Sea and Sand

School work can be a morning on the water or a day at the beach for Department of Marine and Environmental Systems students. That's where many try out their design projects, literally getting their feet wet in the real world of engineering. From a boat and beneath the waves in gear, they test the technology they've created, like the GECCO and Wing Wave II, which can power coastal and island communities. Or the "Bobcat" crawler, which picks up waste products from the sea floor. Underwater is a great time to get up close and personal with marine life, including the giant groupers that hang out off the coast. Some students get sand between their toes surveying the dynamic nature of Brevard County dunes and beaches or wading in to check water quality. The effort in all that sunshine and fresh air is worth it when students show off their projects and give scientific papers at the annual Field Project Symposium each July. The applause feels good as does a job well done.