About Gump Station

Research, Education, and Public Service

International scientists and students are invited to carry out programs at the University of California Berkeley's Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station. While the focus of the Gump Station is field-based scientific research and advanced training, activities in all academic disciplines are welcome.  Research spans levels of biocultural organization, from genetics and molecular biology, through organismal and population biology, to anthropology, economics, and the social sciences. 


To address the major questions and challenges of the 21st century, scientists will increasingly attempt to synthesize complex systems at different scales.  Moorea is a complete socio-ecosystem, including coupled marine and terrestrial habitats, that has emerged as a key site for collaborative international research and advanced training. The island is an ambitious but tractable scale for whole-system study.  Furthermore, its archipelago setting allows comparison with other Polynesian islands sharing common biocultural ancestry (monophyletic) but differing in key parameters (e.g., size and age) that are likely to affect vulnerability and resilience. Building model ecosystems for transformative science requires an unprecedented concentration of human capital and technological infrastructure.  Focusing on tractable socio-ecosystems, such as Moorea, facilitates transdisciplnary science, enabling researchers to re-assemble the parts of a system - as studied by specialists - to understand the functioning of the whole.  Such knowledge is vital for managing human interactions with natural systems to achieve prosperous and sustainable societies.



The Gump Station property in Moorea is owned by the Regents of the University of California and administered by the Berkeley campus through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.  The Station's Executive Director, Neil Davies, is a UC employee based permanently in Moorea reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research in Berkeley.

Faculty Advisor George Roderick at Berkeley chairs the Gump Station's Faculty Advisory Committee with representatives from across the University of California system to provide strategic guidance and academic oversight. Current members include:

Previous board members:


The University of California (through its Berkeley, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Los Angeles campuses and Office of the President) have contributed to the Station's operating budget.  The majority of the operating budget comes from user fees, endowment income, and grants.  


About Moorea Island

Gump Station

Located on Moorea (17o 30' S 149o 50' W), one of the Society Islands, 15 km northwest of the main island of Tahiti, French Polynesia, the Gump Station occupies 14 hectares (35 acres) of land from the shore to 149m (489ft). The Station stands at the entrance to Cook’s Bay, providing excellent access to the ocean, lagoon, and island interior. From Cook’s Bay, the main island of Tahiti and its capital Papeete is just 20Km away (25 minutes by car-ferry;  7 minutes by plane). As the commercial heart of French Polynesia, Papeete provides for most logistical needs and is the hub for international air travel.

Researchers and classes find the Gump Station an excellent base for field studies. Marine scientists can work in a variety of habitats - mud and sand flats, sea grass beds, inner and outer coral reefs, algal ridges and deep oceanic waters - all easily accessible from the Station. Terrestrial and freshwater scientists study island biogeography, geomorphology, the biology of invasive species, and the ecology of insular plant and animal communities. Human scientists (ethnobiology, public health, sustainable development, sociology, environmental design, policy, anthropology and archeology) find a fascinating balance between traditional Polynesian society and the culture of more recent immigrants (particularly from Europe and China) as well as a wealth of archeological sites.


Surrounded by a well developed coral reef and lagoon system (12 reef passes), Moorea (132 sq Km) is a high (1207m), 1.2 million year old volcanic island with freshwater streams that flow year-round. A range of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats are located close to the station. Interdisciplinary studies are especially welcome. The six volumes of the Proceedings of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress (1985), held on Tahiti, contain detailed information about the biology and geology of Moorea and other French Polynesian islands.

Contact Us

Station Contact Information

Please see the shipping and import duties information page before sending any equipment items to the Gump Station.

Gump Station, UCB
BP 244 - 98728
French Polynesia
Email: gump@moorea.berkeley.edu
Fax: +689 56.32.72
Tel: +689 56.13.74 or 56.45.35