educational system and supporting innovative educational programs that encourage and stimulate professional development of environmental scientists. 

Marine Science 2014 Graduate Working at City of Savannah Water Reclamation Plant

Congratulations to our SSU Marine Science Dec. 2014 graduate, Terry Anderson, who is now a Plant Operator Trainee at the City of Savannahs Water Reclamation Plant on President Street.  Below are photos of Terry on board the R/V Savannah.  He was a frequent leader of zooplankton sampling aboard our NSF EDGE research cruises.

Terry Brunswick

Terry Anderson

Marine Science Student Volunteers in Fiji

Fijian kids excited to learning about sea turtles, marine conservation, & pollution prevention during MSMS student, Sean Yeckleys, volunteer trip to work with a remote tribal community in Sinuda, Fiji on Ovalau Island.

Students in Fiji'

Summer 2015 Internship at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

MSMS student, Sean Yeckley, completed an internship at Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary this summer.  See his profile at:

SSU Masters of Marine Science Students enhance STEM instruction

Through the NSF GK-12 Ocean Literacy grant at SSU, 7 Masters of Marine Science graduate students spent 10 hr/wk partnered with a local SCCPSS science classroom throughout the school year.  While improving their own communication skills, they made it more feasible for STEM teachers to complete labs and other hands on instruction.  They also infused marine science topics and their own research expertise into the classroom whenever possible.  The following schools participated in 2014-15: Beach H.S., Groves H.S., Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, and Georgetown K-8.

STEM Instruction


Environmental Specialist, Amber Hughes

Amber Hughes

SSU Environmental Science graduate Amber Hughes is now an environmental specialist with Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants Inc. of Macon. Congratulations, Amber!


ENVS Graduate Pursues Masters at Vermont Law's MELP program
K meadows

Congratulations to Keyundrea Meadows, a 2014 graduate of our Environmental Science Program!  She will be starting Vermont Law's Master of Environmental Law and Policy Program (MELP) this fall.   Ms Meadows was active in the Environmental Science Club and had multiple research internships while at SSU.



SSU's very own Robin Perrtree had a recent publication in Marine Mammal Science.  As if that weren't a big enough accomplishment, the BBC noticed the article and interviewed her about it.  Please see the links below.  Ms. Perrtree is the lab manager for Dr. Cox's marine mammal dolphin survey group at SSU and an M.S. graduate of our Marine Sciences program.  Co-authors on the article include a former SSU undergraduate (Allison Williford, 2014 graduate), Dr. Cox, Dr. Curran, and colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

BBC article

Marine Mammal Science publication


Web Logo SSU at 30th Annual SAML Meeting at VIMS

Savannah State University attended the 30th annual meeting of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories on the historic York River at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in Gloucester Point, VA.  This meeting of the minds centered on internal issue of "Trends in Marine Science Degree Completions and Future Workforce Pathways to Increase Underrepresented Minority Participation," a discussion led by SSU Emeritus Dr. Matthew Gilligan and an external issue, "Sea Level Rise and Coastal Resilience" that was led by VIMS, Old Dominion University, and College of William & Mary personnel.


Thunderbolt Conservation Celebration Day

On May 2, 2015 SSU the Environmental Science Club participated in the Thunderbolt Conservation Day, providing setup-up support, engaging youngsters in conservation and recycling concepts, and networking with local organizations that were in attendance.  The major event was pickup of rain barrels and composters but attendees were able to learn about water, recycling, and conservation in general.

Thunderbolt Conservation


The ONR SENSR Program Engages Early Career STEM Majors

About 35 interns in the SENSR Program got early exposure to research by collaborating in an integrative beach profiling project on Tybee Island before and during the USACE Beach Renourishment project. Participating students came from the Engineering Technology, Marine Science, and Biology degree programs.


April 2015 Marked 2nd Annual Recyclympic and Tree Liberation Event

Tree Liberation

On April 24, 2015 the Environmental Science Club held the 2nd annual Recyclympics and celebrated by doing a tree liberation event.  In partnership with the Savannah Tree Foundation (STF), students removed tree straps from 5-year-old trees near the tennis courts and baseball fields.  Students were able to engage with STF and its partners to learn some tree health concepts as well as get hands-on experience with de-strapping trees and proper mulching.  There are plans for continued development of the partnership between SSU's Environmental Science Club and the Savannah Tree Foundation.


CSX Restoration Grant

The Savannah Tree Foundation and Savannah State, through a relationship cultured by the SSU Environmental Science Club, have partnered in a grant to plant trees and establish a  riparian buffer for the canal and retention ponds on campus. A riparian buffer is a band of vegetation to reduce erosion on the banks of water bodies and waterways. Funding will be provided by a CSX Restoration Grant.

Tree Log     ENVS Logo


Best Oral Presentation at SEERS Conference

MSMS student Sarah Ramsden won Best Oral Presentation at the Southeastern Estuarine Research Society (SEERS) held in Jacksonville, FL.  The title of her presentation was "Changes in the residency and distribution patterns of the Atlantic Stingray Dasyatis sabina in two Georgia creek systems over the course of three seasonsổ" and was coauthored by her thesis advisor Mary Carla Curran.  Cameron Brinton also gave an excellent presentation on fine scale Atlantic Stingray movement and is scheduled to defend his thesis on March 19, 2015.


BS graduate and MS student moving on to University of Delaware

Former NSF EDGE intern, Kenneth  Mike Scaboo,  stepped into the SSU MSMS Program under Dr. Hintz continued research supervision immediately upon graduating with his bachelors in Marine Science in 2013.  He has now been offered a fellowship to pursue his PhD at the University of Delaware.  Scaboo will be finishing his MS thesis early this summer and then will move to Delaware to work with Dr. Wei-Jun Cai in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment.  Cai worked on carbon cycling in Georgia coastal waters while he was a professor at the University of Georgia.  Scaboo will be able to easily tie the skills that he developed while working with Hintz in marine chemistry, shipboard science, coastal field work, and technological tool development into the ongoing work in Cais research lab.   As a graduate fellow in the NSF GK-12 Ocean Literacy Program at SSU, Scaboo has worked with SCCPSS STEM Academy science teachers and middle school students 10 hrs per week for the past two years, in addition to his graduate classwork and research commitments.


Marine Mammal Research Featured on Savannah Morning News

Article Title: "Looking for Pearls: A closer look at the Savannah State Marine Mammal Program "  features Dr. Cox's team. 


