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Research Vessel Point Sur

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NSF Award:

Ship Operations  (San Jose State University Foundation)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Research Vessel Point Sur is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) for the San Jose State University Foundation as a part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet. UNOLS brings academic institutions and national laboratories involved in oceanographic research to coordinate the schedules of oceanographic ships and research facilities.

The 135-foot vessel's laboratories are run by a consortium of California State Universities. The Point Sur was built in 1980. Much of the ship’s marine research is conducted within the region of central California, and especially in Monterey Bay at the head of the deep undersea Monterey canyon. The Point Sur can accommodate 13 researchers and technicians and a crew of eight. For day cruises, it has a capacity of 40 researchers.

Education & Outreach

The Moss Landing Marine Laboratories has been successful in advancing the California State University's Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research and Education program and the Alliance for Coastal Technologies program. As a key partner in both these efforts, MLML has been funded (at no cost to NSF) to provide instrumentation for the underway measurement of surface water parameters (temperature, salinity, fluorescence, oxygen, and turbidity) from a number of vessels, including the R/V Point Sur. As part of the CI-CORE program surface water data will be formatted and made available to educators, scientists, policy makers and the public via the web. Images from cruises, together with data will provide a unique opportunity to share in the science of discovery and the processes contributing to the variability of the coastal ocean. At MLML, this data and images will be used in support of a Teacher's Education Program, providing marine science curricula to local K-12 educators.

Teaching cruises are another element of the program in which MLML and consortium faculty schedule time aboard the Point Sur for educational missions. Not only do consortium campuses take part in these cruises, but MLML makes additional space available for local groups to participate as well. Every year, scores of students are provided with unique opportunities through the operation of the Point Sur.

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  • Research vessel Point Sur