Introduction and Scientific Rationale

In April of 1998, the University of Southern California and the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies established the San Pedro Ocean Time-series (SPOT) program to conduct a systematic long-term study of the physical and biogeochemical cycles in the San Pedro Channel off the coast of Southern California (SPOT location).  

The goals of the SPOT Program are to:

  1. Document the spatial (surface to bottom of the water column) and temporal (monthly, seasonal, interannual and decadal) variability of important chemical, biological and physical processes to improve our understanding of ocean variability
  2. Study the role of disturbance events, such as El Ninos, sewage and storm run-offs, harmful algal blooms, and climate change related events
  3. Support ancillary and complementary research programs at the SPOT site and surrounding region (SPOT Researchers)
  4. Maintain a publicly available database that can be utilized by the science community and beyond (SPOT Data)
  5. Provide a platform for educating and training future oceanographers and science educators (please contact for more information)

SPOT Video

Video by Maria Raykova, Class of 2015
USC School of Cinematic Arts, BA Animation & Digital Arts

“The only way to understand human impacts on climate and the coastal ocean is to study basic processes. How does our natural environment work and how do our actions affect it? The SPOT is a critical asset that allows us to answer these questions.”

-Roberta Marinelli, Director of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies

Upcoming SPOT Cruise Dates

March 12, 2015 - Sea Day
Cruise Form Deadline:  March 5th.

April 22, 2015 - Sea Day
Cruise Form Deadline:  April 15th.                              (Note:  this cruise has been rescheduled from April 15th)

Participants! Please contact Troy using the Cruise Form under Particpant Info. Form deadline is 7 days prior to the cruise. Thank you.

  • Troy Gunderson
  • USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
  • University of Southern California
  • University Park Campus
  • AHF 108
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371