About the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is a marine/ coastal research and education enterprise sited in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and is a unit of The University of Southern Mississippi‘s College of Science and Technology. GCRL has a workforce of 200 faculty, researchers, graduate students and support staff. Research at GCRL is multidisciplinary and applications-oriented with a focus on sustainable coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens. Education opportunities span graduate degree programs in coastal sciences, undergraduate field courses in marine biology and hands-on discovery programs for precollege students and teachers.
Research and education activities at GCRL are conducted through one academic department, the Division of Coastal Sciences, and three centers.
- Center for Fisheries Research and Development
- Marine Education Center
- Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center
The GCRL derives less than 25% of its budget from a state line-item appropriation and the remainder from grants, contracts and self-generated funds with a direct $12-15 million annual contribution to the region.
- Reestablishing research and education programs following Hurricane Katrina Aug. 29, 2005
- Responsiveness to federal and state agencies needs for coastal environmental and resource research
- Consolidating GCRL programs that are in the forefront of the nation's marine aquaculture research and development into the new Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center
- Continuing the $40M expansion of the Cedar Point site with facilities for marine aquaculture and environmental research and marine education
- Research on various topics in the marine and coastal sciences including effects of nanoparticles on marine organisms at the molecular level, population genetics of key fish species, geospatial investigations of land cover/land use, restoration ecology, aquatic animal health and marine microbiology
The GCRL Enterprise
- coordinates multidisciplinary, applications-oriented research;
- operates centers of excellence and national research and development programs in fisheries, geospatial technologies, marine aquaculture, environmental assessment and marine toxicology;
- offers doctoral and master's degree programs and a summer marine field program through the Division of Coastal Sciences;
- offers programs for the public and for pre-college students and teachers;
- is located on more than 50 acres in Ocean Springs, Missississippi;
- is expanding to a 224-acre site under development in Ocean Springs; and
- engages more than 200 faculty, technical staff, support staff and graduate students in marine research, education and service.
The Mississippi Academy of Sciences launched the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory with the opening of its first summer field program Aug. 29, 1947, at what is now Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs. The GCRL Summer Field Program has operated continuously since 1947.
The Mississippi Legislature officially established the Lab as a state institution and defined its operation and mission with legislation in 1948 and 1950.
For more on the history of GCRL, click here.