Research at Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge and Harris Neck Land Trust

Savannah State University students, a post-doctoral scientist, and faculty have been involved in research regarding the Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge and Harris Neck Land Trust.  As part of Dr. Tara Coxs  undergraduate Marine Conservation Biology class and a graduate Coastal Zone Management class, students helped the Harris Neck Land Trust develop a site plan to submit to the Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge, as described in a recent article in the Savannah Morning News. In addition, Dr. Jolvan Morris, a NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Dionne Hoskins at SSU, has been conducting interviews with Harris Neck residents as part of the African American Fishermen Oral History Project to study traditional ecological knowledge and the role of fisheries in this historic Gullah-Geechee fishing communities.


Dolphin Stranding Team Featured in

Dr. Coxs SSU Dolphin Science (SSUDS) lab made it in the local newspaper regarding a dolphin stranding event and necropsy.  The lab manager, Robin Perrtree (SSU MSMS graduate), is quoted in the article and the groups photos and GIS data are shown.


Marine Science at AFS Spring 2015 Meeting in Savannah, GA

Congratulations to the following SSU students and faculty members who presented their research at the Southern Division American Fisheries Society Spring Meeting from Jan. 29-Feb. 1 here in Savannah.  Thanks for representing SSU well!

Kalynn Fitzgerald and Amanda Kaltenberg - Temporal Influences on Estuarine Mesozooplankton and Fish in the Savannah River Estuary System

Sarah Ramsden - Effect of Season on the Residency and Distribution Patterns of the Atlantic Stingray in Two Georgia Creek Systems

Cameron Brinton - Fine scale movements of the Atlantic Stingray: a tidal or diel pattern?

Jennifer Gut - Identifying fish assemblages near the mouth of the Savannah River, Georgia before the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

Carla Curran - The Value of Long-Term Data Sets: Seasonal Flatfish Abundance Patterns in a Shallow Estuarine Creek in Georgia


MSCI Alumni Rescues Endangered Green Turtle

SSU Marine Science alumnus, Shelly Krueger, rescued an endangered green turtle that had tumors impacting its vision during her work with Florida Sea Grant. 

She and students in her Master Naturalist class were snorkeling when they discovered the turtle.

See the article at:


Summer 2015 REU Applications are now Available

The Savannah State University Marine Sciences Program Summer 2015 Bridge to Research (REU) applications are now available online. Application deadline is March 1, 2015.


Applications for Spring 2015 EDGE Internships are Now Being Accepted

The due date to be considered for a spring 2015 EDGE internship is Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.


Marine Science Faculty Selected for Leadership Southeast Class of 2015

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Dionne Hoskins (NOAA Fisheries Scientist and SSU Graduate Faculty) for her selection to the Leadership Southeast Georgia class of 2015! Well deserved!


Hollings Scholarship applications are due Jan. 30. 

SSU alum Ana Reyes was a Hollings Scholar a few years ago.  Who's got next?


The Environmental Science Club Supported Runners at the Rock-n-Roll Marathon

The Environmental Science Club and supporters cheered on the Rock-n-Roll Marathon runners as they ran the course through Savannah State University's campus this year. We donned bright signs and had catchy cheers to encourage the participants all morning. Keep the pace and finish the race!

ENVS 2014


SSU MSCI at NOAA EPP Science and Education Forum

NOAA Forum

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program (EPP) held its 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum on October 26 to 29, 2014. The event was jointly sponsored by NOAA and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), and was hosted by UMES Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, located on the Universitys campus.

This years theme was focused on Developing a Premier Future STEM Workforce to Support Environmental Sustainability. The forum provides an opportunity for students at NOAA-EPP funded academic institutions and NOAA scientists to showcase results of collaborative research and education projects, as well as to discuss new engagement opportunities and promote career opportunities for STEM. The goal is to educate and develop a diverse STEM workforce. Savannah State University (SSU) was among the 7 NOAA LMRCSC partner institutions that attended the forum.

SSU was represented by a ten member delegation led by Dr. Dionne Hoskins, Director of NOAA Sponsored Programs. The delegation included two undergraduate students (Darius Stanford and Shaneese Mackey), six graduate students (Keya Jackson, Emma Schultz, Chelsea Parrish, Jennifer Gỵt, Tiffany Ward, and Sanya Compton), and one postdoctoral fellow (Dr. Jolvan Morris). Students had the opportunity to interact with NOAA leadership, attend skill- building and networking workshops, and present research that aligned with NOAAs four long-term goals (Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Weather-Ready Nation, Healthy Oceans, and Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies). In categories that were judged, SSU brought home three awards: Best Poster Presentation by an Undergraduate Student in Healthy Oceans Category (3rd place Shaneese Mackey), Best Poster Presentation by a Graduate Student in Healthy Oceans Category (3rd place Jennifer Gỵt), and Best Poster Presentation by a Graduate Student in Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies Category (2nd Place Keya Jackson).


Environmental Sciences Club Tends to Community Garden


Savannah State University's Environmental Science's Club is currently tending winter greens at a local community garden. They normally tend to the garden twice a week. Anyone interested in participating should contact Dr. Ebanks (


Graduate Students Work On Black-Gill Project

SSU Marine Science graduate students, Tina Walters and Ashleigh Price, were in the newspaper with their Skidaway Inst of Oceanography research advisor, Dr Marc Frischer.  Theyre working on a black-gill project with local shrimpers and other stakeholders.


Congratulations to the Fall 2014 NSF EDGE Internship Recipients

Congratulations to the fall 2014 NSF EDGE internship recipients:  Kamilya Daniels, Cassandra Harris, Kalub Holt, Tisheena Howard, Shaneese Mackey, Jasmine Pinto, Jasmine Torey, and Jamilha Washington.    Also, congratulations to Kelsey Cramer and Andrea Hutwagner who are doing a combination of research and outreach through NSF GK-12 internships.

Thank You to All Those That Participated in 2014 Coast Fest

Thank you to Ms. Victoria Young, Marine Science Outreach Coordinator and the below students who shared their knowledge and excitement of the ocean sciences with the community at this year's 2014 Coast Fest. The event brought 9,495 visitors!

Student Participatns: Cassandra Harris, Owen Clower,  Cheyenne Coleman, Darius Sanford, Patrick Thompson, Jessica Thompson, Zoey Jennings, Sean Yeckley, Jennifer Gut.


