Collaborative Programs

Leading Edge of Marine Science

Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory (BOSL)

Science and technology to improve ocean health

MSI Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory deploys a whale safe buoy
Photo: Todd Cravens

Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory leverages the power of science, technology, and collaboration to develop replicable and scalable solutions to restore the health of the ocean. The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory (formerly the Benioff Ocean Initiative) started in 2016 when ocean advocates Marc Benioff, co-founder and CEO of Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne Benioff, gifted $10 million to promote science-based ocean problem-solving at UCSB. The Benioffs renewed their commitment to UCSB in 2022 with an additional gift of $60 million to expand the Laboratory and advance science based-solutions.

The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory’s goal is for the legacy of marine science to not just be about studying problems, but fixing problems. The Laboratory works to identify the most pressing threats facing the ocean, and then convenes experts from academia, NGOs, civil society, business, and government to tackle these challenges together. This collaborative and interdisciplinary approach bridges the latest science and technology with policy, communications, and education to develop replicable and scalable solutions.

Solutions developed by the Laboratory include Whale Safe, a near-real time whale detection system aimed at reducing collisions between cargo ships and whales in the Santa Barbara Channel and San Francisco Bay; and the Clean Currents Coalition, a global network of community-first, data-centric projects that are turning off the tap of plastic pollution from rivers to the ocean.

The Laboratory also invites members of the public to share ocean problems they wish to be solved.

Laboratory researchers also provide guidance on domestic and international marine policy, and develop practical, science-based tools to address important ocean issues.

Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory is directed by Dr. Douglas McCauley, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology.

To learn more about Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory, visit