|UT Marine Science Center|
The Institute is dedicated to the three central functions of a major university (research, education, and outreach) as they apply to the Texas coastal zone and other marine environments. As an organized research unit, the primary goal of the Marine Science Institute is to improve our understanding of the marine environment through rigorous scientific investigations. This goal is accomplished through the research efforts of the scientific staff and the training of young scientists in cooperation with The University of Texas at Austin Department of Marine Science. The research and teaching functions take advantage of the unique facilities of the Institute and its shoreside location on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Institute operates the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in support of its mission. The Institute’s research is broad and encompasses a variety of scientific disciplines, with emphases on Organismal Biology, Ecosystem Dynamics, and Biogeochemistry.
Interest in Marine Science is promoted by the Visitor Center where self guided tours and educational movies are among the attractions offered. Seven aquaria display typical Texas coastal habitats and the organisms that live in them, including Spartina, black mangrove marsh, oyster reef, open bay bottom, rock jetty and offshore artificial reefs. Other displays in the main building highlight current and past research projects and feature representative specimens or photographs of local plants and animals. More than 40,000 visitors tour the facility annually.
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