Skip to main content

Catalina Island News

Students in the International Geobiology Course enjoy an afternoon of field study as a break from intense analytical work at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Photos by Letty Avila.

Where Earth and Life Sciences Merge

July 24, 2014

Ooids are sediment grains generally composed of calcium carbonate formed on the sea floor. They fascinate geologists because they have appeared throughout the planet’s evolutionary history. Traditionally, earth…

Lorraine Sadler, a technician at the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, samples kelp for the radiation study. Photo by Alexandra Winqvist.

Kelp Watch 2014

May 27, 2014

Researchers with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dornsife, will collect kelp in the waters of Big Fisherman’s Cove off Catalina as part of a scientific campaign to evaluate radioactive…

Students who participated in the Science of Sustainable Food Spring Break Program learned how to make compost out of food waste. In six to eight weeks the melon rinds, egg shells and paper napkins they combined will create a nutrient-rich soil for growing vegetables. Photo by Michelle Boston.

Food Revolution

April 7, 2014

As the sun shone against a clear blue sky on Catalina Island, 17  students gathered around a long, rectangular pit filled with dirt, garden clippings and bits of food — banana peels, lettuce leaves, waffles. Eleven…

Tom Nolan, who earned a bachelor's degree in biology from USC Dornsife in 1977, is an Earth explorer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. Here, he teaches children about NASA at JPL. Photo courtesy of Tom Nolan.

Tommy Trojan Personified

April 10, 2013

After graduating from USC Dornsife in 1977, Tom Nolan became . . . Tommy Trojan. Not in a metaphorical sense. “I rode as Tommy Trojan from 1977 to 1980, when I moved to Alaska, and again from 1988 to 1996 after I moved…

A USC Dornsife student on a scientific dive in Guam with a Hawksbill sea turtle in the foreground during a past Maymester trip. Photo by Gerry Smith.

Taking the Plunge

May 23, 2012

USC Dornsife students are diving into this year’s Maymester courses. After taking a Spring semester course on the physics, physiology, safety and methodology of scientific diving, 26 undergraduates will dive in the…

Benjamin Kay, science teacher at Santa Monica High School (center), is surrounded by members of two teams from his school that participated in the 2012 QuikSCience Challenge. Some are members of the team that placed first in the competition this year for their project, "Reducing Carbon Emissions." Photo by DJ Kast.

Students Take on the QuikSCience Challenge

April 17, 2012

USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies staff members are busy escorting several hundred students from middle and high schools to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island as part of their reward for…

Isaiah Mack (M.S., geography, ’03), center, gives a presentation on global positioning systems to students studying geographic information science and technology at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Photo by Su Jin Lee.

Real-World Classroom for Virtual Classmates

July 28, 2011

This summer, students in USC Dornsife’s online graduate programs in geographic information science and technology (GIST) gathered at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island to meet their classmates…

Students from USC Dornsife's Environmental Studies Program are spending eight weeks assisting with conservation and education programs at the Catalina Island Conservancy. From left to right: Miller Zou, Alexandria Cheung, Lisa Collins, Sabrina Lawrence-Gomez, Charlie de la Rosa and Daniel Kasang. Photo courtesy of Lisa Collins.

A Trail-Blazing Summer Internship

July 15, 2011

Two students and two recent graduates of USC Dornsife’s Environmental Studies Program have started a trail-blazing summer interning with the Catalina Island Conservancy, where they are spending eight weeks assisting with…

Kellie Spafford (far left), lab technician at the Wrigley Marine Science Center, describes a sea hare to “Saturday at the Lab” visitors. Photo by Sean Conner.

Spend a "Saturday at the Lab" on Catalina Island

June 2, 2011

This summer, the USC Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island welcomes the general public to visit its state-of-the-art research facilities through its “Saturday at the Lab” program, which began…

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island. Photo by Emily Cavalcanti.

USC Sea Grant Program Hosts International Course at USC Lab on Catalina Island

May 12, 2011

The USC Sea Grant program, part of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies based in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric…