University of South Florida

The College of Marine Science is a Center of Excellence in research and graduate education for the University of South Florida and the Florida State University System. The primary mission of the College is to conduct basic and applied research in marine science. Included in the primary marine science mission is the development of new technologies and tools for exploring the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land system and facilitating economic development. Two components of the College have already been and are expected to continue to work closely with NOAA with regard to remote-sensing and technology development.


The USF Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS), the ocean optics laboratory and the microwave satellite sensor use satellite-based sensors to examine regional to global land-ocean-atmosphere interactions and processes.

IMaRS operates a High-Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) ground station and an X-band earth station with real-time, full-resolution data capture capability for the SeaWiFS, NOAA Polar Orbiters, and NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites (for MODIS). MODIS direct broadcast (DB) data are captured and processed in near real-time, and archived at USF/CMS. The facility also includes computer equipment and software that allows comprehensive analysis of various other Earth remote sensing data and provides an important and unique complement to the University of Miami’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS).

The Ocean Optics Lab is focused on addressing coastal ocean problems using primarily optics.

The Satellite Oceanography Laboratory use satellite observations to better understand low-frequency fluctuations in sea level related to climate change.

The USF Center for Ocean Technology is dedicated to advancing technology in oceanographic research through active collaboration with the Faculty and researchers of the College of Marine Science. COT has been instrumental in the development of leading-edge biological, chemical, and physical oceanographic sensors. The technical staff of COT is comprised of electrical, mechanical and software engineers employed by the College of Marine Science. The COT technical staff possesses significant expertise in underwater vessel fabrication, acoustics, RF systems, networking, and real-time control systems.