Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Saving time and frustration with a custom portal


The research cruise planning process was an extremely time-intensive, heavy administrative task. Historically, chief scientists needed to contact various admins and technicians individually through email. Tracking a cruise’s progression was difficult because of the multiple channels and personnel involved in this process. It was also a challenge to maintain the right level of security and clearance for legal documents as this information was being shared via email during the planning stages.

Sagetree was contacted to help devise a solution to this burdensome task. The Scripps ships web application aimed to simplify the educational research, planning, and tracking associated with marine research via cruise ships and crew members.

The solution needed to accomplish the following research fundamentals:

Managing Teams
Transparent Documentation and Releases
Communication via Website instead of Emails
Assigning Resources & Equipment
Planning & Tracking Events
Managing Research Data


The features of the solutions delivered included:

A robust and scalable web application
User-friendly interface
User management of researchers, administrators, facilitators, and team members
Administration & tracking of planning materials (i.e. members, legal forms, plans, and equipment requests)
Consistent architecture to their other Drupal sites for site management ease
Usability within low bandwidth environments
Extensive security and strict permissions for content
Digitalization of the entire paper process for ease of tracking, planning, and management


The SHIPS portal has become a robust and scalable web application. This web application has simplified Scripps’ needs to provide an efficient research cruise planning tool without the stress and time associated with organizing paperwork, equipment, and personnel. The value brought to SIO has been the piece of mind knowing they can regain focus on what they do best, accomplishing a successful informative research mission.