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Carolyn Thoroughgood


Chair, MARACOOS Board of Directors and MARACOOS PI
Faculty Fellow, University of Delaware Environmental Institute


PhD (1968) Nutritional Biochemistry, University of Maryland-College Park
MS (1966) Nutritional Biochemistry, University of Maryland-College Park
BS (1965) Dean’s Scholar Program, Nutrition Sciences, University of Delaware.

Professional Overview

Carolyn Thoroughgood is Professor of Marine Science and Policy in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that is operated exclusively for scientific and educational purposes. She has been an active participant throughout the formation and implementation of the nation’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and serves on the Integrated Ocean Observing System Association Board.

Until 2010, Dr. Thoroughgood was a Special Assistant to the President and Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Delaware. In this capacity, she worked to establish the Delaware Health Science Alliance, a joint educational and research program involving the University of Delaware, Thomas Jefferson University, Christiana Care and Nemours.  

From 2004-2009 she held the positions of Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Delaware and President of the Delaware Technology Corporation.

From 1984 to 2004, she served as Dean of UD’s College of Marine Studies and Director of the Delaware Sea Grant College Program. As part of college administrative duties, Dr. Thoroughgood generated in excess of $80 million via external grants and private fund raising. In addition, she raised funding for the construction of UD’s new 146-foot, acoustically quiet, $19 million coastal research vessel, the R/V Hugh R. Sharp, now part of the nation’s University National Oceanography Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet.

Dr. Thoroughgood joined the UD faculty in 1968 as a nutritional biochemist and transitioned her focus to ocean issues through her Sea Grant research on the nutritional needs of bivalves reared in closed-environment systems. On the national scene, Dr. Thoroughgood was one of the organizers and officers of the Council on Ocean Affairs, a national organization of marine academic institutions that preceded the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL).  She served as CORE’s first Chair of the Board of Governors and was CORE’s Acting President from December 2001 to August 2002, when she also became the principal investigator on the first Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Central Coordinating Office proposal to the National Science Foundation.

From 2004 through 2010, she served on the Science Advisory Board (SAB) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She has served on Census for Marine Life and Ocean and Human Health Working Groups of the SAB and the Ocean and Human Health Traineeship Review Panel. She also served on the Science Advisory Panel to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the National Advisory Committee for COSEE. Dr. Thoroughgood served as President Elect, President and Past President of The Oceanography Society (TOS) from 2005-2010 and continues her service to TOS through several advisory roles. 

Additionally, she currently is a Faculty Fellow for the Southeastern University Research Association (SURA), following a decade of service on SURA’s Executive Committee and Chair of SURA’s Coastal Research Committee. 

Selected honors and awards

(1) Leadership Award, American Council on Education, Office of Women in Higher Education, 2007; (2) Gubernatorial Citation for Founding Marine Educator Award in Delaware, 2000; (3) State of Delaware General Assembly Citation for Founding Coast Day in Delaware, (1996): note: Coast Day now in 39th year; University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award (1974).

Current Grant Awards

NOAA, “Towards a Comprehensive Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS)” S. Glenn, C. Thoroughgood, W. Boicourt, W. Brown, and L. Atkinson. Funded 1 June 2011-31 May 2016; Adjusted Yr. 5 funding: $448,795. (Grant)

NOAA, “Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS): Preparing for a Changing Mid-Atlantic” S. Glenn, C. Thoroughgood, G. Kuska, and M. Crowley. 1 June 2016 – 31 May 2021; Yr 1 = $2,365,375; subcontract to UD Regional Association Management and Outreach for Yr 1 = $660,000. (Cooperative Agreement)


The Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System

Current Teaching Responsibilities

Learn about Dr. Thoroughgood's current teaching responsibilities

Carolyn Thoroughgood - Selected Publications / Presentations

A list of select publications / presentations for Dr. Thoroughgood


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography: 302-831-2294 • Geology: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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