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 Northeast Underwater Research Technology and Education Center; the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaption (CIRCA); the UConn Technology Incubation Program; and Project Oceanology.
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.
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 coastal oceanography using cross-disciplinary approaches. The Department of Marine Sciences had 75 active research grants during FY11 valued in excess of $20 million.
Marine Sciences and Technology Center
The mission of the Marine Sciences and Technology Center (MSTC) is to support and facilitate the discovery and understanding of the coastal marine environment and the development of new tools and technologies. The MSTC is a UConn academic support center that provides expertise and infrastructure to proactively support UConn’s marine research, education and outreach enterprise. The MSTC carries out a wide range of support functions for UConn marine researchers and provides access to extensive research infrastructure, including multi-user equipment, specialized research facilities, electronics and mechanical shops, research vessels (including the R/V Connecticut and Weicker) and small boats, scientific diving operations, and seawater facilities.
As its name implies, the mission of the Northeast Underwater Research Technology and Education Center (NURTEC) focuses on three key strategic elements: underwater research, technology, and education. The overarching goal of NURTEC is to maintain and enhance its undersea capacity, built by over two decades of NOAA and UConn investment, to address a wide range of research topics to better understand, sustain, and conserve coastal ecosystems. A primary focus is Connecticut’s coastal ecosystems on Long Island Sound. In addition, the Center will continue to maintain and develop new partnerships in a broader geographic arena to address research and management challenges in the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes down to 1,000 meters.
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.
UConn Technology Incubation Program
UConn Avery Point continues to partner with UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP) in contributing to regional economic development in Southeastern Connecticut by hosting on campus several science-technology incubator companies. The campus supports TIP by providing office and lab space, which TIP aims to fill with companies that will have connections to the marine mission and orientation of the campus. In June 2012, TIP completed its long planned expansion at Avery Point. The program now offers five state-of-the-art wet labs in the Community and Professional Building and dry lab and office space at its Marine Sciences Building.