Ninth department head brings
expertise to the job
Dr. William R. Bryant began serving as the head of the Department of
Oceanography on May 1. A full professor since 1971, Dr. Bryant has worked
in the department for 35 years and brings a wealth of experience and expertise
to the job.
His record of research funding, publication and student
completion record is exemplary. Dr. Bryant is highly respected in both industry
and academia, and was named Educator of the Year by the Gulf Coast Association
of Geological Societies in 1996.
Dr. Thomas Crowley serves as deputy head
Serving as deputy department head is Dr. Thomas Crowley, a professor
of oceanography at Texas A&M since 1996. Dr. Crowley began working at
Texas A&M in October 1993 as deputy director of the Texas Center for
Climate Studies. He has an outstanding record of publications, presentations,
and research funding. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center named Dr. Crowley
a National Research Council senior fellow in 1987.
Doors open for 19 new students in fall semester
Nineteen students from the United States, Indonesia, China and Korea
are enrolled to join the oceanography department in the fall of 1998. Two
more students plan to begin studying in the spring.
The entering class, one of the largest in several years,
includes students from the University of Houston, University of Pittsburgh,
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Southern Mississippi, Portland
(Oregon) State University, and Bryn Mawr College. Other students have attended
Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Southern Alabama, Oklahoma
State University, Texas A&M-Galveston and Texas A&M-College Station.
Six students plan to focus on physical oceanography,
six on biological oceanography, four on geological oceanography, and five
on chemical oceanography. Funding for the students may be provided by fellowships,
teaching assistantships and research assistantships.
New professor to join biological section
Dr. James L. Pinckney was appointed assistant professor of oceanography
and will join the faculty in the fall.
Dr. Pinckney comes to College Station from the University
of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the marine sciences
department graduate faculty since 1996, and a research assistant professor
at the university's Institute of Marine Sciences since 1995. He earned his
Ph.D. in ecology from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.,
in 1992. His work has emphasized investigations of the ecophysiology of
benthic and phytoplankton communities and their contribution to ecosystem
Celebration planned for 50 years of oceanography
Plans are underway for a celebration of the department's 50th anniversary
in April 1998. Stay tuned for the winter issue of Quarterdeck for more details.
Oceanography at Texas A&M University was one of the first such academic
programs in the United States. For more information about the department's
history, see http://ocean.tamu.edu/Info/hist.html.
Managing editor Shatto says farewell
Rahilla Shatto is leaving Quarterdeck after four years as the magazine's
managing editor and designer.
While at Texas A&M, Shatto served as Communications
Specialist for the oceanography department and earned a master's degree
in nautical archaeology. She will move to Houston.
As managing editor of Quarterdeck, Shatto has displayed
her dedication to communicating ocean research to the public. Her management
of the magazine has set a high standard for the future. The department offers
its gratitude for her service, and wishes her the best in her endeavors.
Graduate students share ocean science with sixth-grade
About 30 sixth grade girls enrolled in "Something is Fishy,"
an ocean science learning workshop led by four graduate students.
The March 28 workshop was part of the annual Expanding
Your Horizons (EYH) in Math and Science conference, developed by the Math/Science
Network. In its fifth year, the conference introduces girls to the fields
of in science and engineering, encourages them to pursue more math and science
education, raises their awareness of career opportunities, and allows them
to meet female role models in math and science.
During the "Something is Fishy" workshop,
the girls learned to measure salinity with a refractometer and made their
own seawater. They investigated a sediment core to see the layers of stratification,
and were shown how one would sieve the sediments to determine grain size.
The girls also determined the classification of brittle stars, sea stars,
shrimp, isopods, and squid by answering a series of questions about the
animals' physical characteristics.
The Texas A&M graduate students who presented the
workshop were Cheryl Burden, Susie Escorcia, Angie Lohse, and Samantha Rohr.
EYH is hosted by the Center for Academic Enhancement;
the Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST) program; and the
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) organization. Math/Science Network's
web site is www.elstad.com/msn.html.
Jumbo piston coring method to be used
aboard premiere research vessel Knorr
Dr. William Bryant will join a jumbo piston coring expedition to investigate
seafloor sediment stability in the Gulf of Mexico.
Beginning August 10, Bryant and scientists Wayne Dunlap
of the Offshore Technology Research Center and Armand Silva of the University
of Rhode Island will be aboard the Knorr, an ocean research ship operated
by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The ship will be in port in Galveston,
and an open house is planned before the cruise.
Deep in the gulf, the scientists will plunge extra-large
coring devices into the seafloor to extract sediment samples up to 30 meters
deep and four inches in diameter.
The cruise is funded by a National Science Foundation
CNN Headline News, Popular Science highlight web site
The Department of Oceanography's "Reefs of the Gulf" web site,
featuring a submarine tour of the Gulf of Mexico, has garnered the interest
of many people interested in ocean science-as well as the interest of the
Reefs of the Gulf was highlighted on CNN Headline News,
in the August 1998 issue of Popular Science, in the Houston Chronicle, in
the syndicated "Family PC Fun" section of the newspaper comics,
and on a web site called WebTrips (http://www.webtrips.com).
Although the cruise ended in May, students and teachers
can still share the experiences and discoveries of Texas A&M oceanographers
as they explored the gulf aboard NR-1, the U.S. Navy's only nuclear-powered
research submarine. The Reefs of the Gulf web site also provides science
materials perfect for a classroom setting. Topics include light in the ocean,
sea turtles, life without light, oil seeps, and more. A cruise journal written
by the oceanographers aboard the submarine offers the insider's perspective
about the research.
To join the cruise and receive e-mail updates as the
site evolves, visit the Reefs of the Gulf web site at http://gulftour.tamu.edu.
Workshop explores geoscience careers
Career objectives, planning and preparation were the focus of a two-and-a-half
hour workshop by Dr. Peter Fiske, author of "To Boldly Go: A Practical
Career Guide for Scientists."
About 60 people attended the April 20 workshop, which
was co-hosted by the College of Geosciences and the Department of Oceanography,
with support from the Department of Meteorology.
Dr. Fiske has organized and lead panel discussions and
workshops on alternative careers and career development for scientists and
students at national and international meetings, universities, and national
In 1996, Dr. Fiske was awarded a White House Fellowship
and subsequently served as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special
Projects. A web site highlighting Fiske's book is at http://earth.agu.org/careerguide/and
offers chapter summaries and book reviews.
For general information about careers in oceanography,
see "Questions about Careers in Oceanography" at http://oceanography.tamu.edu/Careers/careers.html.