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APPENDIX 5. Role of Tampa Campus Faculty in the Development of Marine Science

Marine science-faculty involvement

Early Days of Marine Science Teaching at St Petersburg by Tampa Campus Chemistry and other Science Faculty

Dean F. Martin (1) and William H. Taft (2)

1 Institute for Environmental Studies, Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 2 Sarasota, FL

ABSTRACT : This report is concerned with correcting an evident misunderstanding about the involvement of USF Tampa Campus faculty members in the establishment of a marine science at what is now USF-St. Petersburg. In particular, what steps were involved in establishing and organizing a program in the teaching of marine science? The approach was systematic, starting with a President’s Committee on Oceanography, followed by creation of a Marine Science Institute at a Bayboro Harbor in St. Petersburg. In 1967, summer- term courses were largely staffed with volunteer experts supported by their parent departments (Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Zoology) on the Tampa Campus. In 1971, the marine science program was given department status, by the State BOR (Board of Regents). Then by legislative action, the College of Marine Science of the University of South Florida (USF) System was created (July 1, 2000). This paper considers details of two critical steps in this example of science teaching, e.g.,(1) development of a a cadre of volunteers to teach Marine Science, followed by creation of the Institute, then (2) with the support of the legislature additional on-site hires leading to the present College of Marine Science.

Key Words: Oceanography, Marine Science, and Administration

After over 45 years of marine science at the USF St .Petersburg campus, it seems appropriate and instructive to consider the beginnings of the successful enterprise represented by the USF College of Marine Science.

Our information about the history of the founding was limited to four sources. A brief mention in an account of the founding of USF (Cooper and Fisher, 1982), a section of the autobiography of a zoologist who served as the chair of the President’s Committee on Oceanography, and who served as Department Chair of the Department of Marine Science in later years (Briggs, 2009), a volume celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of USF (Greenberg, 2006), and papers and personal memories of the authors. The Briggs account, while interesting, was limited because of the nature of an autobiography.

Accordingly, we are contributing this paper because we think the early history of the unit is important to an understanding of science teaching, and because we were an intimate part of that early history.

METHODS --- Three books were consulted (Briggs, 2009; Cooper and Fisher , 1982; Greenberg, 2006), as were University catalogs available in the Special Collections Department of the USF Library, Tampa Campus. Post-1970 information is available as a oral interview of Dr. Peter Betzer, the first chemical oceanographer hired by the program, and subsequently a full professor, department chair, and first College of Marine Science (CMS) dean. Finally the Governance document (Anon,2012) was examined

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION --- USF was founded in 1956, the first classes were started in September 1960 with just under 2,000 students, and the first graduate programs involving masters programs were initiated in the fall of 1965. Initially, research programs typical of a major university were not encouraged, but clearly an attitude change was called for in the mid-1960s, and this was slowly achieved.

According to the preamble of the CMS governance document, the college “ was formed in 2000 from the previous Department of Marine Science, initiated in 1967 with three founding faculty members” (Anon, 2012). The actual founding experience provides a good blueprint for the successful creation of a new program, and, as such, deserves amplification and perhaps enhanced accuracy. Such a blueprint might involve ten steps.

Step One --- Define the concept --- During the late 1960s, the University organizational chart showed Dr. John Allen as President, and Dr. Harris Dean as Academic Dean. Within Dean Dean’s office, Dr. John C. Briggs, Professor of Zoology, was Director of Graduate Studies, and one of us (WHT) was Director of Sponsored Research. To document use of faculty research positions, and to stimulate sponsored research activity at USF, Taft proposed that the Research Council (chaired by Taft) be given a specific number of research positions to be used for granting release time from teaching to faculty whose research proposals were considered fundable, as evaluated by members of the Research Council (Taft, 2012).

Subsequently, Taft advised President Allen that there was Federal funding available for development of new graduate programs, and Taft proposed a Research and Development Center be established and additional research positions be allocated for development of new programs. The President approved establishment of the Center. At this particular time, Oceanography was a popular topic, with many believing it would be a new underwater NASA with significant research funding to be made available, and Taft suggested USF should consider such an academic program.

Dr. William H. Taft

Figure 1. Dr. William H. Taft, Director of Sponsored Research and Asst. Dean of Academic Affairs 1965-1978.

Step Two --- Obtain the facilities for teaching --- Another consideration was the availability of significant property , i.e., 35 acres with a deep-water port at Bayboro Harbor in Downtown St. Petersburg. This property had been dedicated in July 1941 as the U.S. Maritime Service Training Station (Greenberg, 2006). It was used to train cadets in “seamanship and boat operation” prior to decommissioning in March 1950. USF formally acquired the property on July 1, 1965 (Greenberg, 2006).

1965 Facilities

Figure 2. Facilities in 1965 (still in use).

Step Three --- Finding qualified faculty or volunteers --- Taft submitted to President Allen a list of faculty names who had indicated their interest in evaluating the possibility of establishing an Oceanography program at USF (Taft, 2012). Dr. Allen agreed and appointed a committee consisting of Drs. Jack Briggs (Zoology), Chairman, Van Bloch ( Physics), Clinton Dawes (Botany), Frank Friedl (Zoology), John Lawrence (Zoology), Joe Linton (Zoology), Dean Martin (Chemistry), Joe Simon (Zoology), and Bill Taft (Geology), among others.

