Christia Hewlett is a teacher at Sheridan Hills Christian School where she teaches Marine Biology and Middle School Integrated Science. She received her a Bachelor’s in Science in Biology and a certificate in Environmental Studies from Indiana University. She is currently finishing her twelfth year of teaching and is completing her M.A in Integrated Technology from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to her teaching, she enjoys learning about Florida ecosystems by participating in Florida Master Naturalist Program courses. She leads a school 4H club and enjoys helping students learn about science through hands-on learning. If she is not working she can be found enjoying Florida's National Parks, reading or spending time with her husband and daughter at the soccer field.






Dr. Joe Lopez gave an overview talk on the DEEPEND Consortium and the Lopez lab to the NSU Lifelong Learning Institute titled "The DEEPEND Consortium Project: Characterization of Pelagic Life in the Gulf of Mexico Six Years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill"

The talk was well attended by 25-30 learners.  Many questions were asked about the fate of the oil from the spill, what energy 'powered' bioluminescence, and what the term 'pelagic' means. 

You can learn more about the Lifelong Learning Institute here.


Dr. Heather Judkins, Co-PI, spoke with WTUL news at the GoMOSES conference in Tampa, Florida about deep water squid collected during the DEEPEND project.  Listen to the interview here and her strategy on how to uncover what role squid are playing in a 4000 square kilometer area off the Mississippi Canyon where sperm whales have not been feeding.





Dr. Tracey Sutton, Director and Principal Investigator of the Deep Pelagic Nekton Dynamics Consortium, was interviewed by COMPASS.  COMPASS's vision is to see more scientists engage, and engage effectively, in the public discourse about the environment. Through trainings, coaching, and real-world connections, Compass empowers researchers to build the communications skills, networks, and relationships they need to realize this vision.

You can read the entire blog post at this link.



"Exploring the Gulf of Mexico Teacher Workshop" sponsored by the DEEPEND team happened on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 at the NSU Oceanographic Center in Dania Beach, Florida.  Sixteen secondary science teachers and the DEEPEND team started early at 8:30am and the teachers had a knowledge-learning packed day full of of background information and practicing activities to bring back to their classrooms. These teachers are invited to become one of our two teachers-at-sea this year aboard the Point Sur for our 2 research cruises exploring the deep waters of the GoM.  Stay tuned to hear who gets selected to join us!  See photos of the workshop on our outreach page.



The annual Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference will be held in Tampa, Florida February 1-4, 2016 and will be attended by all DEEPEND PI's and many consortium members.  A list of talks given by DEEPEND member cans be found here and the event schedule for the conference can be found here

 The 2016 conference theme, “One Gulf: healthy ecosystems, healthy communities,” will focus on opportunities to promote and sustain a healthy Gulf environment, communities, and economy, including new discoveries, innovations, technologies, and policies. A strong emphasis this year will be placed on the human dimensions of oil spill in addition to the ecosystem science research that has led past conferences.

DEEPEND researchers found three specimens of a new species of anglerfish, Lasiognathus dinema, at depths between 3,200 and 4,900 feet in the northern Gulf of Mexico.   The website named the anglerfish as their #1 favorite species discovered in 2015.  The video can be viewed here:

Anglerfish all have unique appendages extending from their heads that are used to lure prey. This new species has a particularly funky, fishing pole–like barbel on its noggin that also produces light.

“Finding this new species reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete,” says study co-author Tracey Sutton, a marine ecologist. “Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home.

Dr. Matthew Johnston gave a seminar on DEEPEND data management and visualization at the OceanTeacher Global Academy hosted by Nova Southeastern University on November 19th, 2015. 

OceanTeacher is a comprehensive web-based training system that supports Classroom training (face-to-face), Blended training (combining classroom and distance learning), online tutoring and online self-learning.

OceanTeacher has been developed as a training system for ocean data managers (working in ocean data centres), marine information managers (marine librarians) as well as for marine researchers who wish to acquire knowledge on data and/or information management. In addition OceanTeacher is being used for training in other related disciplines.

Dr. Johnston's talk was recorded and can be viewed here