SSU Marine Science Intern and Athelete in WTOC Story


SSU Marine Science Student Featured In Massachusettes Newspaper For Ocean Sampling Day

Featured student, Kelsey Cramer has a summer fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA that was funded in part by WHOI and an NSF GK12 grant awarded to SSU marine science faculty.


SSU MSMS Student Wins Award at 2014 SEERS Meeting

SSU MSMS student Brigette Brinton won Best Graduate Oral Presentation at the recent Southeastern Society of Parasitologists meeting entitled Does temperature affect synchronization between reproduction of the bopyrid isopod parasite Probopyrus pandalicola and molting of its grass shrimp host? coauthored by Dr. Carla Curran.  Brigettes award earned her a partial travel fellowship to the national American Society of Parasitologists meeting that we will be attending next week in New Orleans.


Marine Science MSMS Graduate Discusses Her Recent Grant at Mote Marine Lab

Our very own Rebeccah Hazelkorn talking about her work and a recent grant she obtained while working as a staff biologist at Mote Marine Lab in Florida. Rebeccah graduated from our MSMS program in Spring 2013.

SSU Students Present At Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium

Nine SSU students attended the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) in Wilmington, NC, March 1-3.  Robin Perrtree (lab manager, former graduate student) and Kevin McKenzie (graduate student) gave oral presentations. Kristopher Drummond, Kalub Holt, Allison Williford, and Andrea Hutwagner (undergraduate Marine Science majors) presented posters.



Ocean Sampling Day

SSU Marine Science Master's Students Kevin McKenzie (NSF GK-12 fellow), Tina Walters, & LaGina Frazier (NSF GK-12 fellow) participate in worldwide Ocean Sampling Day with Dr. Frischer.


Marine Science Student on NOAA Vessel for Spring Bottom Trawl Survey

Savannah State undergraduate William Buchanan spent nearly a week at sea this summer aboard the NOAA vessel Henry B Bigelow.  He participated in the final leg of NOAA fisheries' spring bottom trawl survey. William worked with scientists from Woods Hole, MA and volunteers from along the east coast (including Canada) to sample and record all species caught in the Gulf of Maine and along Cape Cod.


Marine Science Student Receives Archie Carr Award at Sea Turtle Symposium in New Orleans

SSU Marine Science major Eric Parks recently presented a poster in April at the International Sea Turtle Symposium in New Orleans, Louisiana. His project was completed during his LMRCSC internship and was title: Analysis of trace element composition of loggerhead sea turtle bone via laser ablation. He was awarded the Archie Carr Award for Best Student Poster in Biology. The Archie Carr Awards are given in recognition of excellence in graduate student research, and Eric was an undergraduate student at the time. He graduated in May 2014. Eric is in the middle of the group of award recipients in the photo below. 

   Eric Parks


4th Annual Research Conference and RIMI Symposium

Congratulations to our Marine & Environmental science award recipients at the SSU ARC presentation event:

Environmental Science   Undergraduate Division

Jennifer Colley

Marine Science Undergraduate Division

1st Place  Elijah J. Ferguson

2nd Place  Eric Parks

Marine Science Graduate Division

1st Place  Sarah Ramsden

2nd Place  Mike Scaboo


Final EDGE Cruise

The final one-day NSF EDGE cruise for student monitoring of the Savannah River Estuary was successfully completed on April 23, 2014.  We had 13 participants from the SSU Dept. of Marine & Environmental Sciences and 2 from the Georgia Southern University Geology and Geography Dept. contribute to data and sample collection aboard the R/V Savannah.


Applications for Summer 2014 EDGE Internships are Now Being Accepted

The due date to be considered for a Summer 2014 EDGE internship is Monday, April 28, 2014. Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.



NEW MSCI Elective Course Coming Fall 2014

An elective course focusing on Marine Conservation Biology will be offered by Dr. Cox in fall 2014 - TR 12:30-1:45.  When it gets added to PAWS, it will either appear as MSCI 4851 Special Topics or MSCI 4501 Current Issues in Oceanography.


Rockdale High School A Wins 2014 Southern Stingray Bowl

15 teams from around Georgia and South Carolina participated in this years Southern Stingray Bowl on March 1, 2014.  This year we are proud to welcome back Wando High School as well as the new team from Islands High School.  Volunteers from Alabama, South Carolina, Atlanta, GA, and Savannah State University came out to support the Southern Stingray Bowl as volunteer judges and event staff.  The bowl  lasted 7 rounds with Rockdale High School A bringing home 1st place.  This years first place team has the opportunity to travel national competition in Seattle, Washington in May.

NOSB Winners


SSU Marine Science Students In Spring 2014 Edition Of Arising

See articles on SSU Marine Science students Kelli Edwards (p.14) and Kris Drummond (p.4) in the spring 2014 edition of Arising:


SSU Students Participate at Jekyll Island Green Screen

Congratulations to Jennifer Colley (Marine Sci.), Diane Cowling (Biology), Ashton Arnold (Marine Sci. grad student), and Meghan Maylone (Environmental Sci. graduate) who presented their research at the Jekyll Island Green Screen event on March 1st. 

Jekkyll Island


SSU and Georgia Southern Participate on NSF EDGE Estuarine Research Cruise

Nineteen SSU students served on the scientific party aboard the R/V Savannah on the Feb. 6, 2014 NSF EDGE Estuarine Research Cruise.  Students contributed to sample and data collection in the Savannah River estuary alongside SSU Marine Sciences faculty and staff and a guest faculty member from the Georgia Southern University Dept. of Geology and Geography.


SSU Marine Science Students Receive SEERS Poster Presentation Awards

Congratulations to SSU graduate students Cameron Brinton and Ashton Arnold for awards received for their poster presentations at the Southeast Estuarine Research Society meeting in Savannah, GA, February 13-15, 2014.  SSU was well represented at this event with oral presentations made by Drs. Curran and Morris and by graduate students Jennifer Gut and Brigette Brinton.  Additional poster presentations were given by Drs. Franklin and Ebanks, by research staff Kate Doyle, Davielle Drayton, and Michele Sherman; by graduate students Sarah Ramsden and Christopher Murry; and by undergraduates Renee Smith, Tiffany Bostick, and Kelsey Cramer.  Go Tigers!