Step Four --- Test the waters --- To test the interest in oceanography among students, the committee offered “Introduction to Oceanography.” Enrollment exceeded expectations, requiring use of the Chemistry Department’s 200-seat lecture hall.

Fall 1966 Oceanography lecture list

Figure 3. A copy of the series of lectures in the fall term, 1966.

Step Five --- Overcome early problems --- The President’s Committee on Oceanography agreed such a program should be established at USF, and it should be a Master’s degree. For new academic programs to be established, a formal proposal was required by the Board of Regents (BOR), in order that overlapping of programs could be avoided, and the institution was willing to commit the necessary funding to initiate any new programs (Taft, pers comm, 2012). In our case, the program was housed in the new Research and Development Center to accommodate a science administrator.

Step Six --- Accommodate new challenges --- After approval of the proposal by President Allen, when the Oceanography proposal reached the BOR, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. Allan Tucker, refused to recommend approval to the BOR. In the meantime, Dr. Allan Tucker formed a state-wide Oceanography Committee, and subsequently Taft was appointed Chair (Taft, 2012). At a meeting of that Committee in Pensacola, Taft and Tucker met to discuss the USF proposal. Tucker was adamant in his opposition. Although he acknowledged that USF had access to a deep water port and physical facilities at Bayboro Harbor, he felt the USF proposal was duplicating what was available at Florida State University. After lengthy discussions concerning the proposal, Dr. Tucker indicated he would approve the program if the name was changed from Oceanography to Marine Science. On campus, the program’s name was changed, and USF was approved for a M.S. degree in Marine Science to be housed in the Center. In the fall of 1969, the Marine Science Institute was created and housed in the Research and Development Center ( Briggs, 1970; Greenberg, 2006).

As an aside, Allan Tucker, in his effort to prevent duplication of programs, wondered if the Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami would be interested in becoming a member of the State University System. Taft met with Dr. Walton -Smith at a Sea Grant Meeting at the University of Rhode Island in 1969 to discuss such a possibility. Smith seemed to think such an arrangement had possibilities until it was explained that he would have to live with the Florida Legislative and BOR rules. That determination ended the discussion (Taft, 2012).

Step Seven --– Create opening courses --- On January 18, 1967, it was announced that Spring and Summer courses in Marine Science would be offered for the first time at the University’s Bay Campus in St. Petersburg. A front page story in USF’s student newspaper The Oracle, (Anon., 1967) noted that “Dr. William H. Taft, the head of USF’s Oceanography program, has set May for the beginning of the enrollment of students in marine science courses.”

Program Announcement

Figure 4. An announcement of the summer program. This version was quite similar to the one for the summer of 1967.

The courses were coordinated by Dr. John C. Briggs (professor of zoology), and included two sessions. First Session (May 1-June 19): Marine Botany (4 CR) Dawes, Marine Geology(3 CR) Wimberly, Chemical Oceanography (4 CR) Martin, Physiology of Marine Animals (4CR) Lawrence. Second Session: June 22-August 8. Invertebrate Zoology(4CR) Friedl, Ichthyology (4 CR) Briggs, Physiology of Fishes (4 CR) Linton. Laboratories ran an entire day Monday –Thursday with two-hour lectures on each of two days, Friday and Saturday. Enrollment in each class was limited to 24 (Briggs, 1967).

Step Eight --- Expand --- Once the BOR approved the new degree program, President Allen provided three academic positions so a Director and two additional faculty positions could be hired. Dr. Briggs, assisted by the Oceanography Committee, searched for a Director, and Harold J. Humm (Ph.D., Duke) was hired (1966). Humm had been Director of the Florida State University (FSU) Coastal and Marine Laboratory from 1949 to1954.

Initially, the USF program was set up so the Marine Science faculty would only be required to teach one class each year in their discipline, and that would permit them time to go to sea. Other faculty were hired for specific assignment to the St Petersburg campus (Table 1), but marine science courses taught during the summer had substantial support from Tampa campus department chairs faculty (Table 2). For example, in the 1969 summer course offerings, of the thirteen faculty involved in teaching marine science classes, three were from the St. Petersburg campus (Anon. 1969).

Step Nine --- Create further expansion --- Graduate-level courses were gradually developed. In the 1969-70 copy of the University catalog, “Accent on Learning” (Anon., 1969), four graduate-level courses were listed OGY 521, 531, 541, 551. By the autumn of 1969, the MS degree had been approved by the Board of Regents (Briggs, 1970), and it was administered by the Research and Development Center.

After a few years, the fledgling Marine Science Department indicated it wished to request permission to award a Ph.D. President Allen, who at that time was interested in establishing a branch campus at Bayboro Harbor, probably sensed the advantage of the Marine Science program at Bayboro Harbor as a footprint to accomplish his goals so he approved the Ph.D. concept for Marine Science, and a new proposal was drafted.

