About Mbari

The MBARI offices, labs, and marine facilities are located in Moss Landing, California.

The mission of MBARI is to achieve and maintain a position as a world center for advanced research and education in ocean science and technology, and to do so through the development of better instruments, systems, and methods for scientific research in the deep waters of the ocean. MBARI emphasizes the peer relationship between engineers and scientists as a basic principle of its operation. All of the activities of MBARI must be characterized by excellence, innovation, and vision.
MBARI Founder David Packard

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) was founded in 1987 by David Packard.

Science and technology goals

To carry out its mission, the institute has defined six main goals:

  • Identify important areas of marine science where research progress is limited by lack of appropriate technology.
  • Develop sophisticated systems for investigating aspects of the marine environment and its inhabitants where high scientific potential exists.
  • Meet the highest possible performance standards for the operation of its equipment and technological systems.
  • Conduct high-quality, innovative research that maximizes effective management and use of all MBARI assets.
  • Develop, in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, creative programs that maximize the educational value of MBARI’s research results.
  • Transfer research results, technology, and operational techniques to the marine science community worldwide.

Location, personnel, and funding
MBARI is located in Moss Landing, California, where its three research ships and two remotely operated vehicles are berthed, giving them immediate access to Monterey Bay. MBARI also operates several autonomous underwater vehicles and maintains moorings offshore, equipped with ocean-monitoring instruments.

As a private, nonprofit research center, MBARI is funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Christopher Scholin serves as the institute’s president and chief executive officer, managing a work force of approximately 220 scientists, engineers, and operations and administrative staff. MBARI scientists propose and execute innovative studies, both experimental and theoretical, in the ocean sciences. Engineers and operations staff, in partnership with the scientists, develop or adapt supporting technology.

Deep-sea research
Monterey Bay is one of the most biologically diverse bodies of waters in the world, and the underlying submarine canyon—part of the complex geology of the continental plate margin—is one of the deepest underwater canyons along the continental United States. With a “laboratory” up to 4,000 meters deep only a few ship-hours from their base of operations, institute scientists conduct research relevant to much of Earth’s water-covered realm.

MBARI’s current efforts span eight research themes, including: benthic processes, midwater research, upper ocean biogeochemistry, ocean observatories, remotely operated vehicle enhancements and upgrades, new in situ instruments, infrastructure support, and information dissemination and outreach.

Brochure about MBARI (PDF)

7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, California 95039-9644
Phone: 831-775-1700
Fax: 831-775-1620