The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) was founded in 1987 by David Packard.
To carry out its mission, the institute has defined six main goals:
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, non-profit 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.
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.