Tracy A. Fanara



Tracy A. Fanara

BSEN '15, ME '10, PhD '15 |  St. Petersburg, FL


Tracy Fanara, BSEN '15, ME '10, PhD '15, is a hydrologist, storm chaser, oceanographer, public speaker and award-winning science communicator. Driven by a passion to protect wildlife (and humans), Tracy takes a multidisciplinary approach to any project, problem, or research question. She has designed stormwater systems and performed flood analyses throughout the world. She has developed water treatment technology, watershed-scale low impact designs, aquaponics for space travel, and citizen science programs with over 1.6million users to obtain publicly available environmental data. 

While at UF, Tracy was the design engineer on two nationally winning EPA Challenge design teams, was a National Science Foundation SPICE fellow, and was selected as a United States Presidential Management Fellow. Tracy managed the Environmental Health research program at Mote Marine Laboratory where she designed and developed models, tools, and programs to protect wildlife and water quality.

Tracy gained international media recognition due to her expertise in stormwater hydrology/nutrient transport and her research on blooms of a toxic algal species (commonly known as Florida red tide) during the 2018 Florida Water crises while leading the Environmental Health research program at Mote Marine Laboratory. Tracy is now the Coastal Modeling Portfolio Manager for the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she manages coastal and ocean modeling efforts to better predict earth systems and threats to human lives and livelihoods. 

Tracy leads Mission Tampa Bay, a DoD funded STEM camp for Middle and High school girls, and works with educators and industry to build K-12 curriculum throughout the US. Tracy spends weekends helping her wildlife expert friends rescue alligators, tag sharks, and catch invasive species. You may have seen Tracy on Discovery’s Shark Week or Mythbusters, Science Channel, National Geographic, Weather Channel, History Channel, HBO, Disney+, Fox or CBS; in Marvels Unstoppable Wasp, as a finalist to go to the moon with SpaceX Starship, or as Xylem YSI’s Mission Water, Water Hero 2020.

Tracy currently lives in St. Petersburg, FL and will be serving her second term on the UFAA Board of Directors; her term expires 6/30/2026.