Chief Academic Officer Newsletter

Dr. Louchouarn
VPAA Dr. Louchouarn

Calendar and Upcoming Events

Faculty Forum Friday August 23, 3:00 to 5:00pm


Texas Academy of Science ’14

Summer Commencement '13

White Coat Summary '13

Department Publications (2011-2013)

General Academics

Maritime Administration

Marine Biology

Marine Sciences

Marine Engineering Tech/Maritime Syst. Engineering


August 2013 Newsletter

October 2013 Newsletter

VPAA-Briefs - August 2014

Dear members and friends of the Aggies by the sea community,

It seems impossible to think that summer is almost behind us. This has been an exciting year with a long list of achievements and new records broken. I encourage you to read through the Newsletter below to learn about these achievements and the changes that TAMUG has undergone in the past year. Stay tuned, more is yet to come. 

This past weekend we concluded another successful academic year with the summer graduation of the Class of 2014. In total we graduated 322 undergraduate students and 31 graduate students. This is an increase by 4% and 63% over last year for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively. We also continue our enrollment growth with a projected 2,350 total students for the beginning of the Fall 2014. I thank the Office of Enrollment Services for their hard work which lead to an increase in enrollment of >8%. Most significantly, our graduate enrollment will jump to ~215 students in graduate students enrolled in all programs (TAMUG students and TAMU students in residence in Galveston), which represents 9% of total enrollment. This indeed is a milestone and is achieved thanks to the hard work of Nicole Kinslow and Holly Richards (in the Graduate Studies Office), and most importantly our exceptional Graduate Faculty who are attracting these students from around the world.

Such growth has been given a fabulous boost by the recent securing of $42 million dollars from Texas A&M University, for the construction of the phase 1 of a new academic complex. This first building in a three-parts complex will be dedicated to serve academics (mostly classroom and laboratory spaces), and student services. Construction for this project is slated for some time in the second half of 2015. This project come at the heels of the partnership established between Texas A&M University and Hunt Companies to build a new on-campus $45 Million Texas A&M Maritime Academy Residence Hall. Construction of the residence hall began on June 30 and is slated for completion in the fall of 2015.

In FY14, we continued with our Faculty investment program with the recruitment of a number of new Faculty (see new hires below for short bios on each of them) that will join us in the Fall 2014. We are poised to continue our recruiting of up to 15 new Faculty lines in the coming two years. Among the positions already identified for the Fall 2015, we will be searching nationally for an ecotoxicologist (MARB) and a geospatial analyst (MARS). We will also seek to recruit a few more Faculty, but these positions will be defined in the coming months as we look to invest strategically in Engineering, Maritime Transportation, Maritime Administration, and graduate programs.

My office also invested substantially in the expansion of the Office of Academic Enhancement to help accelerate our improvements of student success measures. Four new academic professionals have been recruited to help with mentoring, advising, and specialty support programs for academics. Additionally, my office created a new laboratory (the Applied Math Laboratory) to help support quantitative learning across the curriculum at TAMUG. Dr. Matt Carroll, Instructional Assistant Professor, will be the first Director for the AML.

A number of new initiatives took place in the last six months and will help shape our campus into a more integrated institution regionally, and one that continues to offer its best students attractive incentives.

-) First, TAMUG recently welcomed its inaugural class of Terry Scholars on Thursday June 19th as part of the freshman new student conference. The students were selected based on essays and a highly competitive interview process. Each student reflects the character and leadership exemplified by Howard and Nancy Terry and will begin a wonderful tradition of service and leadership on the Galveston campus. Congratulations and welcome to these fine scholars. The Terry Foundation scholarship program was founded to provide scholarships to outstanding Texas High school graduates for attendance at public colleges and universities within the state. Established in 1986 by Houston philanthropists Howard and Nancy Terry, the foundation has assisted hundreds of Terry Scholars in meeting the founders’ goal of helping young people to help themselves. The Terry Foundation, a Houston-based scholarship program, has expanded its program to include 16 students per year at Texas A&M University at Galveston for the fall of 2014. Each scholarship will be renewable for up to four years.

-) Houston area residents interested in the maritime and logistics fields will have greater education training and opportunities through a partnership between Houston Community College (HCC) and Texas A&M University at Galveston The two schools formalized an agreement on May 22 by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding that will provide HCC students with a clear pathway to a four-year degree and training in the maritime industry. Students who complete HCC’s Maritime Transportation and Logistics program will now have an opportunity to transfer with automatic admission to Texas A&M University at Galveston.