MSCI Student Assigned as Team Leader to Summer 2014 i-Trek Project

Congratulations to Marine Science student, Gage Light, for his new role as Team Leader of the summer 2014 i-Trek research project. To learn more about i-Trek follow the link in the image below.




Marine Science Graduate Student Receives SSU Presidential Graduate Assistanship Position for Spring 2014

Congratulations to MSMS student Sanya Compton for being the recipient of an SSU Presidential Graduate Assistantship.  This is the first semester of implementation for this new position.  


ONR SENSR Applications Now Available

The Spring 2014 Office of Naval Research SENSR Applications are now available for download at

Completed applications are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, January 24, 2014.


EDGE Internship Applications Now Available

Spring 2014 EDGE Internship 

Complete applications are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, January 24, 2014.


SSU Dolphin Research Featured on GPB Georgia Outdoors

Georgia Public Broadcasting's Georgia Outdoors released a new episode on Sunday, November 17, 2013 titled "Dolphin Drama" featuring SSU's Marine Sciences professor, Dr. Tara Cox, and her dolphin lab research team. Watch the episode online at


November 7, 2013 - EDGE Savannah River Research Cruise

Sign up now outside room 105 of the Marine Science building to secure a spot and help build our database on the Savannah River estuary and support student research during one of the last few EDGE cruises.


Congratulations to the NSF GK-12 Graduate Fellows for 2013-14

Kevin McKenzie (Beach High), Brian Murry (Beach High), Brigette Brinton (Groves High), LaGina Frazier (Thunderbolt Elem.), Vinay Arora (Charles Ellis Montessori), Michael Scaboo (STEM Academy).  Also, welcome to the NSF GK-12 Interns for fall 2013  Terry Anderson and Jyosi Blair.


Congratulations to the fall 2013 NSF EDGE Interns

Congratulations to the fall 2013 NSF EDGE Interns who were recognized at the Sept. 12, 2013 SSU Research Awards Day event:  Ashley Bassie, Cheyennne Coleman, Kelsey Kramer, Kamilya Daniels, Kalub Holt, Tisheena Howard, Chandler Tillman and Allison Williford.


EDGE Intern Presents at PSLSAMP

Summer 2013 EDGE intern, Travis Young, presented his research with Dr. Paramasivam entitled Prevalence and Distribution of Health Hazardous Waterborne Microbial Contents in Water Samples Collected from Savannah Water Bodies at the 8th Annual National Symposium & Research Conference of the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PSLSAMP).


October 2013 Marine Science Day at SkIO

Thank you to all of the SSU undergrads, grads and alumni who helped at SkIO's Marine Science Day event last weekend. Tigers spotted at work: Cheyenne Coleman, Owen Clower, Darius Sanford, Jeremy Campion, Jyosi Blair, Kevin McKenzie, LaGina Frazier, Lieza Greenfield, Devin Dumont, Laura Birsa, Tina Walters, and Zac Tait.

Marine Science Day


Marine Sciences Graduate Teaching at Sea

SSU Marine Sciences graduate Carolyn Kovacs has been teaching marine biology onboard the SY Argo for the program Seamester.  She, five other crew, and twenty-four students left Tahiti in June and spent 80 days sailing to Australia, with stops in Rarotonga, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and of course the Great Barrier Reef along the way.  The next group of students is about to arrive for the fall semester, when they will be headed north to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.  You can follow their adventures at 


Applications for Fall 2013 EDGE Internships are Now Being Accepted

The due date to be considered for a Fall 2013 EDGE internship is Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.  Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.

Fall 2013 ONR SENSR Applications Now Available

The Fall 2013 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Students Engaged in Naval STEM Research (SENSR) Internship Applications is now available for download. This semester long internship is open to Freshmen and Sophmores, with less than 60 credit hours majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) in COST, Homeland Security and Emergency Management in CLASS, or other field that would benefit from conducting relevant Naval STEM research.  Completed applications are DUE by 5:00 PM on Friday, August 23, 2013. See last page of application for submission instructions.


Summer 2013 REU Best Presentation Award

Marine Sciences undergraduate student, Kristopher Drummond, received the summer 2013 REU Best Presentation award for his presentation titled Fusobacterium is a major component of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus microbiomes in the South Atlantic Bight.  Mr. Drummond mentored under Dr. Marc Frischer, SSU adjunct faculty, and Marine Sciences graduate student, Kevin McKenzie. During his 8 week Research Education for Undergraduates (REU) internship, Mr. Drummond worked on identifying bacteria present in bottle nose dolphins. 


Graduate Student Wins Poster Award at SEERS

Marine Sciences graduate student, Brigette Brinton, received the Best Graduate Student Poster Award at the spring 2013 Southeastern Estuarine Research Society (SEERS) meeting for her poster titled " The parasitic effects of Probopyrus pandalicola on the behavior of Palaemonetes pugio and the predation preferences of Fundulus heteroclitus". In addition, Brigette also chaired one of the meeting sessions. Other SSU graduate student presenters were Tina Walters, Brian Murry, and Jennifer Gut. The undergraduate student presenters were Faith Palmer, and Meghan Maylone. This year's spring SEERS meeting was held on April 17-19 at the Fort Johnson Complex in Charleston, South Carolina. For more information on SEERS, please visit


Marine Science Graduate Students Wins Award at 2013 ASLO Meeting

Marine Science graduate student, Tina Walters, received a poster award at the 2013 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography(ASLO) meeting for her poster titled "Molecular profiling of zooplankton gut content using PNA-PCR and denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (PNA-PCR-DHPLC)." This year's ASLO meeting was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Applications for Summer 2013 EDGE Internships are Now Being Accepted

The due date to be considered for a Summer 2013 EDGE internship is Monday, March 25, 2013.  Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.


Marine Sciences EDGE intern presents at Jekyll Island Green Screen

EDGE intern Tiffany Bostick presented her poster titled "Seasonal Changes in the Morphology and Anatony of Spartina alterniflora" at the Jekyll Island Green Screen event on February 16, 2013. The festival was a one night event with its main film, a work by Eco Focus Film Festival, focusing on global climate change. Ms. Bostick presented among several researchers working within the Georgia Barrier Islands.