In the late 1960s, The Board of Regents was receiving strong attention from the St. Petersburg business community for the Board to provide an oceanography vessel docked at Bayboro Harbor. A new structure was established in the BOR, named the Florida Institute of Oceanography, and Dr. Robert Smith was hired as Director. The ultimate goal was for the State to fund a vessel and faculty with research funds from all institutions in the state who would have access to its use.

When Dr. M. Cecil Mackey became the second president of USF in 1971, a number of changes occurred. The College of Basic Studies was abolished, as were the College of Liberal Arts and the Research and Development Center. Five of the six institutes were absorbed as departments into appropriate colleges (Cooper and Fisher, 1982). Marine Science became a department assigned to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (one of the four Divisions from the former College of Liberal Arts), headed by a chemist, Dr. Theodore Askounas Ashford.

Graduate programs are an essential component of a major university, and the need for such programs was formally recognized by the Board of Regents in 1964. A Ph.D. in Biology was created in the late 1960s, followed by a Ph.D. in Chemistry.

Progress was made by the Marine Science faculty. The State BOR declared (1978) the department to be a University Center of Excellence. (Anon., 2012). Subsequently, a cooperative Ph.D. degree program with FSU (Florida State) was achieved during Dr. Briggs’ term as acting chairman of Marine Science with graduate committees having faculty representatives from USF Marine Science and FSU Oceanography (Briggs,2009). One can appreciate that communications were a challenge in the years before the Internet. A Ph.D. in Marine Science at USF, authorized in 1982, was a much more satisfactory arrangement.

It is possible when considering how much Marine Science has developed to forget that the initial program received much support from departments at the Tampa Campus. The extent of support is reviewed in Table 2. Eight of eleven faculty in the summer of 1969 were from the USF-Tampa campus. This means that they experienced the twice-weekly all-day sessions and traveling before completion of the Interstate. More significantly, we should not forget that their salaries were covered by their department chairs, whose names are given in Table 2.

Step Ten --- Consolidation --- Status and reporting pathway is very important for an interdisciplinary program like marine sciences and can be the subject of internal debate. In the summer of 1971 when college reorganizations were mandated by President Mackey, the natural sciences dean, then, after another reorganization in the mid- 1980s the dean of arts and sciences had formal responsibility for Marine Science in 2000, The Department of Marine Science was converted to a college reporting to the Provost (Klein, 2000). One may admire the expansion and achievements of the College of Marine Science (Step eight) is given elsewhere (Anon, 2012)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS --- We thank Ms. Patricia Smail, HR assistant, for providing helpful information for Table 1.


ANON.1967. Oracle, Vol, 1, No 16, p. 1, USF, Tampa, FL.

____. 1969. Accent on Learning, 1969-1970, USF, Tampa, FL.

____. 2012. Governance of the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida. Approved 15 May 2002, Amended 28 October 2002, 4 April 2003, and 4 April 2012. 11 pp.

Briggs, J.C. 1967. The University of South Florida Marine Science Institute

BRIGGS, J. C. 2009. A Professional Life –An Autobiographical Account, E Libris, Arnoldsville, GA.

COOPER, R. M. , M. FISHER 1982. The Vision of a Contemporary University. A Case study of Expansion and development in American Higher Education. 1950-1975. University Presses of Florida, Tampa, FL

GREENBERG, M.I. 2006. University of South Florida. The First Fifty Years, 1956-2006. University of South Florida. Tampa, FL.

KLEIN, B. 2009. Colleges score wealth of state funds. St. Petersburg Times, May 9. From Access World News , (accessed January 29, 2013).

TAFT, W. H. 2012 Pers. comm. Sarasota, FL

Table 1. Early Hires in Marine Science at USF-St. Petersburg Campus

Year Person
1966 Harold J. Humm, Ph.D. Biological Oceanography
1967 Thomas L.Hopkins, Ph.D. Plankton, marine ecology
1967 Hugh D. Dewitt, Ph.D. Ichthyology
1969 Kendall L. Carder, Ph.D. Physical oceanography
1969 Ronald C. Baird, Ph.D. Systematics, distribution of deep-sea fishes
1969 Thomas Pyle, Ph.D. Marine Geology
1971 Peter Betzer, Ph.D. Chemical Oceanography

Table 2. USF Tampa Campus Teaching during the 1969 Summer program Marine Science at the St. Petersburg Campus (Briggs, 1969)

Faculty member Department
Clinton J. Dawes Botany and Bacteriology
Robert W. Flynn Physics
Clinton J. Dawes Botany and Bacteriology
Frank E. Friedl Zoology
George M. Griffin Geology
John M. Lawrence Zoology
Joe R. Linton Zoology
Dean F. Martin Chemistry
Joseph L. Simon Zoology
Clinton J. Dawes Botany and Bacteriology

Chairs in 1967- 1969: Robert W. Long (Botany), P. Calvin Maybury (Chemistry), Wendell Ragan (Geology) , Guy Forman (Physics), John Briggs (Zoology)