Welcome to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute!RWDickey Photo sm

Established in 1941, The University of Texas Marine Science Institute is Texas’ first permanent marine laboratory. The Institute is part of The University of Texas at Austin, College of Natural Sciences and receives substantial support from the University. This support is supplemented by special item funding from the state’s budget. We are proud of our long tradition of marine research, education, and public outreach.

The Marine Science Institute’s research is locally significant but also global in location, scope, and impact. Our modern research facilities support a great variety of projects. Prominent among our significant research assets is the Fisheries and Mariculture Laboratory, widely regarded for its work on captive spawning of marine fish and rearing of fish larvae. We are developing land-based aquaculture systems and investigating young stages of fish to provide a better understanding of fish natural populations and how best to manage them. This work continues to be of special interest to conservationists and sport-fishing groups, who have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to support our research.

The Institute also manages the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, the third largest of the national estuarine reserves and the only one in the western Gulf of Mexico. The Reserve supports research within its boundaries and facilitates partnerships that enhance coastal decision making through an integrated program of research, education, and stewardship. The recent opening of our new 36,000 sq. ft. NERR facility, dedicated in July 2011, adds perfectly to our campus capability and provides wonderful new available space to accommodate our growing faculty.

Through the University’s Department of Marine Science, we train future scientists. Graduate students working toward master’s and doctoral degrees develop their research skills at the side of our world-class scientists. Most of our graduate students have opportunities to travel to research sites around the world to develop their talent and broaden their education. Undergraduate students enjoy our classes that take them into a variety of pristine habitats for a first-hand look at the marine environment.

The Institute established the first marine science public education program in Texas more than 30 years ago, and strengthening science education remains one of the most important facets of our work. Hundreds of teachers participate in our workshops, and we host field trips for thousands of students and their teachers yearly. The Institute provides educational Road Scholar programs for hundreds of participants each year. Tens of thousands of visitors regularly enjoy our Visitors Center and Wetlands Education Center.

Enjoy your visit to our website, and if you come to Port Aransas, please plan a visit to the Institute.

Sincerely,

Robert W. Dickey, Ph.D.
Director, Marine Science Institute
Professor and Chair, Department of Marine Science
Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Regents Chair in Marine Science