Graduate Student Recognized for Coastal Hypoxia Research

Thursday, May 3, 2012
In July of 2004, Myrtle Beach fishermen were startled to encounter scores of flounder clustered in ankle-deep water along the shoreline of the Grand Strand. While the huge catch of flatfish may have been good news for anglers, the reason for this flounder jubilee, as it came to be called, was worrying: A “dead zone” of extremely low levels of dissolved oxygen in offshore waters had forced the animals towards land. Coastal Carolina University (CCU) led the effort to launch a massive investigation into the causes and repercussions of such an event, known as hypoxia (hypo=lack of, oxia=oxygen). To this day, research into hypoxic incidents is continued by scientists from several state agencies and universities, including CCU graduate student Patrick Hutchins.