Oregon State University has launched a Marine Studies Initiative, a new model to address emerging issues and challenges facing Oregon and the globe.

The world's oceans belong to everyone and their health is key to our future. Marine habitats are facing new and daunting pressures that threaten their sustainability — from climate change to pollution to dwindling fish stocks.

Global challenges need global champions, and Oregon State University is responding to the challenge with our Marine Studies Initiative. Building on a deep history of nationally ranked programs, world-leading research and premier facilities, we are pioneering a new research and teaching model to help sustain healthy oceans and ensure wellness, environmental health and economic prosperity for future generations. The Marine Studies Initiative is a university-wide commitment that will have local to global impacts on the economy and environment.

"This is an exciting effort to address the most daunting challenges and important marine opportunities facing the world."

Ed Ray, OSU President

About the MSI

A new teaching and research model
The Marine Studies Initiative will increase understanding of coastal and ocean systems and promote sustainability on key issues including climate change, food security and safety, natural hazards, renewable energy production and natural resources management.

Leveraging OSU’s international leadership
The MSI is an interdisciplinary effort that will cohesively involve each of Oregon State’s 12 colleges, the university’s Graduate School, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the university’s Marine Experiment Station and Seafood Lab.

A new framework of collaboration
The Marine Studies Initiative will create a new framework of collaboration – including students, faculty, government, industry partners and other institutions of higher education – tackle challenges facing the ocean, coastal communities and people who depend on a healthy, thriving marine environment.

Unique experiential learning
The MSI will provide vital knowledge and unique experiential learning opportunities and launch an undergraduate degree program in marine studies.

State-of-the-art facilities
The MSI will bridge world-class teaching and research facilities at Oregon State’s main campus in Corvallis and its Hatfield Marine Sciences Center in Newport along the Oregon Coast, where a new state-of-the art $50 million research and teaching facility will be constructed.

Learner-centric programs
By 2025, the MSI will have 500 students-in-residence throughout the year at the marine studies campus in Newport. Marine studies educational opportunities will be extended through OSU Extension outreach and engagement programs and in partnership with the state’s coastal community colleges.

Curriculum and research will blend the natural and social sciences
The MSI will blend the natural and social sciences to include themes of marine science, big data, business and technology, natural resources and ecosystems, coastal resiliency and public safety, marine policy, ocean law and science, education and human health.

Enhance the coastal economies and the environment
The MSI will increase understanding of Oregon and global coastal and ocean systems and promote sustainability on key issues including climate change, food security and safety, renewable energy production, natural resources management and natural hazards – such as seismic events and tsunamis.

Find out about the MSI leadership structure, vision, strategic plan, jobs, working groups and more.

Find out about MSI Leadership and strategic planning. Contact us at: Marine Studies Initiative
Oregon State University
300 Strand Agriculture Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
Send an Email
(541) 737 2780

"OSU is investing in our shared future with an innovative education and research model that partners students and faculty with leaders in local government, business and resource agencies to address pressing issues facing our oceans."

Bob Cowen, Director, Hatfield Marine Science Center


The marine studies facilities at Oregon State are diverse and world-class. Whether it's the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, with its planned expansion of a new 100,000 square foot facility for teaching and research, to labs on the main Corvallis campus, projects in the field or around the state, students and scientists from around the world can engage with the natural laboratory that is Oregon and our coastal environments. Facilities like our fleet of research vessels in Newport, the Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory in Corvallis and the Seafood Lab in Astoria place OSU among the world leaders in the marine sciences.


Leaders and scientists from across Oregon State are tackling key problems facing the ocean, coastal communities and people who depend on a healthy, thriving marine environment. Our researchers are innovating multi-disciplinary approaches to conservation of threatened species from whales to seabirds to tropical fish. They are investigating the technical, environmental, and social dimensions of marine renewable energy; delving into the complex molecular to global processes underlying ocean acidification; developing next-generation pharmaceuticals from marine and terrestrial ecosystems; implementing creative strategies to manage invasive lionfish; working to mitigate beach erosion and helping coastal communities adapt to a changing climate. Together with our partners in local, state and federal agencies, as well as with local and regional industry, the Marine Studies Initiative will coordinate and strengthen our commitment to enhancing the coast and broader Oregon economy and environment.

Major Research Programs:

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The future of our ocean depends on tomorrow's leaders. The Marine Studies Initiative will combine interdisciplinary teaching and experiential learning programs to inspire curious, motivated and committed problem-solvers and stewards. A new highly experiential undergraduate degree program in marine studies across fields as diverse as science, engineering, arts and business will bridge OSU’s Corvallis campus and the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center and enhance existing programs in ocean science, public policy, zoology and others.


"Building on OSU's world-class marine research, we're pioneering highly interdisciplinary, hands-on programs in marine studies ranging from oceanography, marine biology and engineering to humanities and policy - come share in OSU's innovative learning and research about our planet ocean."

Jack Barth, MSI Executive Director and Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences