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Monterey Peninsula College
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Oceanography, Biology, Fisheries, Natural Resources

College or University: Humboldt State University

Type of degree: B.S.

Brief overview of program: Humboldt State University Marine Lab. The Humboldt State University Marine Lab (HSU ML) is located in Trinidad, California. The facility serves the community of Humboldt State University (HSU), the main campus is located 14 miles south in Arcata. HSU ML serves local and regional scientists from other universities, local, state and federal government agencies and NGO’s, university and K-12 students from outside HSU and the community at large of Northern California. HSU is the only rural university campus of the 23 California State University system schools and has a well-deserved reputation for high quality science programs. HSU has always offered outstanding undergraduate instruction. Over the past twenty years successful graduate education and independent research have been the focus of the HSU ML. The primary mission of this marine laboratory is to support undergraduate and graduate students with wide ranging opportunities to carry out their own independent research projects. From its inception, HSU’s Marine Laboratory has had a student-centered research mission; it has been very successful at this mission for the past 43 years. Located on a 100 ft. bluff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, HSU ML was constructed in 1964 at an original size of 7,400 sq. ft. on 1.3 acres. In 1975, it was expanded to 16,208 sq. ft. adding additional research spaces, support spaces and offices with funds from the university.

Website: Click here for program website

Tuition (2007):In State: $1,923, Out of State: $5,991

Number of students enrolled in 2007: 250

Where do most of the students go upon graduating or leaving the program?
Continue Education: 35% | Enter Workforce: 35% | Do not know: 30%

Program of Study:

Description of Facilities: HSU ML is supplied with the typical equipment (analytic balances, centrifuges, etc.) and materials (glassware, microscopes, etc.) required for marine biology, fisheries, mariculture and oceanographic instruction and research. More specialized major instrumentation include: UV-Vis double beam spectrophotometer, Technicon Auto Analyzer, gas chromatograph, high capacity liquid scintillation counter, laser particle analyzer, x-ray machine, freeze dryer, HPLC, electrophoresis set ups, electrophysiological recording equipment, and several research grade inverted and polarizing microscopes. New dissecting microscopes and a compound microscope with phase interference optics, fluorescence, and digital video and photomicrography capability are also available for faculty and students. Underwater video cameras, (VHS, High -8, and digital) underwater still cameras (film and digital) and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (Deep Oceans: Phantom 300 XL, with 75m and 330 m umbilical) are also available at HSU ML for faculty and student use. Thirty high-quality dissecting microscopes and 30 high-quality compound microscopes purchased by the university in 1996 are in classrooms for students. The 120,000 gallon recirculating seawater system supplies seawater to the wet lab, classroom and wet research labs with high-quality, filtered, chilled seawater. Seawater is pumped from Trinidad Bay into two 50,000 gallon storage tanks above the Laboratory. Seawater is gravity fed to a sump, then pumped through sand filters before distribution throughout the facility. The seawater system was renovated in 1998 with new high-rate sand filters, pumps and chiller units, and can now maintain water temperatures at approximately 11-120C (local ambient) throughout the year. Prior to installation of these chiller units, system temperatures often reached 170C during September-October, temperatures unsuitable for long-term holding of many local cold water marine organisms. The lab operates 12 small outboard boats and a 90-foot, ocean-going research vessel, the R.V. Coral Sea . The R.V. Coral Sea is used extensively for class field trips, field research opportunities and experience. Ship costs are paid for from internal HSU funds for teaching and student research. The vessel maintains an active contract schedule for HSU faculty and outside scientists paid from their grants or contracts. The R.V. Coral Sea is a well equipped modern support vessel for all types of offshore projects. Many R.V. Coral Sea projects involve the collection of local marine fauna and flora that are then maintained at HSU ML. The open access (visitors, students, and faculty) computer lab (175 square feet, room #117) has six desktop computers (purchased 2004) for use by students and visiting scientists. They are equipped with typical software, scanners and printers. High speed wired internet connections are accessible from these computers and from all laboratories and offices. In 1998, the Laboratory was connected to campus with a T1 line, which has made telephone and internet communication through our server fast and efficient. The lecture rooms and conference room are equipped with internet connected laptops and video projectors for lectures. The telecommunications equipment and servers were upgraded in 2006. The Marine Lab needs wireless internet services installed for faculty, visitors and students.

Program Faculty: Eric Bjorkstedt, PhD. Adjunct Professor of Fisheries Biology and research scientist with NOAA Fisheries SW Science Center – fisheries oceanography, modeling Jeffry C. Borgeld, PhD, Professor of Oceanography - geological and near-shore processes Milton J. Boyd, PhD, Professor of Zoology - marine and benthic Ecology Sean F. Craig, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology - invertebrate zoology, molecular ecology Greg Crawford, PhD, Associate Professor of Oceanography - physical oceanography John DeMartini, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biology - invertebrate zoology, parasitology, science education. Hal Genger, MS, Lecturer, Oceanography and Fish Biology P. Dawn Goley, PhD, Associate Professor of Zoology - marine mammals and behavioral ecology David G. Hankin, PhD, Professor of Fisheries and Interim Director, TML – fish population dynamics, marine fisheries management, sampling theory Andrew Kinziger, PhD, Assistant Professor of Fisheries – ichthyology, phylogenetics Edward Metz, PhD, Associate Professor of Zoology - invertebrate evolutionary genetics Helen Mulligan, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Fisheries Biology - ecological genetics, larval fish development Timothy J. Mulligan, PhD, Professor of Fisheries - ecology, life history and culture of marine fishes Peter Nelson, PhD, Adjunct Professor (pending) of Fisheries Biology and Humboldt-DelNorte Marine Fisheries Advisor, U.C. Sea Grant – marine fisheries ecology and conservation Susan Schlosser, MS, Faculty Associate in Fisheries Biology and Humboldt-Menodino Marine Advisor, U.C. Sea Grant - sea urchin growth, nutrition, and reproduction Frank J. Shaughnessy, PhD, Associate Professor of Botany - marine phycology, freshwater algae

Student Support: Yes, see Financial Aid Web page on campus website

Program Point of Contact: Scott Quackenbush


Department: Humboldt State University Marine Lab

Institution address: HSU Marine Lab PO Box 690
                             Trinidad,CA 95570

Phone: 707-826-3685


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .