Our Mission

Create a healthy future for our ocean and the planet through transdisciplinary research and teaching that emphasizes  collaboration, experiential learning, engagement with society and problem solving.

A new model to address emerging issues and challenges facing Oregon and the globe.

The world's ocean belongs to everyone and its health is critical 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 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 10-year initiative builds on Oregon State's leadership and nationally ranked programs.

Harnessing the collective expertise of faculty and staff from across campus, we are advancing practices and innovations that promote positive change for the university and the community it serves. We are weaving together the natural and social sciences with arts and humanities in an exceptional education, research, and outreach program to explore all facets of the marine environment and its dynamic connections to terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, while positively impacting economic and social progress. Learn more from our Strategic Plan.

OSU at the Oregon coast

Oregon offers an unparalleled living-learning laboratory with diverse ecosystems, including a 300-mile coastline. Our centers of research on the Oregon Coast include: 

We are expanding and enhancing facilities to provide environments that encourage creative collaborations, leverage the university's strengths, and have meaningful impacts. This includes the construction of a new Marine Studies Initiative building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Nanoplastics – Pacific Northwest Consortium and the Marine Studies Initiative

Nanoplastics – Pacific Northwest Consortium and the Marine Studies Initiative

Marine litter comes in all shapes and sizes. But it may be the smallest particles, invisible to the naked eye, that threaten aquatic life and humans the most. Environmental toxicologists Stacey Harper and Susanne Brander from Oregon State University and their team at the Pacific Northwest Consortium on Plastics are looking beyond the macro- and micro-plastics to the nano-scale particles known as nanoplastics. These particles are so small that they could be ingested as nutrients at the larval level of species such as oysters, which we directly consume, and by plankton, which are then consumed by fish and marine mammals. Research indicates that two of the biggest sources of these sneaky microplastic hazards may be particles from rubber tires and fibers from synthetic clothing, these larger microplastics could potentially break down to the nano-scale in the environment.


Through its Marine Studies Initiative, Oregon State will be recognized as a global leader in 21st-century transdisciplinary education and research and lead the development of inclusive strategies for successful stewardship of our ocean and planet for today and tomorrow.

Happy New Year from our team!

The drawing was created by Tom McCambridge, a leader in the OSU Ocean11 marine club and senior at OSU studying marine biology and chemistry. Tom spent summer 2020 as an MSI Marine Reserve Interpretation intern at the Port Orford Field Station. He created this image for an educational video about the ecology of one of Oregon's marine reserves, called "What Makes Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve Special?" Watch the video here- beav.es/ovk

Marine Studies Announcements, Events, and News

    Check out our summer intern projects! 

   Apply now for undergraduate scholarships and awards!

  Eder Family Dungeness Crab Research Fund 2020 awardee announced!