The Maritime Transportation Logistics Associate of Applied Science degree at HCC can articulate to a Texas A&M Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Administration. The program prepares students for careers in areas such as domestic and international shipping, port and waterways management, vessel management and international trade.

After the signing of the agreement by Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor of HCC and Rear Admiral Robert Smith III, CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston, the program will started on August 1, 2014.

Finally, TAMUG is engaging with the rest of the A&M units in developing a new Strategic Plan for next 5 years (2015-2020). My office will be identifying the major objectives and outcomes we will be striving to reach in this period along with potential new programs and collaborations with A&M and outside partners. Look for an update on the strategic planning during the year.

University Announcements

a)     Faculty promotions

Congratulations to this year’s promoted Faculty. Dr. Joan Mileski (MARA) was promoted to Full Professor. Dr. Cong Kang (GACD) and Dr. Grace Wang (MARA), were granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Joe Knox (MARA) and Dr. Susan Knock (MARS) were promoted from Instructional Assistant Professors to Instructional Associate Professors. Mr. Pete Gracia (GACD) and Dr. Robert Mohler (MARS) were promoted from Lecturers to Senior Lecturers. Capt. Augusta Roth, Capt. James Cleary, Capt. Scott Putty, and Capt. Herb Walling (MART) were promoted from Assistant Professors of the Practice to Associate Professors of the Practice. Dr. David Baca (Director of Jack K. Williams Library) and Dr. Victor Viser (GACD) were reclassified from Lecturers to Instructional Assistant Professors. All of these promotions were approved at the May Board of Regents meeting and are effective Sept. 1, 2013.

Congratulations as well to four individuals who have accepted to serve in the academic leadership of the university. Dr. Joan Mileski and Capt. Gussie Roth have accepted to serve as the permanent Heads of the Departments of Maritime Administration and Maritime Transportation, respectively. Dr. Kyeong Park will join us from the University of Southern Alabama and will serve as the new Head of the Department of Marine Sciences. Dr. Victor Viser has accepted to serve as Assistant Head in the Department of General Academics. All these appointments will be effective Sept 01, 2014. I thank them for joining our team and their service to this university.

Finally, congratulations for Mr. Chuck Folden (MARS), who was granted the designation of Instructional Assistant Professor Emeritus by the Board of Regents.

b)     New full-time Faculty hires:

Dept. of General Academics

  • Dr. Matt Irwin joins the Faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English. Mr. Irwin successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in August 2014 and his degree will be conferred in December 2014 from Texas A&M University in History.  He received his M.A. in American Studies and Folklore from Utah State University in 2003 and his B.A. in History from Westminster College of Salt Lake City in 2000. 
  • Mrs. Katherine Echols joins GACD as a Visiting Lecturer in English beginning 1 September.  Mrs. Echols is ABD in English at the University of Houston.  She received her M.A. in English from Sam Houston State University in 2007 and her B.Sc. in News-Editorial from Abilene Christian University in 1997.


  • Mrs. Amy Caton is our new Literacy Coordinator and is an Instructional Assistant Professor. She has been with TAMUG since November 2013 overseeing the Writing Lab and is responsible for teaching interdisciplinary information, research, and technology literacy through classroom visits and workshops; managing the Writing Lab staff, processes, and development; and partnering with campus departments to promote the use of library services. Prior to coming to TAMUG, she worked as a Reference and Metadata Librarian at Rosenberg Library in Galveston (2012-2013), Textbook Manager for Galveston ISD (2009-2011), and Writing Coach for Texas State University (2003-2006). Mrs. Caton has a M.Sc. in Information Science (2012) from the University of North Texas and a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Technical Writing from Texas State University (2006).

Dept. of Maritime Administration

  • Col. Len Waterworth joined Texas A&M University at Galveston in the early summer as an Executive Professor in the Department of Maritime Administration. Colonel Waterworth will also be appointed as a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores. His duties will include working to coordinate Ike Dike hurricane surge protection research activities with Texas A&M Galveston Faculty and research partners at Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands, the largest and oldest Dutch public technical university; the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston and the Homeland Center of Excellence at Jackson State University in Mississippi, as well as public outreach efforts with businesses, municipalities and non-governmental organizations in the Houston/Galveston region. After a long and successful career in the Army, Col. Waterworth has had a similarly successful career in top administration in both governmental and private sectors. In recent years, he successively served as Commander U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Galveston District, President and CEO of Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation, and most recently as Executive Director at the Port of Houston Authority. Col. Waterworth graduated with a Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, a Masters of Engineering Administration from George Washington University, and a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University.

