Spring 2013

Campus Scene

Aboard the Coral Sea

Getting to study oceanography at the undergraduate level is pretty rare. Even more unusual? Having access to a 90-foot fully equipped floating laboratory. The Coral Sea offers just that.

students aboard the Coral Sea

Here, students enrolled in professor Tim Mulligan’s Fisheries 435 course process specimens collected during an early-morning sea cruise.

  • Oceanography students, along with classmates from Biology, Fisheries, Wildlife and other majors, conduct their own research projects while working one-on-one with expert faculty.
  • At sea, students learn to use trawls, plankton nets, sediment grab samplers, sonar and other oceanographic sampling equipment. By the time they graduate, Oceanography students usually log around 100 hours at sea.
  • Annually, nearly 500 students participate in teaching and research cruises in Humboldt Bay and offshore of Humboldt County.
  • Since 2010, students have been contributing to coastal monitoring in a collaborative effort between HSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The work bridges a major historical gap in monitoring the northern section of the California Coastal System.
  • The Coral Sea includes two winches, a crane and scientific dry and wet labs. It can hold 25 scientists plus five crewmembers, with sleeping quarters for 12 and a galley.