Marine and Environmental Systems
Teaching and Research Laboratories
DMES has marine laboratories and field research sites both on the Indian River Lagoon and at the Vero Beach oceanfront marine research facility. The Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center houses small research boats and supplies close to campus on Crane Creek in Melbourne.
The ocean engineering program's teaching and research facilities include a 10-meter indoor glass wave channel, a computer-aided design center, and computer facilities for data analysis, numerical modeling, and other teaching and research activities.
The Coastal Processes Laboratory provides facilities for core boring and sediment analysis, beach and hydrographic surveying, and oceanographic instrumentation for coastal research activities.
The Underwater Technologies Laboratory has a 500 square foot electronic workshop with all of the systems necessary to maintain the autonomous underwater vehicles.
Separate laboratories exist for biological, chemical, geological, physical and instrumentation investigations. The major emphasis in the biological oceanography laboratory is directed toward pelagic and benthic investigations. Available equipment for student and research needs include fluorometers, collection nets, trawls, grabs, photographic equipment and microscopes. A controlled environment room is operated within this laboratory. The Chemical Oceanography Laboratory is equipped to enable both routine and research-level analyses on open ocean and coastal lagoonal waters. Major and minor nutrients, heavy-metal contaminants and pollutants can be quantitatively determined. Analytical methods available include gas and liquid chromatography; infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light spectrophotometry; atomic absorption spectrometry; as well as the usual chemistry procedures. Equipment for investigation of physical chemistry of seawater is also available.
A 1,000-ft. sq. Coastal Processes Laboratory contains state-of-the-art equipment for the compositional and textural analysis of sediment and water samples, including a rapid sediment analyzer and computer-assisted sieve stations. High- and low-temperature ovens, PC-based computer work stations, and suspended sediment filtration systems are also available. In addition, the lab houses vibacore and sediment grab sampling equipment.
The Coastal Engineering/Hydrodynamics Laboratory supports graduate research in ocean waves, coastal processes, time-dependent circulation and pollutant transport. In addition, current meters, tide and wind recorders, salinometers, wave height gauges, a CTD system and other oceanographic instruments are available for field work.
The Remote Sensing and Environmental Optics Laboratory is equipped with terrestrial and aquatic spectrometers for use from ship and aircraft, optical calibration instruments, and a state-of-the-art image processing facility with GIS and satellite data acquisition capability for teaching and research.
Just a few minutes from campus, where Crane Creek meets the Indian River Lagoon near downtown Melbourne, the Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center houses small outboard-powered craft and medium-sized workboats. These vessels are available to students and faculty for teaching and research use in the freshwater tributaries and the lagoon.
An oceanfront marine research facility, the Vero Beach Marine Laboratory , is located at Vero Beach, just 40 minutes from campus. Laboratory and office space total approximately 4,500 square feet. Flowing seawater allows research in such areas as aquaculture, biofouling and corrosion. Also, a platform that is used for instrumentation/research has been established in the Indian River Lagoon.
The department maintains a close working relationship with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI), of Florida Atlantic University, located about one hour from campus, between Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce; with the Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC); and the Hubbs Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI). Scientists and engineers from HBOI, HSWRI and CMRC interact with Florida Tech's students and faculty, and make their facilities and expertise available in directing student research.