  • Dr. Irwin B. Horwitz, joins MARA as an Instructional Associate Professor. His research interests are human resource management and occupational stress. He has over 60 peer reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters. He has received numerous research awards and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Health Care Leadership and Open Access Emergency Medicine. He has over 20 years of teaching experience with numerous teaching awards. He also serves as a managing partner of UNCI Consulting, Inc., a human resource corporate consulting firm. Dr. Horwitz received a Ph.D. in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Prior to his Ph.D., he completed an M.B.A. in Business Development from the University of Illinois, a M.Sc. in Industrial Relations from Loyola University of Chicago, and a B.Sc. from Loyola University of Chicago.

Dept. of Marine Sciences

  • Dr. Kyeong Park will become the Head of the Dept. of Marine Sciences, effective Sept 01, 2014. Dr. Park joined us from the University Southern Alabama where he was a Professor Marine Sciences. Dr. Park’s research interests involve the study of both physical transport and biogeochemical processes, in tidal rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters.  He is particularly interested in the interactions between physical transport and biogeochemical processes as they influence water quality conditions and living resources in coastal systems.  His research activities are based on field observations, theoretical analyses, and numerical modeling. Dr. Park completed a Ph.D. (1993) in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, a M.Sc. (1987) in Marine Environmental Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a B.Sc. (1985) in Mineral and Petroleum Engineering, Seoul National University, South Korea.

  • Dr. Radhika Nair joins the Faculty in Fall 2014 as an Instructional Assistant Professor. She comes to us from Southern Utah University where she was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry since 2010. While at Southern Utah she taught a variety of Chemistry courses from Introductory Chemistry to Advanced Inorganic Chemistry and was recognized as the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in her Department. She also has broad experience in instrumentation and teaching instrumentation to undergraduate students. Her research interest is in Organometallics. Dr. Nair has mentored students in undergraduate research projects in the synthesis of new imines and their metal complexes. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry (2009) at the University of Nevada, Reno and her M.Sc. (2002) in Chemistry and B.Sc. (2000) in Chemistry at the University of Mumbai. Dr. Nair’s post doc was completed here in Texas, at Trinity University in San Antonio and she is very happy to be returning to Texas.

Dept. of Marine Transportation

  • Capt. Peter “Jaime” Bougeois joined the Faculty as an Assistant Professor of the Practice. Capt. Bourgeois graduated from Kings Point in 1956 as a 3rd Mate Unlimited and worked his way to Master Unlimited quickly. He served in the Merchant Marines 24 years before shifting to land based employment. He was also employed as an Executive Refrigeration Cargo Supervisor for 2 years and a marine surveyor for the National Cargo Bureau and Sabine Surveyors for 7 years. His passion for teaching was found when Texas A&M Maritime Academy hired him in 1990 as the Master of the training ship in 1990. He has sailed on over a dozen training cruises. He was elected the “Most Effective Teacher” at TAMUG in 1996. In 2003, he elected to go back to sea where he served as 3rd and 2nd mate aboard various bulk carriers and Master of Dive Support Vessel “Odyssey”. In 2013, he decided it was time to return to teaching at Fletcher Technical Community College in Houma, LA. His publications for students have been used by cadets at Texas A&M Maritime for two decades. These publications include: Fundamentals of Navigation, Basic Celestial Navigation, Dry Cargo Stowage and Handling, Exercises in Fundamental Navigation, and Marine Surveyor’s Handbook. Capt. Bourgeois has served as an instructor and mentor for mariners for over 50 years and a great asset to the Marine Transportation Department.

Dept. of Maritime Systems Engineering

  • Dr. Masoud Hayatdavoodi joins the Faculty as an Instructional Assistant Professor.  He has recently completed a Post-Doctoral fellowship at the University of Hawaii at Manoa working on theoretical and numerical ocean engineering and naval architecture problems. He earned his Ph.D. in Ocean and Resources Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also holds a Masters degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering from Chalmers University in Sweden and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Program) from Sharif University of Technology in Iran.  He comes to us with several years of teaching assistant experience at both undergraduate and graduate levels.  His research is in the broad areas of fluid mechanics, naval architecture, and marine hydrodynamics.