Marine Sciences Graduate now Owner of Spatking Oysters

Former graduate student, Justin Manley is now a Georgia oyster grower and owner of Spatking Oysters. Mr. Manley and his work were recently featured in the below article on


Curran and Gunzburger Research Article Featured
in Natural Sciences Education

Dr. Curran's education research with colleague Lindsay Bertch Gunzburger is currently the feature cover article in Natural Sciences Education and can be seen at the following link:


Summer 2013 REU Applications are now Available

The Savannah State University Marine Sciences Program Summer 2013 Bridge to Research (REU) applications are now available online. Application deadline is March 1, 2013.


Applications for Spring 2013 EDGE Internships are Now Being Accepted

The due date to be considered for a Spring 2013 EDGE internship is Monday, January 21, 2013. Please review the guidelines and complete the application available at: Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.


Marine Science Student Receives Best Presentation Award at the 2012
Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students

November 7-10 Marine Science junior, Eric Parks, along with his mentor, Dr. Mathew Ogburn, participated in the 2012 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in San Jose, California. Eric was one of three SSU students receiving a 2012 Best Presentation Award for his presentation titled "Near Shore Surveys of Juvenile Blue Crabs, Callinectes sapidus, in the Chesapeake Bay." For more information on the 2012 ABRCMS conference visit


Marine Science Students Awarded NSF GK-12 Ocean Literacy Fellowships

Five Marine Science graduate students were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) GK-12 Ocean Literacy Fellowships for 2012-13.  The following students have been paired with Savannah Chatham County Public School System science teachers to raise awareness of marine and coastal issues in the Savannah region while supporting overall science instruction.  NSF initiated this program to enhance the communication skills of young scientists while supporting them through their graduate thesis research.  The participating teachers serve as mentors to the graduate students, while the graduate students serve as science mentors to K-12 students.  The 2012-13 GK-12 Fellow-Teacher pairs are Matthew Hunnewell  Coriaunda Young (Beach High School); Crystal Smith  Phyllis Foster (Johnson High School/Beach High School); Catherine Wu  Trent Kissinger and Christopher Schell (Charles Ellis Montessori Academy); Zachary Tait  Mary Rebecca Wells and Anne Erbele (Islands High School); and LaGina Frazier  Jill Lepo-Wieniewitz (Thunderbolt Elementary School).  


Fall 2012 Coastal Research Internship Awards

The NSF EDGE Program at Savannah State University announces the award of Fall 2012 Coastal Research Team internships to the following students: Amirra Abduljabbar, Paul Arkwright, Jennifer Colley, Elijah Ferguson, Devan Gann, Anthony Hanley, Kalub Holt, Andrea Hutwagner, Robert Kiser, Keyundrea Meadows, Bruce Patterson, Amanda Schuelka and Chandler Tillman.  The interns will become integral parts of the marine science research labs on campus; will be mentored in laboratory and fieldwork by faculty, staff and graduate students; and will assist with upcoming EDGE and GK-12 research cruise events.  Marine Science graduate student, Rebeccah Hazelkorn, received an EDGE Research Assistantship to mentor students in the SSU Dolphin Survey laboratory and to assist with cruise data collection and post-cruise GIS map production.


Marine Science Faculty and Students at the 2012 Research Awards Ceremony

Several Marine Science faculty members and their students attended the Savannah State University 2012 Research and Award Ceremony that was held on September 20, 2012.


EDGE Program Coastal Issues Orientation and the Savannah River Estuary

Eight SSU freshmen and new transfer students participated in the EDGE Program Coastal Issues Orientation on Aug. 11-12, 2012 coordinated by Dr. Cox.  The new students served alongside Savannah State University and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate EDGE Research Interns aboard the R/V Savannah.  Students contributed to the on-going monitoring of the biology, water quality, and sediment properties of the Savannah River estuary by EDGE Program collaborators. 

Marine Science Faculty and Students will be on a 8 day
Oceanography Research Cruise

Dr. Chris Hintz, two Marine Sciences students (David Reece, Anthony Hanley) and an Environmental Science Student (Meghan Maylone) will travel to Scripps Institute of Oceanography August 30, 2012 to participate on a 8-day oceanographic research cruise aboard the 279-foot Research Vessel Melville.  Scientists from the University of Chicago and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography invited SSU participation based on our students previous experiences on Skidaway Institute of Oceanographys R/V Savannah.  The students attended a pre-cruise meeting with another SSU Faculty, Dr. Carol Pride during Aug 24-26, 2012.  The SSU group will be aiding the science party in collecting marine sediments and bivalves that will be used to learn about pollution discharged from southern California wastewater treatment plants during the past half century.  Further, Dr. Hintz will continue to pursue his research on carbonate chemistry and ocean acidification, taking the opportunity to collect samples from the Pacific.  Information about the cruise, its science mission and participants can be found here (  Information about the R/V Melville, including near real-time location and cameras taking pictures of the work being done at sea can be found here (

(update - 10/19/12)

During their cruise, Dr. Hintz and his students also collaborated with geologist Susan Kidwell on her shell research. Details on Dr. Kidwell's study of shells can be found at

Cohort IX: 2012-2014 Professional  Development Program Announcement

Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science (MS PHDS) Professional Development Program is now accepting applications.  The MS PHDS Professional Development Program provides professional development experiences that facilitate the advancement of minorities committed to achieving outstanding Earth system science-related careers.  Today, the program supports 189 mentees of which 35 have achieved their PhDs and another 60 are currently enrolled in STEM doctoral programs.  The deadline to apply is August 31, 2012.  For more information, go to:


Marine Science Student, Amara Jones participating in the 2012 Olympics.

Marine Science graduate, Amara Jones, participated in the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. See WSAV news video at the link below for details. Great job, Amara!


Applications for Fall 12 EDGE Internships are Now Being Accepted 

The due date to be considered for a Fall 2012 EDGE internship is 8:00 AM Monday, August 27.   Please review the guidelines and complete the application available at:  Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.

Nicole Abdul Receives Greenberg Fellowship

Nicole Abdul has been awarded a Greenberg Fellowship from the Climate and Environmental Change Initiative Center at Rutgers University where she is completing her PhD dissertation on "Abrupt climate change from sea-level, sea surface temperature, and tropical seasonality perspective - understanding the role of the tropics on our warming planet."  Nicole is a 2010 graduate of the MSMS Program at SSU. She was supported by SSU's Oceans of Opportunity Program (NSF OEDG) and the Joint Oceanographic Institution's HBCU Fellowship Program while at SSU, and completed her master's thesis research with Dr. Pride in laboratories at SSU, SkIO, UC Santa Barbara and the Univ. of South Carolina.


