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 pre-college students and teachers.

Research and education activities at GCRL are conducted through one academic department, the Department 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.

GCRL Beginnings

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.

Field of Focus
Marine Aquaculture