Perfit research area - People

I am a Professor of Geology and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Geological
Sciences. I have been at the University of Florida in Gainesville for the past 21 years
after spending 5 years as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University. I teach
both undergraduate and graduate classes and am a member of the Honors Faculty. My
specialty is igneous petrology and geochemistry and use my background in marine
geology to study the generation and evolution of oceanic crust. I have participated in
over 20 major oceanographic cruises and have had over 35 dives in the manned
submersible ALVIN and have been using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for the past
decade. Some of my most recent work has been done in conjunction with the folks at
MBARI like George Matsumoto (2:1).
I have been a member of the United States Science Advisory Committee (USSAC), the
Lithosphere Panel of the Joint Oceanographic Institutes and a panel member on the
Ocean Science Division of the National Science Foundation. I have also served as the
Chair of the Review Panel of the U.S. Science Support Program for NSF and the Chair of
the Deep Submergence Science Committee (DESSC). I currently serve on the Executive
Committee and Education and Outreach Committee of the RIDGE2000 program that
serves to direct, organize and support mid-ocean ridge scientific exploration, research and
education. Through the RIDGE program we have been trying to bring real-time marine
exploration into the K-12 classroom.
I have been working closely with Dr. Matt Smith who recently came to UF as a lecturer
from the American Geological Institute. He has a good deal of background in geoscience
education and has been developing new teaching methods and outreach programs at the
college level. I enjoy “guest” teaching in local K-9 classes and find the kids to be very
enthusiastic about earth science, but am concerned about the lack of any marine or
geoscience in the high schools. You wound think that in Florida, more people would be
interested in the oceans. I look forward to hearing the thoughts and experiences of many
of you who work in the “trenches”.