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Studying Georgia’s Coastal Plain

The Institute for Coastal Plain Science (ICPS) studies the fertile world of Georgia’s Coastal Plain which covers the southern and southeastern half of the state. This environmental region provides researchers with a living laboratory where marshes, swamps and beaches abound with life.

Georgia Southern University resides in this laboratory and its faculty and students strive to understand the region’s physical and biological resources in order to find solutions for its sustainable use and management.

A map of the eastern portion of the United States showing the extent of the Atlantic coastal plain. It spans from New Jersey to the Mississippi River delta along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The inland extent follows along the fall line and both sides of the Mississippi River, reaching as far inland as Illinois.

Our Mission

The mission of the Institute for Coastal Plain Science (ICPS) is to support Georgia Southern University’s pursuit of academic distinction in teaching, scholarship, and service by advancing a culture of engagement that bridges theory with practice and extends the learning environment beyond the classroom.  The ICPS furthers the College of Science and Mathematics’ mission of developing students to work with Georgia’s communities and industries to transform scientific knowledge into opportunities for economic development which are protective of our natural resources by: 1) promoting, in coordination with public and private partnerships, interdisciplinary research and education directed toward understanding the physical and biological resources occurring below the Fall Line and their sustainable use and management, and 2) enhancing curation of the extensive natural history collections and promoting their use as research and educations tools.

Applied Coastal Research Laboratory (ACRL)

In order to conduct its research, the ICPS partners with the Applied Coastal Research Laboratory (ACRL), a field laboratory located on Skidaway Island near Savannah, Georgia. The ACRL provides logistical support to research teams, including access to both large and small research boats, geological and geophysical field sampling equipment, and full Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capabilities. Georgia Southern partners with Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary and the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service, who provides collaboration opportunities for researchers.

Georgia Southern Marine Biology Lab Helps Turn Knowledge into Opportunity