Andrew Mullen, Ph.D student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has been around the ocean his whole life. He grew up along the California coast, surfing waves, soaking up the sun and living the dream. Studying the ocean is his passion. “In the marine environment, there’s a lot of really small scale processes that affect large ecosystems. For example, coral reefs, while they can extend hundreds or thousands of miles, they’re built by individual coral polyps that are around a millimeter in size,” said Mullen. To help get a better, up-close look at tiny sea life -- but without disturbing this delicate underwater world -- he developed a new underwater microscope that brings the lab to the ocean.