Professional Activities

a)                Honors, Awards, and Achievements

Peter Santschi1)
This coming December 17, Dr. Peter Sanstchi, Professor in Marine Sciences, will be the first TAMUG Faculty member to be inducted as an AGU Fellow. It was my distinct honor to nominate Peter Santschi this year, for consideration to this award and was very please to learn of his selection. It was particularly rewarding to receive such enthusiastic responses from the large number of the top scientists I contacted in the spring to support this nomination. Here is a summary of the recognition on AGU’s site:

 "Sixty-two individuals have been elected as the 2014 class of Fellows and will be recognized during the Honors Ceremony at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, to be held on 17 December in San Francisco, Calif. To be elected a Union Fellow is a tribute to those AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees. Eligible Fellows nominees must have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences. Primary criteria for evaluation in scientific eminence are: (1) major breakthrough, (2) major discovery, (3) paradigm shift, and/or (4) sustained impact. This honor may be bestowed on only 0.1% of the membership in any given year.”

 As you can tell from the 0.1% figure, this is an honor given to a very exceptional and limited group of people. This is a recognition that fits Peter well and is more than well deserved. He was recognized for "fundamental work on characterization of colloids in aquatic systems and their role in trace metal and radionuclide cycling and transport.” Please join me in celebrating yet another milestone in Peter’s career.

Karl Kaiser2)
This Fall we are inaugurating a brand new award for our campus. The Montague-CTE Scholar program, named for founding donor Kenneth Montague ’37, is beginning its twenty-fourth year of honoring early-career excellence in undergraduate teaching at Texas A&M University ( We are included in this program for the first time since it’s inception. It a pleasure to have nominated Dr. Karl Kaiser, Assistant Professor in Marine Sciences, to represent us as TAMUG’s first scholar. The intent of the program is to recognize one early-career, tenure-track Faculty member selected by each college who has already demonstrated a commitment to, and potential for, excellence in undergraduate teaching. This award includes a $6,500 grant for each recipient to encourage further development of undergraduate teaching excellence.

Chris Marshall

3) Congratulations to Dr. Chris Marshall, Associate Professor in Marine Biology, for receiving the 2014 Association of Former Students, Distinguished Achievement Award: College Level Teaching Award.

The award consists of a $2,000 gift and a framed certificate. According to the guidelines of The Association of Former Students, these awards are to “recognize, encourage, and reward the superior classroom teachers - those individuals whose command of their respective discipline, teaching methodologies, pervasive caring, communication skills, and commitment to the learning process exemplify the meaning of teacher/mentor in its highest sense. This award is designed to distinguish those teachers who maintain high expectations of their students and who ensure academic rigor in their courses. Distinguished teachers recognize their responsibility in motivating and contributing to the overall development of the student”.

 4) This past spring, Dr. William “Bill” Merrell, Professor in Marine Sciences and George P. Mitchell ’40 chair in marine sciences, was recently recognized with the Galveston Chamber of Commerce 2013 Unsung Hero Award. Galveston Chamber of Commerce President Gina Spagnola said the award is well-deserved. “Dr. Merrell is a true Galvestonian and unsung hero,” she said. “Behind the scenes, he’s conducted research, connected with international experts and collaborated with community members for numerous years to help protect Galveston from hurricanes and their devastating effects.”

5) Dr. Grace Wang, Associate Professor in Maritime Administration, was recognized with the Best Paper of 2013 Award from the Editorial Team of Journal of Advances in Management Research for: Wang, G. A. Mahajan and R. Kishan (2013) “Bank Asset Allocation: The effectiveness of market monitoring” Journal of Advances in Management Research, IIt. 10(3): 376-398.

6) Dr. Melanie Lesko, Instructional Associate Professor in Maritime Sciences, was recognized with a Salute to Excellence Award by the American Chemical Society – Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry at the ACS August Meeting. The recognition was given “for her many contributions to the division, seeing it through thick and thin; serving as a member of the executive committee since the mid 1980’s, including service as secretary and chair, and currently as a councilor since 1993”.

b)    Faculty “in the World and in the News”

