Gulf Coast Research Laboratory hard at work

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - In addition to naming longtime employee Jeffery Lotz Interim Director, researchers for the Department of Coastal Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi have been hard at work studying the waters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Earlier, students at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory were busy testing blood samples from sea life in the area.

The laboratory has had a long history of scientific endeavors in the Gulf of Mexico, and researchers say they don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"We want to maintain the quality of the science that we do. I think what drives the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is the quality of science and that of course is reflected by the quality of the scientists that we have," said Lotz.

With a reputation dating back to the late 1940s, researchers here say you're sure to find top quality scientists with top quality answers.

"We're a marine research laboratory. Science based and what our role in all this is, is to make sure that good science is done, that the answers are gotten although they're not always quickly obtained, we need to make sure that the answers that we get are the right ones and that's what we do. That's what we focus on."

Though stepping into this new phase of responsibility comes with a little pressure, this former department chair says it's an honor because he says the work they do is so important.

"The Gulf of Mexico is an undervalued, under-appreciated body of water in the United States. but the scientific attention it's had in order to understand the operation of the Gulf of Mexico and better manage the recourses there is lacking if you compare it to the East Coast or the West Coast."

Lotz says his goal for the future is to keep the eyes of America focused on the Gulf of Mexico and all of it's rich recourses.

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