UConn Marine Enterprise
In addition to undergraduate and graduate programming, UConn Avery Point is home to the Department of Marine Sciences; the associated Marine Sciences and Technology Center; the Connecticut Sea Grant; the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaption (CIRCA);Project Oceanology and Mystic Aquarium Research Labs.
Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaption (CIRCA)
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is a partnership between the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The mission of CIRCA is to foster the resilience and sustainability of vulnerable communities along Connecticut’s coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change on the natural, built, and human environment. To achieve this mission, the Institute pairs the world-class research and outreach capabilities of UConn with the extensive practical experience of DEEP.
Connecticut Sea Grant
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant College Program is a unique partnership between the nation’s universities and its primary ocean agency, NOAA. The University of Connecticut is our Connecticut's Sea Grant College. Connecticut Sea Grant collaborates with maritime industries and coastal communities to identify needs, and to fund research, outreach, and educational activities that have special relevance to Connecticut and Long Island Sound. Their mission is to work toward achieving healthy coastal and marine ecosystems and consequent public benefits by supporting integrated locally and nationally relevant research, outreach, and education programs in partnership with stakeholders.
Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only beluga whales. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education, and research. A unique partnership between the University of Connecticut and Mystic Aquarium offers students hands-on research and internship opportunities with marine animals, conservation programs on the local marine environment, field trips to the Aquarium, and special courses. Mystic Aquarium’s research offices and laboratories are located in the Community and Professional Building on the Avery Point campus. The team’s conservation research focuses on the study of the health in threatened and endangered species, aquaculture of marine ornamental fishes, and ecology of coral reefs and marine protected areas.
Department of Marine Sciences
The Department of Marine Sciences offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are characterized by an interdisciplinary foundation, high faculty-to-student ratio, and individualized plans of study and research. UConn Avery Point offers the intimacy and support of a small campus, coupled with the resources of a top-notch public university and internationally renowned scientists.
The Marine Sciences faculty, staff, and students carry out cutting-edge research in oceanography using cross-disciplinary approaches. The Department maintains a fleet of small boats, the R/V Lowell Weicker (39 ft), and the flagship R/V Connecticut which is a custom designed 90 ft steel single screw research vessel. Other support for undersea research, technology, and education include an active SCUBA diving program and UConn’s Underwater Robotics Laboratory (uCURL). Marine Sciences faculty had 101 active research grants during FY18 valued in excess of $6.2 million.
Project O is a marine science and environmental education organization operated by a nonprofit association of schools, colleges, and other educational organizations. Project O offers customized science field trips for school groups (fourth grade and up, including the university level) during the school year. These field study excursions feature hands-on, minds-on marine science activities that supplement classroom curriculum. In addition, Project O offers scout programs, summer enrichment overnight and day camps, lighthouse expeditions, oceanographic research cruises, and seal watches. In addition to Project O’s building with research laboratories, classrooms, a computer lab, a 56-bunk hostel and cafeteria, Project O has two research vessels and a fleet of small boats. Approximately 25,000 people join Project O programs over the course of a year.