Where “In the World” were our Faculty this summer…

  • Dr. Anna Armitage visited Southern China (Xiamen, Leizhou, and Zhangjiang Estuary), and New Orleans, LA.
  • Dr. Sam Brody and Dr. Bill Merrell will lead a delegation to the Netherlands in late September to visit and learn about critical flood defense systems.  The delegation will include representatives from the state legislature, the Houston and Galveston Mayors' office, and several media outlets.  Brody and Merrell will also meet with research partners from Delft University and further develop an international proposal on flood risk reduction to be submitted to the National Science Foundation this fall for $4 million to better understand and act upon coastal flood risk reduction on the Texas coast
  • Dr. Philip Brown visited Queretaro, Mexico, for research collaboration with Dr. Michael Porter.
  • Mr. Gerard Coleman coached the TAMUG Sailing Team at the intercollegiate nationals, and he continued his close involvement with two groups of combat wounded veterans through the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (CWVC - see The Sailing team competed in three spring national events in St. Mary’s and Annapolis MD: Women’s, Team Racing and Coed Dinghy championships, all in late May. In mid-May, Gerard supported a group of 20 veterans and support personnel during a sailing voyage in the Florida Keys, from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. In July, he participated in a Alaska wilderness trekking expedition with a group of 12. The trekking took the group in the Denali Wilderness across rivers, over glaciers, through mountain passes and down rafting rivers, all in a remote area of the Denali National Park Alaska. The group of wounded veterans included two above the knee (AK) and one below-the-knee amputee, and some with severe internal injuries. See the following video for a brief illustration of the Wilderness Trek.
  • Dr. Stephen Curley traveled to Chicago, IL, to present a paper and served as area chair of the Sea Literature and History and Culture at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.
  • Dr. Randy Davis spent the summer in Alaska teaching Coastal Marine Biology/ Geology and conducting research. He is maintaining active research in the following regions: Alaska; Northwest Atlantic; Palau, southwestern Pacific Ocean; Argentina; and McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
  • Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz visited Toronto, Canada to present at paper at the International Studies Association on Khmer Rouge Foreign Policy. She also traveled to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to present a paper at the Women in War conference on women and genocide.
  • Dr. Ron Eytan went to Akumal, Mexico, and the Florida Keys for his research.
  • Dr. Tom Iliffe taught TAMUG Research Diving course in Tropical Marine Ecology course in the Akumal, Mexico. He also performed research cave diving in Tulum and Cozumel, Mexico, (the latter with Dr. Pete van Hengstum from MARS) and participated in a in trip in Long Island, Bahamas, for a National Geographic and Discovery Channel Canada TV documentary film project “Drain the Bermuda Triangle” to be shown in Dec.
  • Dr. Doug Klein attended a meeting honoring his work for his 70th birthday in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
  • Dr. Patrick Louchouarn traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, to work with colleagues at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, followed by a trip to Toulouse to visit his colleague at the Institute National Polytechnique de Toulouse and his graduate student (Allison Myers-Pigg) before they left for their 6-weeks field trip to Siberia. He presented research talks at both locations.
  • Dr. Maria Pia Miglietta did field work in Otranto (Lecce), Italy.
  • Dr. Joan Mileski took 22 graduate and undergraduate students for the second year in a row to London for a study abroad (International Maritime Experience) with Tom Fitzhugh and Mike Donelan.
  • Dr. Kyeong Park was invited to visit Korea for three months between May 4 and August 5, 2014, with support from the Brainpool Program. This program, funded by the Korea Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and administered by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST), invites scientists and engineers outside of Korea to collaborate with Korean counterparts. Dr. Park worked with a colleague and graduate students on two research projects for water quality modeling of the major rivers in Korea. Dr. Park also visited Sapporo in Japan for a week to attend and give a presentation at the AOGS (Asia Oceania Geosciences Society) 2014 Conference.
  • Dr. Fred Pearl took MAST students to Sweden to do archaeological and historical research on the Viking Age. 
  • Dr. Daniel Traber traveled to Porto, Portugal, Chicago, IL, and to Albuquerque, NM, to present papers.
  • Dr. Pete van Hengstum traveled to Florida, the island of Cozumel in Mexico, and the Bahamian islands of Abaco and Andros to collect sediment cores from blueholes, sinkholes, and underwater caves. These samples will help answer questions about how the climate system impacts long term hurricane activity and groundwater in tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Dr. David Wells visited Ft. Lauderdale, FL and San Diego, CA for his research.
  • Dr. Bernd Würsig taught a Study Abroad class in Greece, followed by field work in New Zealand and California with his students. He also spent time in Hong Kong were he advised the Hong Kong government on dolphin issues.
  • Dr. Eunjeong Yi was invited to give a talk at the US-Korean Conference in San Francisco, CA.

