The Institute's main campus is located on 72 acres of beach-front land, at the mouth of the Aransas Channel and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a complete campus including laboratories, classrooms, offices, resource center, dormitories and cafeteria. In addition to the typical campus structures, the Institute also has public spaces: a visitors center; aquaria; auditorium; and 3.5 acre Wetlands Education Center. It’s most recent addition is the Estuarine Research Center, a LEED Gold designated building (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) which houses the headquarters of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

No marine lab would be complete without a marina - UTMSI has a five-acre boat basin which provides quick access for our research vessels to both the bay systems and the Gulf of Mexico. The basin has been certified as a Clean Texas Marina by voluntarily adopting practices and measures to control pollution and to embrace the conservation ethic of individual responsibility for healthy land and water.

A new research pier allows direct access for research projects in the Aransas Pass tidal inlet connecting the Gulf with the bays. This 300 foot pier has a 1200 sq. ft. lab at its base and a 150 sq. ft. instrument room on the end. The terminus of the pier and instrument room house a weather station, tide gauge, current meter, and sensors for water temperature and salinity, all of which are transmitted to real time data displays in the Visitor's Center and main laboratory. The pier also has an electric winch for deploying sampling equipment such as plankton nets and large-mesh tide traps to study fluxes of biota through the inlet.

A mile west of the main campus is the Fisheries and Mariculture Laboratory (FAML) on 10 acres adjacent to the ship channel. This facility includes four large laboratories which provide for temperature and photoperiod control. The FAML complex provides facilities for research on spawning and rearing of marine finfish and crustaceans and affords unique opportunities for research utilizing captive animals.

Both the main campus and the FAML facility have office and laboratory space available for visiting scientists. For public spaces please see Visit and Learn.

main lab

Thomas-Lab

FAML Khan lab

ERC1