About the Marine Studies Initiative

An advanced teaching and research model to address emerging issues and challenges facing Oregon and the globe.



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.


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.

An advanced teaching and research model
The Marine Studies Initiative (MSI) increases understanding of coastal and ocean systems and promotes 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 cohesively involves each of Oregon State’s 11 colleges and Honors College, the university’s Graduate School, the Hatfield Marine Science Center campus, the university’s Marine Experiment Station and Seafood Lab.

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

Unique experiential learning
The MSI provides vital knowledge and experiential learning opportunities. Because of the MSI, a new liberal arts undergraduate degree program in Marine Studies was developed. The Marine Studies (MAST) Degree is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and focuses on the social, political, and cultural issues of coasts and ocean in the context of a meaningful understanding of marine natural science.

State-of-the-art facilities
The MSI bridges world-class teaching and research facilities at Oregon State’s main campus in Corvallis and its Hatfield campus in Newport along the Oregon Coast, where the new Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building is located. 

Learner-centric programs
With contributions from across OSU, the MSI builds undergraduate and graduate courses and residential study programs at the Hatfield 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 blends the natural and social sciences
The MSI blends 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.

Enhances the coastal economies and the environment
The MSI increases understanding of Oregon and global coastal and ocean systems and promotes 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.