“In the News”

  • Dr. Sam Brody (Marine Sciences) and Dr. Anna Armitage (Marine Biology), were featured in TAMU times: Texas A&M Galveston Researchers Seeking To Improve Life In Coastal Regions
  • Dr. Tom Iliffe (Marine Biology) was featured in Discover magazine (“Cave Man”; July/August 2014) and the Houston Chronicle (“Professor teaches love of diving to students”; August 7, 2014)
  • Dr. Tom Linton and his “Seaweed guys” caught the attention of news media from all around the world resulting in more than 140 newspaper stories, magazine features and television reports over the summer. SEE: They developed a type of Sargassum ADVISORY system, much like a weather forecast that has accurately predicted the time, location and amount of seaweed to land on the beaches.  They are also experimenting with baling the FRESH seaweed and using it to reinforce and build up the ever-eroding sand dunes. 

a)    Grants

Our Faculty have been active writing grants for the past several months, and successful at it. TAMUG researchers have so far been granted over $4.1M in new research awards from Federal, State, and Private sources for Fiscal Year 2014 (an increase of 24% from last year) and over $2.6M since January 2014 (an increase of 30% over the same period last year). These funds will support their research for the next 1-3 years, and most probably a large number of graduate and undergraduate students.

Below is a list of project funded since my last update in February. Congratulations to our research Faculty. In these competitive times, such a success is a great mark of the achievements and quality of our Faculty.

  • Dr. Rainer Amon, Dr. Robin Brinkmeyer, and Dr. Ayal Anis (Marine Sciences) have just been awarded ~$1M by CONACYT (the Mexican Science Foundation) and SENER (Dept. of Energy – Mexico) for a large-scale, 5-year project combining satellite remote sensing, high frequency radar, moorings and gliders with traditional shipboard observations to study the physical and biogeochemical drivers of natural and anthropogenic elemental cycles in the Gulf of Mexico. This project is part of a $100M program awarded to Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Mexico. Note that this amount is not in the $4.1M accounted above due to FY15 start date. Way to start the year!
  • Dr. Rainer Amon and Dr. Ayal Anis (Marine Sciences). Cameron Corp. Locating a CDX Pilot Plant on the TAMUG Campus, Site Preparation, Installation, and Operation. ($116,276).
  • Dr. Anna Armitage (Co-PI with S.C. Pennings at University of Houston): “Mangroves are invading Texas salt marshes: what are the consequences?” Texas Sea Grant.
  • Dr. Sam Brody (Marine Sciences). TCEQ. Galveston Bay estuary program status and trends maintenance project. ($100,000).
  • Dr. Randy Davis (Marine Biology). NSF. Collaborative Research: Geomagnetic navigation by Weddell Seals beneath Antarctic ice. ($394,362).
  • Dr. Randy Davis (Marine Biology). Prince William Sound Science Center. Biological sampling of pink salmon in Spring Creek and the Sheep River. ($37,138).
  • Dr. Tim Dellapenna (Marine Sciences). Atkins Engineering – City of Galveston. Galveston beach monitoring project. ($379,800).
  • Dr. Jens Figlus (Maritime Systems Engineering). Galveston Parks Board. Innovative technology seaweed prototype dunes. ($60,000).
  • Dr. Patrick Louchouarn (Marine Sciences). Cameron Corp. Locating a CDX Pilot Plant on the TAMUG Campus, Site Preparation, Installation, and Operation. ($116,276).
  • Dr. Patrick Louchouarn (Marine Sciences). The Welch Foundation. Departmental grant to enhance undergraduate research in chemistry at Texas A&M University-Galveston – Continuation 2014-2015). ($35,000).
  • Dr. Chris Marshall (Marine Biology). Exxon Mobil Corporation. Qatari Dugong conservation initiative: Beach surveys and fishermen interviews to assess Dugong population. ($137,900).
  • Dr. Bill Merrell (Marine Sciences). The Moody Foundation. Surge protection for the Galveston Bay region advancing the Ike Dike concept. ($100,000).
  • Dr. Maria Piglietta (Marine Biology). Texas A&M Genomics Seed Grant: Comparative Transcriptomics Underlying the life cycle reversal and transdifferentionation of Turritopsis dohrnii. ($18,233).
  • Dr. Antonietta Quigg (Marine Biology). TWDB. Defining bioindicators for freshwater inflow needs studies (BioFINS). ($105,000).
  • Dr. Antonietta Quigg and Dr. Peter Santschi (Marine Biology and Marine Sciences). NSF-China Collaborative Program: Toxicity of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on base of food web. ($25,000).
  • Dr. Kim Reich (Marine Biology). Texas Sea Grant DOC-NOAA. Nesting survey of Kemp’s Ridely on the upper Texas coast – 2014. ($9,986)
  • Dr. Jay Rooker (Marine Biology). LSU. Impact of oil and dispersants from the deepwater horizon incident on benthic and pelagic fish communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico. ($141,000).
  • Dr. Gil Rowe (Marine Biology). LGL Ecological Research Associates Inc. Benthic Ecology baseline study. ($123,662).
  • Dr. Peter Santschi (Marine Sciences). DOE. Importance of microbial activity on groundwater iodate and organo-iodine speciation and mobility at two DOE sites (Supplement). ($60,000).
  • Dr. Peter Santschi (Marine Sciences). NSF. Biopolymers produced by diatoms and coccolithophores as carriers for selected natural radionuclides (Th, Pa, Pb, Po, Be) in the Ocean. ($506,849).

