CMS News

CMS News

Message from the Executive Director

I hope the semester is off to a great start for you and your students. This year promises to be an exciting one for coastal and marine sciences at UNCW. 

With the launch of the new Coastal Engineering program in the Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, planned for the fall, UNCW will become the first university in the country to offer a Bachelor of Science degree focused on coastal engineering. The program will further solidify UNCW’s position as an international leader in coastal and marine science education and research. 

This issue of Coastal and Marine Science News recognizes some of the accomplishments and endeavors of our colleagues during December and January. These highlights offer a glimpse at the tremendous impact UNCW coastal and marine science programs have in our community and around the world.

We have a lot to look forward to in the year ahead - here’s to happy and productive 2019!

- Aswani Volety

CMS & Partners

Remembering Dr. Marvin K. Moss

We received the sad news in January that Dr. Moss passed away. The road leading to the CREST Research Park, which now includes the CMS building, the Shellfish Research Hatchery and MARBIONC, was named Marvin K. Moss Lane in his honor. (more)

CMS Events: Save the Date!

Planet Ocean Seminar was on February 12, 2019; Speaker was Stephen Murphey, Director of the NC Division of Marine Fisheries and UNCW alumni.

CMS Graduate Student Poster Session: April 30, 2019 at PM in the CMS William S. Sission Hall of Exploration (lobby).


In the wake of Hurricane Florence MarineQuest visited 30 schools, reached 2,807 and traveled 1640.8 miles with free hurricane themed programing. (more)

MarineQuest is hosting two Professional Development Workshops for students and volunteers of CMS! This is a FREE opportunity to learn from experts tips and tricks for success in the real world!

March 22, 2:30-3:30 PM : Speed Networking and Interview Skills with TED speaker, six-time author, and UNCW Director of Employee Leadership, Learning & Engagement Molly Nece.

April 5, 10:00-11:00 AM: Resume Skills with Career Development Counselor Charles Ozuna.

Stay tuned for more detailed information! Workshops will be taking place in the MarineQuest lab, room 1208. If you have questions, please contact Nina Sassano,

Outreach, Recognition & Other Notables

Science and Art Collide

Melissa Smith, CMS Scientific Illustrator, was included in the annual “The Arts Issue” of WILMA Magazine. (more)


Alison Taylor (Biology and Marine Biology) was featured for “We Are UNCW.” (more)

PhD Research Recovery

A news piece on Katie Reed’s (PhD Student) research aired on WWAY as she was forced by hurricane Florence to travel back to Antarctica to recollect data. (more)

New Blog from NC SeaGrant

In early December 2018, Scott Baker (NC SeaGrant; CMS) and colleagues launched their new blog "Hook Line & Science" with artistic support from Melissa Smith (CMS). (more)

Fishermen Course from NC SeaGrant 

Scott Baker (NC SeaGrant; CMS), North Carolina Sea Grant and partners are offering a new course Introductory Fisheries Science for Fishermen. The course will run Tuesday nights from Feb. 12 through March 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. One local speaker will be Fred Scharf (BMB). (more)

New Mariculture Teamwork

Oyster HatcheryThe Shellfish Research Hatchery (Ami Wilbur, Director) is mentioned in a Coastal Review Online article for helping secure a grant to help with new mariculture efforts in our region. (more)

They also spoke about upcoming oyster issues in another article, "Session Ahead: Oysters, Storm Damage, PFAS." (more)

Marine Mammal Stranding Program

Ann Pabst & her team with the Marine Mammal Stranding Program (BMB) were featured by several news outlets for their efforts related to a sei whale that was stranded on a local beach. (more)

NC Oyster Restoration

Troy Alphin (BMB, CMS) was featured in the Port City Daily article on “Bringing back North Carolina Oysters." (more)

Study Abroad: Belize

Jack Hall (Environmental Sciences), Troy Alphin (BMB and CMS) and Martin Posey (BMB and CMS) had another very successful study abroad experience in Belize in January. (more)

Student Thesis Work

Student, Katie Chartrand (BMB), who studied the coral Siderastrea radians in Florida Bay for her MS thesis work at UNCW, was noted for ongoing work on coral restoration. (more)


Larry Cahoon (BMB) was featured in a Star News article about GenX. (more)

Song of the Whale

On January 17, the RV Song of the Whale embarked on the first leg of a research cruise aimed at understanding the distribution and behavior of deep-diving cetaceans (especially beaked and sperm whales) on the outer continental shelf of North and South Carolina. Aboard this first leg is Master’s student, Laura Murley (BMB), and Research Associate, William McLellan (BMB). (more)