Marine Science Associates, Inc.

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Oceanographic Services and Meeting Planning

Mark E. Luther, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Marine Science Associates, Inc. Dr. Luther received his doctoral degree in Physical Oceanography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982.  Dr. Luther is an Associate Professor and director of the Center for Maritime and Port Studies ( and the Ocean Modeling and Prediction Lab ( in the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, where he co-directs the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (  Dr. Luther's research involves the combination of real-time ocean observations with numerical models of ocean currents and processes and their application to various problems ranging from port operations and infrastructure, to water quality in estuaries, and to variability in large-scale ocean circulation and its relation to climate change. He provides operation and maintenance support for the Tampa Bay Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (TB-PORTS) through Marine Science Associates, Inc. Dr. Luther is the author of more than 116 publications (68 in peer-reviewed journals) on various aspects of marine science and has presented invited lectures at numerous national and international institutions and conferences. He is active in national and international scientific societies and is a past Secretary of the American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Section. He presently serves on the Tampa Bay Harbor Safety and Security Committee Vessel Movement Subcommittee, the DHS/USCG Area Maritime Security Committee for West Florida, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program Technical Advisory Committee, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Agency on Bay Management. He has served as a member of the World Climate Research Program Indian Ocean Climate Studies Panel, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment Indian Ocean Scientific Steering Committee, the National Research Council US National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, the Ocean Observing Subpanel of the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Board of Directors, and the U.S. Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Steering Committee. From 1996 to 2004, he served as the US National Delegate to the International Association for Physical Sciences of the Ocean (IAPSO). He was Chairman of the Marine Technology Society Florida Section (2004-2011) and was a founding partner of the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (, a NOAA-funded partnership of research institutions, resource managers, and private sector companies dedicated to fostering the development and adoption of effective and reliable sensors and platforms.  He holds a USCG Captain's License and has been operating boats since childhood.

Steven Meyers, Ph.D., received his doctoral degree in fluid mechanics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990. He has extensive experience in numerical modeling of ocean and estuarine circulation and in analysis of large oceanographic data sets. He has worked with versions of the Princeton Ocean Model in applications to water quality in Tampa Bay since 1999. Dr. Meyers is Technical Director for the Center for Maritime and Port Studies and Chief Scientist in the Ocean Modeling and Prediction Lab at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science.  His services are retained through Meyers Marine, LLC.

Sherryl A. Gilbert received her Master of Science degree in 2001 from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. Ms. Gilbert has extensive experience in statistical analyses of large oceanographic data sets, in oceanographic field support, and in logistical support for meetings and workshops. Ms. Gilbert is the Technical Director for the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE) at the USF College of Marine Science and works closely with deployment and maintenance of oceanographic instrumentation, especially for wave and current measurement.

Rick Cole received his BS in Oceanographic and Marine Technology from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in 1983. He has extensive experience in the field of physical oceanography and at-sea mooring deployments and is President of RDSea International ( RDSea specializes in air-sea interaction buoy systems, ADCP applications, mooring design, field operations and taking in-situ physical oceanographic measurements.  Rick was involved with NOAA in the 1980’s on tropical projects such as EPOCS, TOGA and the initial implementation of the TAO Program along the equator in the Pacific, has six-years with the NOAA Fleet and the Pacific Marine and Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, WA and continued work on NOAA programs in the tropics throughout the 90’s with USF’s College of Marine Science.   He formerly served as the Oceanographic and Diving Operations Coordinator for the University of South Florida’s Ocean Circulation Group and managed the offshore component of the State of Florida’s Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS).  A U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran, Senior Scientific Diver with the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, NOAA and the EPA, he has logged many miles on and under water.    

Jeff Scudder is the Field Engineer for the coastal component of the University of South Florida’s Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS).  He holds a BS in Marine Science from Stockton State College and a Certificate of Proficiency in Electrical Engineering Technology from Mercer County College.  He has over 15 years experience designing, installing and troubleshooting environmental data acquisition and telemetry systems.  Jeff also provides engineering support to the Alliance for Coastal Technologies Program and assists in technical aspects of sensor evaluation programs.




Mark E. Luther, Ph.D.


Rick Cole


Sherryl A. Gilbert