SYNOPSIS.In the 1840s and 1850s professional naturalists dredged shallow sea-water on the eastern coast of the United States to obtain marine specimens for teaching and research. In 1871 Spencer F. Baird, first U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, organized amarine biological laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, for basic biological research as well as for practical fishery biology. In 1873 Louis Agassiz established his summer marine station for teachers on Penikese Island, which stimulated others, especially some of his former students, to do likewise along the eastern coast in subsequent years, culminating in the renowned Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole (1888). On the Pacific coast the pioneer marine laboratories were the Hopkins Marine Laboratory (1892) and the prestigious Scripps Institute of Oceanography in California (1903), and the Puget Sound Biological Station, later known as the Friday Harbor Laboratories, in Washington (1903). Today, over 50 marine laboratories are in operation in the 21 contiguous coastal states for education and research in marine biology

Author notes

1From the Symposium on History of American Marine Biology and Marine Biology Institutions presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Zoologists, 27–30 December 1986, at Nashville, Tennessee