The year 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the official implementation of the Oceanography group at the Federal University of Santa Catarina. This growing maturity is recognized with the creation of a Special Oceanography Coordination (OCN – which has department status) at the Center for Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM) which includes the Undergraduate Course in Oceanography and the Postgraduate Program. Degree in Oceanography (Master’s Course). With that, the 57 years of existence of UFSC, reveal diverse efforts in the search for excellence, which have been consolidating the institution as an important center of production and transmission of knowledge in the area of Oceanography.
This structuring action of nucleation of the Oceanography group, in a center in the area of Exact and Earth Sciences, added to the growing increase in the establishment of laboratories and research groups related to the subject, in the last ten years, has placed UFSC in a prominent scenario national level, enhancing the offer to those interested in entering the graduate level an opportunity for training focused on the study, handling and management of the components, processes and resources of the marine environment and its transition zones.
Recognition of the importance of the sea and the coastal zone for Santa Catarina society is revealed, among others, in the large number of academic works that are developed by the most diverse departments of UFSC and in the initiative to create an umbrella structure that houses the group of Oceanography. Despite the institution having a critical mass working in Oceanography, it was spread across different academic units, making integration difficult. Added to this, among the major areas of knowledge, Earth Sciences (which traditionally includes Oceanography) is the one with the greatest need for postgraduate courses at UFSC.
In the quest to reverse this situation, historically two efforts aimed at greater integration between UFSC researchers dedicated to Sea Science and in particular to Oceanography stand out:
– The first was the activities carried out between 2003 and 2005 by the group called “MARUFSC”, which included a group of professors and UFSC employees who worked in matters related to the sea and who spontaneously joined the group. The main objective of MARUFSC was to create institutional channels that would facilitate the integration and dissemination of information about the coastal zone and the marine environment within UFSC. MARUFSC integrated around 50 professors and technical-administrative staff and promoted workshops in which the community of UFSC professors involved with issues related to the sea had the opportunity to exchange experiences and disseminate their research.
– The second, which was somehow made possible by the aforementioned group, was the creation of the Bachelor of Oceanography course at UFSC, whose first class began its studies in March 2008 and graduated in the second half of 2012. On that occasion, about half of the graduates were approved in master’s courses outside Santa Catarina, as there are no master’s courses in the area in the state.
Throughout the implementation of the undergraduate course, new professors were hired to work in the areas of Physical, Chemical, Biological, Geological and Coastal Oceanography, making it possible to create a solid body of professors with specific expertise in the area of Oceanography. Naturally, these professors aspired to develop guidance activities at the postgraduate level and, with that, create opportunities for training and consolidating their research teams. Additionally, throughout 2017, this staff was expanded with two more teaching vacancies for the Oceanography Group (Chemical Oceanography – hired and Geological Oceanography to be hired in 2018).
Considering the lack of an academic unit specifically focused on Oceanography at UFSC, the Department of Geosciences – until 2017 at the Center for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CFH) – brought together professors who worked with the abiotic aspects of Oceanography, qualifying to host the creation of the Graduate Program in Oceanography. The department contributed to the formation of the teaching staff of the postgraduate course, with eleven professors, six of whom are active/graduated from the Research Line “Coastal Oceanography and Marine Geology” from the postgraduate course in Geography at UFSC.
Externally, the creation of a Graduate Program in Oceanography at UFSC was favored by government actions, such as the Sectorial Plan for Sea Resources (PSRM) of the Interministerial Commission for Sea Resources (CIRM) and the National Coastal Management Plan (PNGC). Both formally recognize the need to promote the incorporation of sea resources into the Brazilian socio-economic reality. The PSRMs, in particular, have also recognized that undergraduate teaching institutions, postgraduate programs and research groups dedicated to the sea in the country continue to fall short of the needs to promote integrated knowledge of the Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEE) and the Brazilian Legal Continental Platform (Amazônia Azul).
Thus, just as in 2006 a commission composed of professors was created by the Dean of Undergraduate Education to develop the pedagogical project that resulted in the creation of the Bachelor of Oceanography course, in 2012 the same was done by the Dean of Graduate Studies -Graduation for the elaboration of a Graduate Program in Oceanography at UFSC.
The same Pro-Rectory, with the aim of qualifying the proposal, subsidized the visit of the Coordinator of the Geosciences Area of CAPES to UFSC at the end of 2012, at which time various aspects of the project under development were discussed. This practice became a constant, where the program encouraged the arrival of the sub-coordinator or the area coordinator in the following years (2015, 2016 and 2017).
In March 2014, CAPES approved the Master’s Course in Oceanography at UFSC, with grade 3, which is part of the Graduate Program in Oceanography. In 2014, the first selection of students was carried out, with the first group consisting of eleven students, mostly graduates from the Oceanography course at UFSC and UNIVALI. From this class, 6 students obtained their master’s degree in an average period of 27 months (ranged from 23 to 33 months). In the class of 2016, 13 students from different parts of the South/Southeast of Brazil (UFSC, UNIVALI and UFPR) joined, one foreigner (Haiti), and three students defended it within 24 months, in early 2018. And in 2017, there were 24 students also from different regions of Brazil (RS, SC, PR, SP, BA, DF, MG) and one foreign student (Ecuador).
In order to encourage the development and consolidation of the course, UFSC/PROPG, in 2015, made it possible to hire four (04) visiting professors (two Brazilians and two foreigners) who remained in the faculty until 2017. Of these, one remains as a volunteer teacher. This number initially reduced the permanent professors/total number of professors ratio, but at the same time enabled the arrival of new professionals who, with their experience and production, helped to consolidate both undergraduate and graduate courses in Oceanography at UFSC. In 2015 there was also the incorporation of a visiting professor with a level 2 Research Productivity grant and a collaborating professor to the PPG. In 2017, another professor was enrolled in the Chemical Oceanography program,
Additionally, the program currently has five postdoctoral fellows, one of whom is linked to the CAPES National Post-Doctoral Program (PNPD), one to the CAPES IODP Brazil Program, one linked to a project financed by ANP-PETROBRAS, one to the INCT MAR COI and a CNPQ over-the-counter scholarship (junior post-doctorate).
In 2017, with the migration to the Center for Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM), the program achieved infrastructure improvements in its secretariat to support teachers and students (20m2), as well as having a specific classroom for the development of disciplines. The group of professors now has an available area of approximately 600 m2 for offices, laboratories and the students’ permanence area. This year FINEP approved the consolidation of a building at UFSC, where around 1000 m2 will be available for the Oceanography group at UFSC and consequently for PPGOceano, with forecast to be ready in 2019.