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College of Arts & Sciences
Baruch Institute

Research & Education

Research and Education are each best served when synergy occurs - a constant creative dynamic leading to new discovery and greater understanding and forging relationships that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Research Focus

As our name implies, our research focus is on estuarine and coastal sciences and is inclusive of biological, geological, chemical, physical, and hydrological processes, and the influences, interactions, and synergies among these. The overarching themes are coastal systems, global change, and food webs.  Learn more about the breadth of our research.  Our research contributes to scientific knowledge and the databases and publications specific to North Inlet provide context for new studies and comparative analyses with other systems. 

Research Sites

North Inlet Estuary—our primary research site—is an environmentally unique location that offers incredible research opportunities. Because of its essentially pristine habitat and water qualities, it serves as a sentinel site for climate change and provides the increasingly rare opportunity for scientists to assess impacts associated with human activities.  Our studies of North Inlet span the molecular to landscape level of organization and temporal scales from short term (hours) to long term (decades).  Other systems, local and throughout the world are studied by Institute researchers and Associates. These include a variety of coastal, estuarine, and tidal freshwater systems in SC, in the US, and internationally. 

See Primary & Other Research Sites for more information.


The Baruch Institute does not award academic degrees; however, we recognize that research must be a partner of education.  We welcome academic classes for field experiences and provide undergrauate and graduate students with opportunities to pursue their research interests.  Educational programs are offered for a range of constituencies, including secondary school students, personnel associated with agencies and organizations engaged in resource management. nature and environmental groups, and the general public. 


We are proud to offer the following fellowships to USC graduate students conducting marine research with the Baruch Institute.   Students in biology, chemistry, environmental health, geology, geography, and marine science are eligible to apply.  

Application period and award are once per year in the Spring.  For further information please contact the Baruch Institute (803-777-5288,


                                               Application form and information


 The F. John Vernberg Bicentennial Fellowship
 in Marine Science

The fellowship will provide an award of $1,000 to a University of South Carolina Master’s or a Ph.D. student whose research is being conducted with the Baruch Institute and is in the subject of marine science.  The award may be used for any educational purpose.


The F. John Vernberg Graduate Fellowship
in Marine Science

The fellowship will provide an award of $1,000 to a University of South Carolina graduate student who has completed all of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, except for the dissertation, in the subject of marine science.  The student’s research will have been conducted with the Baruch Institute.  The award may be used for any educational purpose.


F. John Vernberg  

Dr. Vernberg accepted an invitation and a challenge in 1969 to be the founding Director of the newly formed Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences.  Showing vision and tenacity, he developed it into a world class research Institute during his 27 years as its Director.  He was also an educator and the driving force behind the genesis of USC’s interdisciplinary Marine Science Program.  His scientific contributions have helped advance numerous aspects of the marine ecology and coastal sciences fields.  In all aspects of his career, he shared his enthusiasm with students, faculty, and the public.  His pioneering efforts have promoted and expanded the concept of sustainable resource management within and beyond the state of South Carolina.  Our sincerest thanks are extended to him for his guidance and inspiration.