b)    Student Success

This summer, the Research and Graduate Studies Office supported 11 competitive graduate and undergraduate student fellowships under the banner of the Texas Institute of Oceanography.

The graduate students are:

  • Jake Emmert, MARM M.Sc. student (Advisor: Pete van Hengstum)
  • Paul Laverty, OCNG M.Sc. student (Advisor: Tim Dellapenna)
  • Erin Mattson, MARB IDP MS student (Advisor: Chris Marshall)
  • Dara Orbach, MARB IDP PhD student (Advisor: Bernd Wursig)
  • Sarah Piwetz, MARB IDP PhD student (Advisor: Bernd Wursig)
  • Alicia Shepard, OCNG PhD student (Advisor: Antonietta Quigg)

The undergraduate students are:

  • Anne Henske, OCRE B.Sc. Student, (Advisor: Timothy Dellapenna)
  • Allison Norris, MARB B.Sc. Student, (Advisor: Anna Armitage)
  • Ren Shirai, MARB B.Sc. Student, (Advisor: Anya Schulze)
  • Amanda Sterne, MARS B.Sc. Student, (Advisor: Patrick Louchouarn and Karl Kaiser)
  • Tyler Winkler, MARB B.Sc. Student, (Advisor: Pete van Hengstum

Congratulations to all of them!

This year, TAMUG started a new program of 2-years graduate fellowships to allow Faculty and programs to compete effectively for high quality and diverse graduate students. The TAMUG 2-Year Competitive Graduate Student Fellowships is open to all TAMUG and TAMU research/thesis option Master’s and Doctoral students working on the TAMUG campus under the direct supervision of a Texas A&M University at Galveston Faculty member. Awards will begin with new students admitted in Fall 2014. A total of 6 Fellowships will be available on a rolling basis. The first three Fellowships have been awarded to students who will begin graduate work in Fall 2014, and an additional three will be available for students beginning their graduate work in Fall 2015.

TAMUG 2-Year Competitive Graduate Student Fellowships (for incoming students):

Nicholas Zellmer, incoming MARB IDP PhD student with Randall Davis

Marcella Nuñez, incoming OCNG PhD student with Antonietta Quigg

Helen Walters, incoming MARM MS student with Samuel Brody

MARB IDP Graduate Assistantship Award (for incoming students):


Jillian Gilmartin, incoming MARB IDP PhD student with Hui Liu

Sara Mellard, incoming MARB IDP PhD with Anja Schulze


Marissa Hadjuk, incoming MARB IDP PhD with Anja Schulze

Graduate Studies has also started a new program for the Fall semester with the recruitment of seven Graduate Ambassadors. These seven students represent the various programs and majors of our Galveston Graduate student population. They will be helping the Graduate Studies Office with events for current and prospective students throughout the year as representatives of their programs.

The inaugural group of Graduate Ambassadors:


  • Shu Dai, Ocean Engineering Ph.D. student


  • Michael Dance, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Ph.D. student


  • Ryan Gay, Marine Resources Management Master’s student

  • Cliff Ghoram, Maritime Administration and Logistics Master’s student

  • Allyson Lucchese, Oceanography Ph.D. student


  • Ashley Whitt, Marine Biology IDP Master’s student


  • Tiffany Woodcock, Maritime Administration and Logistics Master’s student, License Option student


Jacque Cresswell (MARB - PhD student, Iliffe) received the 2014 John W. Hess Research Award in Karst Research Studies for her research assessing the ecological response of a Bermudian underwater cave ecosystem to a significant anthropogenic disturbance.

