Charting new waters: Jacksonville University, OCEARCH renew partnership, unveil new logo, global headquarters groundbreaking on the horizon

June 18, 2024

Jacksonville University and OCEARCH, the largest shark-tagging and oceanic research organization in the world, are proud to announce their renewed partnership ahead of the Global Headquarters groundbreaking in Mayport, Florida in late 2024. The new partnership includes a new logo and will now be referred to as “OCEARCH at Jacksonville University.” 

OCEARCH JU logoEstablished in 2017, OCEARCH at Jacksonville University is an ocean-first partnership that has fostered and promoted unique opportunities for student-centric learning and meaningful scientific research. Over the last seven years, Jacksonville University and OCEARCH have collaborated on 17 expeditions and conducted more than a thousand hours of research.

Located on 1.18 acres of waterfront property at the mouth of the St. Johns River, the Global Headquarters will have programming centralized around three core pillars aimed to educate, inspire and enable:
●      Educate students, the public and research scientists
●      Inspire visitors from around the world to learn more about Florida's coastline and the importance of white sharks, fisheries, and the blue economy
●      Enable collaborative, original scientific research; data-centric policy recommendations for marine affairs; and, marine rescue programs for protected species

Not only does this partnership create an institutional home for OCEARCH, helping expand its mission to promote global outreach, education and research, but it also offers JU students with unprecedented opportunities that foster experiential learning.  

“Renewing our partnership with OCEARCH is an exciting next step in our collaborative efforts to bring a transformative impact to Jacksonville University and the community, not just regionally, but on a national and global scale,” said Tim Cost, Jacksonville University President. “Since 2017, we have created unparalleled experiential learning opportunities, fostered groundbreaking research and inspired engagement with topics like white shark research and conservation. We are setting the stage for a future where education and research drive meaningful change across the globe."

With groundbreaking anticipated in late 2024, the OCEARCH Global Headquarters will consist of spaces for public education and meetings, OCEARCH ship operations, dockage for various research vessels, a state-of-the-art marine life research laboratory with data and academic resource management, and basic housing for researchers and crew members. OCEARCH’s new concrete dock and the home of the M/V OCEARCH, funded by the City of Jacksonville, was completed in November 2023. The innovative facility plans to host visitors from around the world by offering interactive and educational community programming, especially for young, aspiring scientists.

“The OCEARCH Global Headquarters will provide a hub for scientists to connect with world class watermen to make data collection more efficient and ensure our children will have an abundant ocean. A permanent home in Florida gives us the opportunity to build on our research in the western North Atlantic while also taking what we’ve learned in this region across the world to better understand global white shark populations,” explains OCEARCH Founder & Expedition Leader, Chris Fischer.

Last year, Jacksonville University received $5 million dollars from the state, in support of the buildout of the new OCEARCH Global Headquarters in Mayport. Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis approved an additional $5 million for the partnership in the state’s budget. The City of Jacksonville has also supported the buildout at Mayport, with a $6 million investment in the docks.

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