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.

Advancing excellence in marine-related education, research, and outreach and engagement.

The world's ocean belongs to everyone and its health is critical to our future. The world is increasingly looking toward the ocean to provide food, renewable energy, climate impact mitigation, safe shipping and commerce, as well as for recreation and spiritual renewal. However, marine habitats are facing new and daunting pressures that threaten their sustainability — from climate change to pollution to dwindling fish stocks.

Building on a deep history of nationally ranked programs, world-leading research, and premier facilities, the Marine Studies Initiative is pioneering new research and teaching models to help sustain healthy ocean and coasts to 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 have expanded and enhanced facilities to provide environments that encourage creative collaborations, leverage the university's strengths, and have meaningful impacts. This includes the new Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. 

"Sunflower Sea Stars Could Help Save Kelp Forests"

OSU and UO marine scientists are collaborating to study the importance of sunflower sea stars in marine environments: "The researchers emphasize the need for sunflower sea stars in the remaining kelp forests in order to prevent overgrazing by urchins. Since sea star recovery has been negligible since the SSWD event, they also support the reintroduction of sea stars that have been bred in captivity. These individuals may be able to aid in the recovery of kelp forests that have become barrens because they eat the emaciated urchins that reside there."


Read this new article on how sunflower sea stars are crucial for the health of kelp forests HERE.

Read the published paper HERE.

Understanding Hypoxia: Dead Zones on the Pacific Coast

Understanding Hypoxia: Dead Zones on the Pacific Coast



A transforming climate and ocean is leading to unpredictable changes. One change is more frequent and unpredictable phenomena like hypoxia, a low-oxygen condition that can harm and kill sea life. This film explores the researchers investigating hypoxia and the communities that are impacted by ocean change.

Read more at: https://terra.oregonstate.edu/2022/12...


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.

Marine Studies Announcements, Events, and News

  Check out the video series "The Wind Moves Us"

   2023 MSI Student Award applications open NOW!