Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Hubbs-SeaWorld get research grants


A physical oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography who wants to know what changing storm intensities will mean for local sandy beaches and a biologist at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute with a vision for creating a sustainable domestic tuna farming industry, were among this year’s recipients of California Sea Grant research grants.

“On behalf of California Sea Grant, I am delighted to announce our support for these new projects,” says California Sea Grant Director James Eckman. “All the projects are quite novel, and they continue California Sea Grant’s long history of excellence in focusing fundamental research on a range of important coastal issues. These include changes in coastal ocean conditions and their impacts on ecosystems and beach dynamics; fish aquaculture, and the general health of our coastal ecosystems.”

In all, California Sea Grant awarded about $1.4 million to support nine new projects, all of which were reviewed by outside experts for their scientific merit and relevance to current marine issues. Most of the awards also include support for graduate students. The 2-to-3-year projects are slated to begin in February.

Physical oceanography professor Robert Guza at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, is leading another new project – one that will apply what’s been learned about surf-zone currents and shallow-water waves to study beach erosion in Southern California.

“We know sea level is probably going up and that storm intensities are likely changing,” says Guza, whose fieldwork for the Sea Grant project will take place at Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego. “Here is a question: ‘What’s going to become of our beaches?’ There is a problem brewing here.”

Results from Guza’s project will be shared with local governments that together oversee a regional strategy for beach sand replenishment.

Other San Diego projects awarded research grants and their investigators are:

– Identifying morphologically similar fish eggs and larvae molecularly – Ron Burton, Scripps, UC San Diego.

– Investigating effects of low-oxygen and low-pH conditions on squid egg development – Lisa Levin, Ed Parnell and Todd Martz, Scripps, UC San Diego.

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program is a statewide, multi-university program of marine research, extension services, and education activities administered by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. It is one of 32 Sea Grant programs and is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. Visit our website ( to sign up for email news or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.