Welcome to UCSB’s Marine Science Institute. Whether you are visiting from on campus in Santa Barbara or from elsewhere around the globe, I hope that you will find the site useful and informative.
MSI ranks internationally as a leader in ocean and environmental research. Unlike any other university in the nation the entire UCSB campus is located immediately on the Pacific Ocean placing MSI in a unique position to draw upon the intellectual talent of the entire campus enabling unique and highly interdisciplinary approaches to solving the most pressing issues in marine science today. Within this website you can learn about our Institute, our scientists, and the more than 300 research projects typically being conducted at any given time.
The Institute continues to be distinguished for its collaborative nature and for the highly interdisciplinary research that it fosters among the Institute’s professional researchers and marine faculty from fifteen academic departments on the UCSB campus. MSI is a recognized leader in both fundamental research on the functioning the ocean system and in the application of this knowledge to marine policy. Over $120 million in research and grant money annually supports these activities.
We are fortunate to be located on California’s central coast, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. This ideal location draws on richly diverse marine, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including the Santa Barbara Channel which overlies one of the world’s most important sedimentary deposits for the study of global climate change. MSI has active research programs in our local waters that contribute to understanding the ecology, chemistry, geology and circulation of the Channel facilitating the effective stewardship of local marine resources. The impact of MSI research also extends beyond our local waters to address a diverse array of scientific issues affecting the oceans around the world from studies of climate impact on marine ecosystems in the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica to studies of coral reefs in the tropical Pacific. Further enriching our community are seven of the 32 Natural Reserve sites in the University of California system; managed by MSI, these protected natural lands are available for university level instruction, research and public outreach.
Educational outreach is a key ingredient in MSI’s mission and vision. Our programs engage K-12 students from all over the state in the excitement of scientific discovery. OCTOS, a new facility adjacent to MSI, will house our outreach programs that utilize state-of-the-art technology to increase ocean literacy. At OCTOS the scientists of the future begin to understand the important role oceans play on our planet and to develop the opportunities for solving key global issues through the study of marine science.
I hope that you enjoy your own exploration of MSI and that you’ll visit us when you’re in the area.