March 5, 2014 | CMAST

CMAST building from water

CMAST – The Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (Photo by Brandon Puckett)


Discovering innovative solutions to questions and problems in marine systems is the principal mission of the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST). CMAST provides effective communication of these discoveries by promoting multidisciplinary studies among research scientists, educators and extension specialists from the participating NC State University colleges, enhancing interaction with other educational institutions and agencies concerned with marine sciences and coastal natural resources, and providing a focal point for citizen contact with NC State University’s marine science and extension faculty. A description of CMAST’s research, extension and education activities and programs can be found online at, as well as via CMAST’s Facebook site and Newsletters.


CMAST (from D. Eggleston)

This past year we added several new staff and programs to CMAST. New staff members include Dr. Pat Curley, Regional Director of NC State University’s Science House education outreach program, and Dr. Roy Carter, Senior Director of Development for the North Carolina Marine Biotechnology Center of Innovation.

In addition, the new Deputy Director of NC Sea Grant and the NC Water Resources Research Institute, Dr. John Fear, is stationed at CMAST until he relocates to the main NC Sea Grant office in Raleigh. In 2013, there were 8 NC State resident and rotating faculty, three post-doctoral research scientists, three veterinary medicine (DVM) residents, 10 technical and professional staff, four support staff, and 10 graduate students.

At any given time, NC State has 40-45 personnel stationed at the facility. In addition, NC Sea Grant has one professional staff and one support staff. NC Cooperative Extension has six field staff and two support staff. CCC has 10 instructors and one support staff.

Programaticallly, CMAST will continue to conduct basic and applied research, education and extension activities in the following programs: (1) Seafood Technology, (2) Environmental Medicine and Marine Health, (3) Fisheries, (4) Marine Ecology and Conservation, (5) Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, and (5) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Education Outreach and Teacher Training. We will continue to offer graduate and undergraduate classes, K-12 educational activities, teacher-training, hands-on research experiences for high school and undergraduate students, and training of graduate students, veterinary medicine residents, and post-doctoral research associates. Some noteworthy activities for the CMAST facility and programs are provided below, followed by some noteworthy projects planned for 2014 by individual research programs.

Special Projects

Marine Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility (MMRI)

Moving CMAST and the U.S. to the forefront in the study of aquatic and marine adaptations to environmental changes, construction has been completed on the largest, horizontal bore magnetic resonance imaging facility dedicated to marine organisms in the United States. The MMRI Facility will be applied to research on whole organisms that are often living, as opposed to dead organisms or pieces of an organism, which has been the traditional approach in looking at environmental stressors on organism health. This facility has tremendous research potential in both academia and industry, and will help to transform our understanding of the effects of environmental stressors on the ocean’s biota.

Coastal and Marine Sciences Self-Assessment

This year, we took a very close look at how we’ve been doing, and how we can do even better. A reporting and evaluation exercise designed to assess strengths and improve all ways that Coastal and Marine Science programs can further partner and leverage their resources was conducted this year. During 2013, CMAST hosted a site visit by an external review team that was contracted by the University of North Carolina General Administration and led by the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).

The (i) Self-Assessment for NC State’s Coastal and Marine Sciences and the (ii) AAAS Report are available on the CMAST web-site. During 2013-14, CMAST faculty have been working with other faculty from NC State University, as well as faculty from other UNC-System Marine Science Programs (UNCW, UNC-CH, ECU, ECSU, Coastal Studies Institute) to identify areas of strength that we can build upon, critical resources needed, and any redundancies with other UNC-System Coastal and Marine Science Programs.

We have implemented a plan to accomplish these goals. A final report will be delivered to UNC General Administration in March 2014 that outlines the Mission, Goals and Objectives for next steps in this effort.

Marine Mammal Stranding Program (Dr. Vicky Thayer, Research Associate)

Marine Fisheries Ecology (Dr. Jeff Buckel, Professor)

Marine Ecology and Conservation (Dr. David Eggleston, Professor)

Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (Dr. Pat McClellan-Green, Research Associate Professor)

Seafood Safety & Technology (Dr. David Green, Professor)

Marine Health Program (Dr. Craig Harms, Associate Professor)

Marine Metabolomics (Dr. Michael Stoskopf, Professor)

The Science House at CMAST (Dr. Patrick Curley, Director of Educational Outreach)

The Satellite office of The Science House at CMAST is a division of the NCSU College of Sciences that partners with CMAST, community outreach resources, K-12 schools and community leaders to leverage resources, develop grants, create teacher professional development, and provide youth outreach programs that inspire public awareness of coastal research issues and increasing the STEM instruction in classrooms and motivating students towards coastal based STEM careers.

More information about The Science House can be found at

North Carolina Marine Biotechnology Center of Innovation (Dr. Roy Carter, Senior Director of Development)

The Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation (MBCOI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, with satellite offices in Morehead City (CMAST) and Research Triangle Park. MBCOI was created to focus specifically on the market potential and translation of marine-related research in North Carolina into products and services. These include the following diverse areas for development:

MBCOI’s mission is to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies by uniting stakeholders in marine research both domestically and internationally. During 2014, the NC MBCOI shall:

  1. Foster unity among North Carolina stakeholders in marine biotechnology
  2. Serve as a liaison for researchers throughout academia and industry
  3. Provide a mechanism for scientific exchange through focused workshops and meetings
  4. Identify opportunities for collaborative, multidisciplinary research
  5. Stimulate economic development by assisting with the expansion of current organizations and creation of new enterprises
  6. Promote an international identity for North Carolina’s efforts in marine science.

See more at the MBCOI website.

Comments are closed.