Snorkeling trip established tradition at RSMAS

BEYOND THE SEA: RSMAS students begin to do field work on live-aboard ships, small boats, helicopters and from the shore during freshman year. File Photo.

Students get to snorkel in marine environments and observe the behaviors of dolphins at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

A snorkeling field trip is an established tradition for first-year students in the program as a way to be introduced to the local marine environment at Biscayne National Park.

“The snorkeling trip was such a great experience,” junior Kathyrn Sellers said. “It was definitely one of the coolest things to get whisked away during my first week in Miami and go out snorkeling with all of my future professors.”

Tauna Rankin, a graduate student at RSMAS, said students can do field work on live-aboard ships and even by plane.

RSMAS is one the largest oceanographic institutes in the country and students are taught by top scientists and have the opportunity to conduct real hands-on research at laboratories located on campus.

The College of Arts and Sciences and RSMAS joined together to create an undergraduate Marine and Atmospheric Science program in 1977. In 2008, RSMAS received the degree-granting authority over the program.

Barbra Gonzalez, communications director at RSMAS, said there are many opportunities for highly motivated undergraduate students.

“They become partners in a true scientific enterprise and gain invaluable experience that can help to jumpstart their career,” Gonzalez said.

Faculty members spend a considerable amount of time conducting research.

“They are at the forefront of their field, and sharing that cutting-edge knowledge in the classroom,” Gonzalez said.

On June 1, Roni Avissar took over as the new dean of RSMAS for Otis Brown.

“We think when students graduate from UM, they can really make a difference with how humanity relates to the earth,” he said.