Office Space

Vessel Captain and Operations Manager Virgilio “VG” Gonzalez gives us a tour of the University’s newest research vessel.

For more than a decade, Virgilio “VG” Gonzalez has been captaining boats up and down the East Coast—everything from private yachts to a National Geographic–contracted vessel from which film crews conducted baited shark dives. As Monmouth’s new vessel captain and operations, he now oversees the University’s five research vessels (R/Vs). He gave us a tour of the newest and fastest member of the fleet, the R/V Ocean Hawk.

An image of a depth sounder on the R/V Ocean Hawk.

Depth Sounder

This navigation tool uses sonar to measure water depth at high and low frequencies to help identify objects or fish. High frequency is best for detailed searches in shallower waters, while low frequency is best for general searches in a wider area and at greater depths.

A photo of an AIS system aboard the R/V Ocean Hawk.

AIS System

Like an E-Z Pass transponder signals to toll booths on the highway, Automatic Identification System technology transmits the R/V’s real-time position to receivers on land and nearby vessels. It is used for maritime safety, ocean planning, environmental protection, and fishing enforcement.

A photo of the chartplotter on the R/V Ocean Hawk


This device aids navigation by combining GPS data with electronic navigational charts to provide real-time information about the boat’s position, course, and surroundings.

A photo of the salon aboard the R/V Ocean Hawk


This below-deck area provides room for additional seating and gear storage and includes a sink, coffee maker, and small toilet.