Now Accepting Applications for Graduate Fellowships in the NSF GK-12

Ocean Literacy Program.

Applications for graduate fellowships in the NSF GK-12 Ocean Literacy Program will be accepted through July 11, 2012.  Early application is encouraged.
Direct any questions to Dr. Pride at


Marine Science Graduate, Kemit-Amon Lewis, Launches Coral Restoration Video

SSU graduate, Kemit-Amon Lewis, Coral Conservation Manager for The Nature Conservancy of the U.S. Virgin Islands(TNC USVI)recently released a video on coral restoration.

Please consider supporting the TNC USVI restoration project by purchasing some hand crafted coral inspired jewelry at 

Amara Jones Leads in Track & Field and Academics

Early May has brought many awards for Marine Science student and star athlete, Amara Jones. As one of Savannah State University's women's track and field team members, Amara Jones, gained the top scores for the 200m and 400m at the MEAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Ms. Jones scores assisted in the setting of SSU's new school record of 3:27.27.

In addition, Ms. Jones also took home the Marine Sciences Academic Excellence Award and the COST Special Award at the COST Graduation Reception early this May.


Marine Science Students Participate in 2nd Annual Research Conference

Many Marine Science students presented at the SSU 2nd Annual Research Conference. Student presenters were supported through EDGE, NOAA LMRCSC, Title VII, and GK-12. Fourteen of the presentations involved EDGE cruise data or research supported at least in part by EDGE internships. 


Savannah State University Students Shine at the 6th Biennial NOAA Education and Science Forum

Seven SSU Marine Sciences students and their advisors, Drs. Carla Curran and Dionne Hoskins, attended the biennial forum sponsored by the NOAA Office of Education at Florida A& M University from March 26-28. The meeting is designed to provide professional development opportunities and networking for students funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Attending were Noelle Hawthorne (M.S. student), Mone't Murphy (senior), Ana Reyes (senior), Michelle Sherman (M.S. student), Crystal Smith (M.S. student), Dontrece Smith (M.S. student), and Tiffany Ward (M.S. student). The students presented their research at the conference and competed with students from other universities including: Oregon State, Hampton, Howard, University of Miami, Delaware State, University of Puerto Rico, City University of New York, the University of Maryland, and Jackson State. Mrs. Smith brought home top honors in the graduate poster category for her poster entitled "An Assessment of Microbial Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS) in Coastal Georgia Sediment." Miss MKurphy won best undergraduate oral presentation for her talk, "NOAAS Preserve America Initiative: Unlocking the History of African Americans in Georgias Coastal Fisheries."

Applications for Summer 12 EDGE internships are now being accepted 

The due date to be considered for a Summer 2012 EDGE internship is 8:00 AM April 16.   Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.


S cholar-athlete Amara Jones in the News Again

Savannah State University senior Amara Jones was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference womens track and field athlete of the week for the week ending February 3rd, the conference announced.
Full Story:


SSU Hosts Tara Ocean Expedition Research Seminar

The Marine Sciences Program hosted presentations entitled Scientific challenges of Tara Oceans expedition by Lars Stemman Chief Scientist on-board & scientist from Oceanological Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer;  TARA oceanographic sampling strategy and some examples by Daniele Iudicone from Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Napoli and   TARA Foundation for Marine Research work in the U.S. by Sy Rotter in SSU Student Union, Activity Room C on  Tuesday January 24, 2012 from 4:00  6:00 p.m. more information on the expedition and participating in it can be found at:


SSU Hosts Outreach Event for Thunderbolt Elementary Students

A Marine Science Extravaganza for nearly 50 students from Thunderbolt Elementary School was conducted at the marine sciences building, dock and saltmarsh on Thursday January 19th from10:00 am- 3:00 pm.  SSU students and staff conducted hands on research experiences with the students. A photo journal highlighting the events and activities for the day are. The event was sponsored by the GK-12 program at SSU and organized by Mr. Courtney Pegus, a graduate students in the marine sciences.

Applications for Spring 12 EDGE internships are now being accepted 

The due date to be considered for a Spring 2012 EDGE internship is 8:00 AM Jan. 23.   Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.


SSU hosts Johnson High Aboard Research Vessel

The NSF EDGE and GK-12 Programs at SSU combined forces on Dec. 8 and 9, 2011 to engage 20 Johnson High School oceanography students in research aboard the R/V Savannah.  Students were accompanied by teachers Kathryn Sukkestad and Rose Hunter.  The high school students and teachers combined forces with SSU Marine Science faculty, staff and students and a Skidaway Institute of Oceanography staff member to collect data and samples to contribute to ongoing research and monitoring efforts in the Wilmington and Savannah River estuaries.  Interns from the SSU EDGE and NASA Programs led a variety of sampling activities and provided instruction to the Johnson H.S. students in addition to graduate fellows from the GK-12 and Title VII programs at SSU.

A link to WTOCs news clip on the Dec. 9th cruise is below.



University Receives New Vessel Designation and Stability Letters

The University has received the Letter of Designation and Stability Letter from the U.S. Coast Guard for the MARGARET C ROBINSON.  


New Staff Member

Please welcome Ms. Sugeiry Rivera who joined the University on 12/12/2011 as an Administrative Assistant in Marine Sciences. Ms. Rivera has experience in business and higher education as a Student Financial Assistance Specialist, Enrollment Support Specialist, and Graphic Designer.


S cholar-athlete Amara Jones in the News

Savannah State track and field standout Amara Jones was named MEAC Women's Co-Track and Field Athlete of the Week along with Shanneka Claiborne of Norfolk State. Full Story:

Ms. Jones is also a distinguished scholar in the marine sciences sporting a tidy 3.70 GPA.

Dr. Cox Leads Large SSU Lineup at International Marine Mammal Science Meeting 

Dr. Tara Cox, faculty, staff and students have been preparing for months for this weeks 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals ( in Tampa, Florida, November 27-December 2, 2011.  Tara Cox is the Scientific Program Chair, a key role for the success of the meeting. Oral research presentations will be offered by graduate student Kelli Edwards, and Dr. Carla Curran. Research poster presentations will be offered by graduate students Robin Perrtree, Sabrina Bowen-Stevens, Carolyn Kovacs, Rebeccah Hazelkorn and undergraduate students Lance Love and Ana Reyes.


