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GRI Marine Operations

The Geosystems Research Institute has a variety of marine vessels and resources designed to assist departments and organizations in conducting coastal/offshore and inshore/riverine research. Our vessel masters have extensive maritime experience, in both research and commercial capacities and can provide diving support services for collection and recovery of samples and materials.


GRI coastal and offshore marine operations are supported by a trailer transportable, 26foot SeaCat SL5 with twin Yamaha 150 Outboards, and an extended range 200-gallon fuel supply. The vessel is equipped with multiple redundant Lowrance navigation systems, sonar and radar sensors, as well as an auto-pilot system for long transect navigation and routing, and VHF/UHF two-way radio systems for communication. It is equipped with all common safety equipment as well as a towing/lifting davit capable of supporting up to 500lbs of towed equipment. Sensors and equipment, we can provide at additional cost include: (Edgetech-CHIRP) Sub-Bottom Profiling Sonar, Gravity Coring Devices, Grab Sampling Devices, and (Starfish) Side-Scan Sonar, YSI Multiparameter water meters, Marine Towed Resistivity and Radon sampling, as well as Towed Oyster Dredges, Micro-Plastics, and Net Trawls. We can also provide diving and diving support services as needed for collection and recovery of samples and materials, with a divemaster and hyperbaric chamber operator/DMT on staff.


GRI inshore projects are conducted with a fleet of small research vessels comprised of a 20 ft SeaArk with a 150 hp Yamaha, an 18 ft G3 with 50 hp Yamaha, a 16 ft DixieCraft with 40 hp Nissan, a 14 ft Alumacraft with 30 hp Vanguard mud motor, and numerous un-powered Jon boats and kayaks. We can provide GPS units for navigation, Lowrance sonar equipment for bathymetric mapping, sediment core samplers, sediment grab samplers, water grab samplers and pumps, YSI water quality sensors (temperature, pH, conductivity, salinity, nitrate, ammonia, turbidity, chlorophyll A, rhodamine dye, and dissolved oxygen), plant rakes, and secchi disks. We can also provide cameras and data sondes for long term deployment in field sites.

Vessel Masters

Jonathan Harris
Mr. Harris is a master mariner with over 30 years of experience operating along the US Gulf Coast and internationally. He is a marine scientist and holds certificates as divemaster/hyperbaric medic, and chamber operator.

Dr. Gray Turnage
Dr. Turnage has over 25 years of experience operating research and recreational vessels along the US Gulf Coast and in inland water-bodies across the U.S. He is also a subject matter expert in the use of drone technology for natural resource management in aquatic and marine environments.

GRI Marine Operations Contact

Jonathan Harris
2 Research Blvd.
Mississippi State University, MS 39762
Email Address
Phone Number
(662) 325-3837