Coastal Biology building will be a gem

Rendering of the new Coastal Biology building.

Photo of male elephant seal and graduate student Sarah Peterson.

The Coastal Biology building will be a tremendous resource, supporting the work of researchers like graduate student Sarah Peterson, who is studying the accumulation of mercury, PCBs, and DDT in northern elephant seals. (NMFS Permit 14636)

At long last, the students, faculty, and staff of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department will be together again! We will break ground on the Coastal Biology building at Long Marine Lab this fall, with a planned move-in date of fall 2016.

It's been a long time since the campus has had a new building come online, and this one will bear great intellectual fruit by reuniting the department. Sharing a roof will further energize this group, and state-of-the-art facilities will support their great work.

The Central Coast is home to a concentration of marine science expertise. Around the bay, there are great collaborations taking place among researchers affiliated with UC Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cal State Monterey Bay, and Stanford, among others. This building will expand our ability to partner with others, and its proximity to adjacent governmental and nonprofit organizations will foster our relationships with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Nature Conservancy.
The move will free up much-needed space on campus, but students will be the biggest winners. Every time I visit Long Marine Laboratory, I am struck by the amazing work taking place there—and by the significant contributions our students are making. They pay their dues cleaning marine mammal tanks and performing basic chores, but they work their way up to caring for animals, helping with training, and doing research with the seals, sea lions, otters, and others. It's so unique, and the students get so much out of it. That's what we're all about—giving students experiences that change their lives.

Great facilities are part of what makes it all possible. Buildings truly matter. Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this one a reality.

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