Ana Reyes Selected as a 2011 NOAA Hollings Scholar

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings (Hollings) scholarship program is designed to provide undergraduate students with "hands-on"/ practical educational training experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. The award includes a stipend of $4,000/semester and a paid summer internship at a NOAA facility the United States and its territories. Ms. Reyes has been offered an internship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is currently speaking with staff about possible internship in Hawaii. At the end of the summer internship she will present her research at NOAA headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland.

The 2012 scholarship competition information is available at

'Dr. Cox provides expert input for Atlanta news outlet story on marine mammals at the Georgia Aquarium'

'Degrees for the future: Local programs offer global impact' An article by Jessica Leigh Lebos in the  September 13, 2011 issue of Connect Savannah


A little program History: 'If you build it they will com e.' An article by Jane Fishman in the  August 28, 2011 issue of the Savannah Morning News


Faculty Member Attends Workshop/Cruise in the Pacific

WorkshopDr. Christopher Hintz, assistant professor of marine science, recently completed the first UNOLS/NSF Chief Scientist Workshop hosted by Oregon State University .  The University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) was established in 1971 to organize and manage the joint governmental and academic fleet dedicated to scientific exploration of the worlds oceans.  This 10-day workshop funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) was organized by Dr. Claire Reimers, a long-time sea-going oceanographer, to mentor scientists early in the career so they can become successful blue-water oceanographers and lead future oceanographic expeditions.  As part of the workshop, the fourteen scientists participated on a 7-day research cruise aboard the R/V Wecoma collecting samples along the Oregon Shelf, out to 120 nmi offshore, and sampling as deep as 3000m.  Dr. Hintz collected over 550 seawater samples from the cruise for his ocean acidification research.  For more information visit

Dr Hintz
Photo of the Oregon coastline while the R/V Wecoma steamed to its first station in the Columbia River plume (photo credits: top left: C. Reimers; bottom: C. Hintz).


July-August 2011 Issue of Savannah Magazine Article

Click here


November 2010 Issue of Georgia Trend Magazine Article

Click here


New Marine Science Research and Education Vessel

Through an award from the Office of Education at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University had constructed and is currently outfitting a new 36-foot boat: the R/V (research vessel) MARGARET C. ROBINSON.  The vessel was named for Dr. Margaret C. Robinson, who attended Savannah State and graduated with honors in 1952. She was the architect of and advocate for many successful pre-professional degree programs at the University including the pre-medical/dental, marine and environmental science programs.  She retired as Dean of the College of Sciences and Technology in 1994 and was on hand when the vessel was delivered at Thunderbolt Marine Inc.



SSU Marine Sciences Graduate Student Receives Prestigious Knauss Fellowship

Marine Sciences Graduate Student Ms. Sanya Compton has been awarded a National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Established in 1979, the fellowship provides a unique educational experience in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with "hosts" in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one year paid fellowship. The program is named in honor of one of Sea Grant's founders, former NOAA Administrator, John A. Knauss.  Sanya is one of the two new Knauss fellows from Georgia selected this year, along with 49 others nationally, and the second SSU Marine Science graduate student to be selected. Ms. Shelly Krueger was the other. 5/11


Marine Science Major Named to Womens Nigerian Basketball Federation Team

Savannah State Universitys Ezinne Kalu has been named to the 2011 Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) team.  Kalu, along with 11 other young ladies, will compete on the Nigerian team in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Puerto Montt, and Puerto Varas, Chile from July 21-31, 2011. See full story at 5/11


Marine Science Majors Receive MVP Awards in Track and Basketball

 Marine science majors Amara Jones (sprinter-womens track) and Ezinne Kalu (womens basketball) were named Most Valuable Players in SSU athletics.  See details at: 


SSU Students Investigate the Georgia Shelf and Savannah River Estuary aboard the R/V Savannah 

Two legs of a successful research cruise were completed on April 7-10, 2011.   Dr. Chris Hintz led SSU graduate students, a few experienced undergraduates, and staff on a cross-shelf transect to the Gulf Stream.  They followed a rigorous schedule of sampling across the shelf and outside of sounds north and south of Savannah.  This data collection event nicely complemented the bimonthly Savannah River monitoring completed by SSU and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography faculty, staff and students as part of the NSF EDGE Program.  The second leg of the recent cruise, led by Dr. Carol Pride, was used for the Savannah River transect and engaged 13 SSU undergraduates from diverse majors and a local high school student.  Experienced undergraduate and graduate students led the less experienced students through data and specimen collection. Students and faculty are using the data and samples collected for class research projects, as well as multiple internship and thesis projects.  The huge amount of data and samples collected and the amount of training that took place aboard the ship was enhanced due to technical staff hired through the Title VII and EDGE Programs.  These research opportunities for SSU students and Savannah area teachers and high school students are made possible by the collaborative NSF EDGE and GK-12 Programs.


Applications for summer EDGE internships are now being accepted 

The due date to be considered in initial review of applications is April 20.   Follow the directions for submission found at the bottom of the application.


Students Attend Conference - Win Big

SSU was well-represented at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) in Conway, SC. in April 1-2, 2011. Students presented four oral presentations and two poster presentations at the meeting.  Congratulations to Ms. Kelli Edwards who won Best Oral Presentation by a non-Ph.D. student for her presentation titled Composition of bacterial communities from the spleen of stranded bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus) from the Atlantic coast of the United States and Ms. Rebeccah Hazelkorn who won Best Poster Presentation by a Masters Student for her poster titled Indication of aggression in Tursiops truncatus through dorsal fin rake marks between begging and non begging dolphins in Savannah GA".  Kudos to Dr. Tara Cox for acompanying/mentoring the students and to Drs. Curran, Hoskins and Pride for  providing this opportunity to our students with funding from Title VII, LMRCSC, and EDGE externally-funded reserch programs.

EDGE Research Cruise Opportunity Aboard the R/V Savannah

The next EDGE Program Savannah River research cruise is Feb. 18, 2011.  Students required to participate for their classes and those in need of samples or data for their research will get priority in placement on participant list.  A sign up list for potential participants will be posted on the Marine Science Building dry lab door soon.  Notify Carol Pride ( if you would like more information on this or future EDGE cruises.


Congratulations to GK-12 Teacher Mentor Trent Kissinger for being nominated for Teacher of the Year by Charles Ellis Montessori Academy.