Madison Fort- Senior Marine Biology/Marine Fisheries Major- Completed internship at NOAA in Chesapeake Bay.

Matthew Lammers- Senior Marine Biology Major- Completed internship at The Jane Goodall Institute in South Africa.

Paul Laverty (OCNG - MSc student, Dellapenna) won competitive student research grants from the Geologic Society of America

Mohammad al Mukaimi (OCNG - PhD student, Dellapenna) won competitive student research grants from the Geologic Society of America

Allison Myers-Pigg (Ph.D. OCNG with Dr. P. Louchouarn) received the Webber Scholarship from the Department of Oceanography (beginning in Fall 2014).

Hannah Preischel (OCNG PhD student with Dr. Antonietta Quigg) received the TAMU Diversity Fellowship (beginning in Fall 2014)


Alicia Shepard (OCNG PhD student with Dr. Antonietta Quigg) received the following:

  • Texas A&M University Dissertation Fellowship for 2014-2015
  • Selected to attend the Ecological Dissertations in the Aquatic Sciences (Eco-DAS) XI Symposium

Matthew Stout- Senior Marine Biology Major- Volunteer of the Year for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Annie Tamalavage (M.Sc. OCNG with Dr. P. Louchouarn) received the Association of Former Students (AFS) Scholarship from the College of Geosciences (beginning in Fall 2014).

And finally, congratulations to the students who completed their graduate programs this year (the advisor appears in parenthesis). 2013-14 was an exceptional year in graduate studies with the largest class of graduate students ever (42 total) and a 50% increase over the number of graduates from 2012-13:

Fall 2013: 

  • Laura Mullaney, MMR MARM (Linton)
  • Paul Roberts, MMR MARM (Linton)
  • Jessica Williams, MMR MARM (Schlemmer)
  • David Ziegler, MMR MARM (Schlemmer)
  • Chia Ying (Anderin) Chuang, PhD OCNG (Santschi)

Spring 2014: 

  • Ryan Wolt, PhD WFSC (Davis)
  • Traver Wright, PhD WFSC (Davis)
  • Sepp Haukebo, MS WFSC (Iliffe)
  • Christi Hughes, MS WFSC (Landry)
  • Lynne Wetmore, MS WFSC (Rooker)
  • Lisha Parambath, MS CVEN (Horrillo)
  • Allison McInnes, PhD OCNG (Quigg)
  • Jeremy Bockhorst, MMR MARM (Linton)
  • Tyra Booe, MMR MARM (Quigg)
  • Judson Crouch, MMR MARM (Dellapenna)
  • Katherine Laverty, MMR MARM (Quigg)
  • Alexis Potaman, MMR MARM (VonZharen)
  • Michael Ross, MMR MARM (Linton)
  • Suzette Savoie, MMR MARM (VonZharen)
  • Amanda Solitro, MMR MARM (VonZharen)
  • Alexandra Stiles, MMR MARM (Brody)
  • Laura Suffridge, MMR MARM (Merrell)
  • Grace Tilley, MMR MARM (Schlemmer)
  • Loyd Beacham, MML MAAL (Mileski)
  • Nicholas DuRee, MML MAAL (Mileski)
  • Kayla Kunza, MML MAAL (Mileski)
  • Meghann Nash, MML MAAL (Mileski)
  • Caroline Phillips, MML MAAL (Mileski)
  • Michael Stryker, MML MAAL (Mileski)
  • Tyler Harrington, MS MARB (Schwarz)
  • Alexandria Rivard, MS MARB (VonZharen)

Summer 2014:

  • Benjamin Cooksey, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
  • Shannon Foye, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
  • Jason Greene, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
  • Marcel Marquette, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
  • Daniel McCullough, MML MAAL LO (Mileski)
  • Ryan Bare, MMR MARM (Brinkmeyer)
  • Emilie Johannes, MMR MARM (VonZharen)
  • Courtney Lee, MS MARB (Armitage)
  • Katie St. Clair, MS WFSC (Wells)
  • Landes Randall, MS WFSC (Rooker)
  • Ching Ping Lu, PhD WFSC (Alvarado)