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NOTICE: Update on the campus rebuild - All public areas (Marine Science Education Center, Wetlands Education Center, Waterwise Garden, Gift Shop, and the Bay Education Center in Rockport are temporarily closed. We apologize for any inconvemience and we appreciate your understanding and all of your support!
Thank you for your interest in booking a program or field trip with UTMSI.  Currently, registration is closed for on campus programming. We anticipate opening registration for on campus programming in Fall 2019.  Registration for the R/V Katy program is now available. Please complete the Visiting Group Request form to ensure we have your request and contact information.  Questions? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



The UTMSI Marine Science Education Center promotes Marine Science with self guided tours and educational movies.  Other attractions include seven aquaria displaying typical Texas coastal habitats and the organisms that live in them, including Spartina, black mangrove marsh, oyster reef, open bay bottom, rock jetty and offshore artificial reefs.

Visit our unique gift shop for souvenirs and educational items.  Over 40,000 visitors tour the facility annually. 

Location: 855 East Cotter Ave. (on the way to the beach) Maps & Directions

Marine Science Education Center Hours: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sunday

Gift Shop Hours (subject to change): CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday
11:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sunday

We apologize, but are are not equipped to accept online orders at this time.

Gift Shop1 Gift Shop2
Gift Shop3   Gift Shop4
Gift Shop5


For more information: (361) 749-6729

Celebrating the Texas Gulf Marine Environment in Art

Interdependency-smInterdependency,” a sculpture by renowned artist Kent Ullberg, adorns the main entrance of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. From a distance, “Interdependency” is a 10-foot long tarpon leaping out of the sea, but a closer look reveals more than 50 marine plants and animals that fuse together to create the giant fish.

The sculpture, which was unveiled on July 21, 2012, was made possible by a generous donation from the Jack and Valerie Guenther Foundation.

Ullberg decided to depict a tarpon because it is a symbol of Port Aransas (which, until 1910, was named Tarpon, Texas) and a symbol of the Gulf of Mexico marine environment. Forming the tarpon from a diverse array of marine life was inspired by the famous Renaissance painting Vertumnus by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, which hangs in the national museum in Ullberg’s native Sweden. Arcimboldo’s 1590 oil painting uses fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers to create a portrait of Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire. Just as in the painting, Ullberg’s tarpon comes together as a fusion of sea life that ranges from microscopic plankton and seaweed to fishes, whales, and birds.

Ullberg described “Interdependency” as the most challenging individual sculpture of his career. While incorporating so many different plants and animals and making sure they all were scientifically correct, he had to maintain the form of the tarpon. But as he puts it, the Institute got “50 sculptures for the price of 1.”

Ullberg hopes his work will be fun and educational. Children can make a game of finding each of the different creatures in the sculpture. They will also learn something about the interdependency of marine life when they see the osprey carrying a mullet in its talons, a crab nipping the tail of the redfish, or the remora attached to the shark.

The sculpture, which was unveiled on July 21, 2012, was made possible by a generous donation from the Jack and Valerie Guenther Foundation.

Related information: 

University of Texas College of Natural Sciences News Release (July 23, 2012)
Port Aransas South Jetty newspaper (July 26, 2012)