Graduate Student Zac Tait Goes to Alaska for Thesis Research

See Dr. Marc Frisher's Blog here:


Film Screening


You are invited to join French and Marine Science classes at screenings of the 2009 film Oceans in the Elmore Theater in the Wiley-Wilcox Student Center on Wednesday December 1 at 4:00 p.m., Thursday December 2 at 4:00 p.m. or Friday December 3 at 1:00 p.m. Clips from the $66 million, ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe over 4 years are available at:



Non- Science Majors Please Note


You may now opt to take MSCI 1501 Introduction to Marine Biology to help fulfill your Core Area D science requirement.  The course will include laboratories aboard SSU boats, field trips, and video content similar to that seen in the film. Three sections are available for Spring Semester 2011.



Faculty Receives New University Award


In January 2010, the Distinguished Faculty Research/Grantsmanship Award was instituted under the leadership and administration of the twelfth President of Savannah State University, Dr. Earl G. Yarbrough, Sr.  The award recognizes excellence in research and/or grantsmanship performed by faculty at Savannah State University, and the significant impact their work brings to the institution. The award recognizes faculty who bring distinction and honor to the profession through their sustained dedication and commitment to grantsmanship. Dr. Matthew Gilligan received the Award from Dr. Yarbrough and former Acting President Dr. Clyde W. Hall at the 120th Founders Day Observance in Tiger Area on Monday November 22, 2010.  After receiving the award Dr. Gilligan thanked Dr. Hall for offering him a faculty position in 1979. Dr. Hall then shared that at the time he was looking for a three year commitment.



SSU Sweeps GIS Day Savannah 2010 Poster Competition

GIS (Geographic information System) Day Savannah is an annual event to introduce GIS education to our local school children and promote the capabilities and use of GIS to the general business community. GIS Day is celebrated internationally as part of National Geographics International Geography Week.

The poster competition is designed to support and encourage higher education students around Savannah who utilize GIS, both as a major field of study or as specialized software tool to support other degree or certificate goals.

The winners were 1st place: Sabrina Bowen  Diet analysis of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the Northwest Florida Panhandle in relation to a red tide Karenia brevis bloom; 2nd place: Courtney Pegus   "How do juvenile white shrimp find their way home?" Endogenous swimming rhythms of Litopenaeus setiferus; and 3rd place: Sheena Corning Wheres Waldo? Monitoring a disentangled bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus


Faculty Member and Her Students Make a Sound Splash on the WEB 


Dr. Carla Curran is passionate about working with students of all ages. She and her students have been working with fourth graders at Thunderbolt Elementary School in Savannah. Their outreach activities are spotlighted in the following podcast: . Also featured in the podcast are students Sabrina Bowen, Ajmal Gordon, Elgin Morrison, and Robin Perrtree.

Student Earns Top Award at SEERS meeting

SSU student Mr. Eric Parks won the Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation Award at the Southeastern Estuarine Research Society (SEERS) conference in St. Augustine, Florida (November 4-6, 2010).  SEERS is the regional affiliate of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).  Erics award-winning  presentation entitled Modifying methods of determining the density of smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, in salt marshes of coastal Georgia was based on research that he initiated in the summer of 2010 as a participant in the National Science Foundation Bridge to Research in Marine Sciences Program at SSU (Drs. Matthew Gilligan and Tara Cox, co-PIs).  He was mentored by graduate student Mr. Ben Maher while working in the laboratory of Dr. Mary Carla Curran.  Funding for him to continue the project in the fall was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division.  Photos attached.

Summer REU Students Present Their Research

The Bridge to Research in Marine Sciences Program participants presented their research on Thursday July 1, 2010, Hubert A, Room 111. The student, mentor(s) and titles were: Jamie Daniels (Ms. Kelli Edwards; Dr. Marc Frischer) Comparison of Bacteria Communities in the Spleen and Mesenteric Lymph Node of a Stranded Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, Rachael Randall (Ms. Sabrina Bowen; Dr. Tara Cox) The Foraging Behaviors of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins Tursiops truncatus, in Relation to Tidal Stage, Creek Width, Water Depth, and Group Size within the Waterways of Savannah, Georgia, Javar Henry (Dr. Matthew Gilligan) Comparative Studies of Finfish Community Structure in Wassaw Sound and Coastal Georgia Using Trawl Sampling, Monet Murphy (Dr. Dionne Hoskins; Ms. Cathy Sakas) NOAAs Preserve America Initiative: Unlocking the History of African-Americans in Coastal Georgias Fisheries,  Eric Parks (Mr. Ben Maher; Dr. Carla Curran) Modifying Methods of Determining  the Density of Smooth Cord Grass, Spartina alterniflora, in Coastal Georgia, Aimee Baehrens (Dr. Chandra Franklin) Seasonal Changes in the Morphology and Anatomy of Spartina alterniflora Lance Love (Dr. Carol Pride) Dinoflagellate and Diatom Abundance Comparison: Wilmington River Vs. Country Club Creek, Paula Williams (Dr. Chris Hintz) The Distribution of Nutrients Discharged from the President Street Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Savannah River, Danielle Stewart (Dr. Chris Hintz et al.) Comparative Analysis of the Elemental Composition of the Effluent from a Wastewater Treatment Plant to its Plume in the Savannah River, Georgia, and Olumide Ajayi (Dr. Fumin Zhang) The Art of Developing Intelligent Marine Robots.

Students Present Research at a National Science Meeting

Students and their faculty mentors attended the Summer meeting of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) in Santa Fe, NM June 6-11, 2010.

Graduate student Tina Walters made a platform presentation ion her research co-authored with Christy A. Pavel, LaGina M. Frazier, Megan E.T. Peck, Stephanie Chiang, Maryse Y. Leandre, Deidre M. Gibson, Gustav A. Paffenhöfer, and Marc E. Frischer MOLECULAR GUT CONTENT PROFILING OF DOLIOLETTA GEGENBAURI IN SUBTROPICAL CONTINENTAL SHELF INTRUSION WATERS: WHAT ARE THEY EATING?

Undergraduate Christy Pavel won a Blue Ribbon for her poster co-authored with Tina L. Walters, Megan E. T. Peck, LaGina M. Frazier, Gustav A. Paffenhöfer, Marc Frischer MOLECULAR BASED METHOD FOR THE ANALYSIS OF DOLIOLID FEEDING RATES.