The Dauphin Island Sea Lab's (DISL) mission is to pursue excellence in marine science education, research, coastal zone management policy and public engagement through a variety of programs. Founded in 1971 by the State of Alabama Legislature to maximize the marine sciences capabilities of several Alabama institutions and minimize duplication.
Located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, a barrier island in the northern Gulf of Mexico, DISL is surrounded by Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and the waters of the Gulf, making it a perfect location to conduct a wide range of marine science activity.
The University Programs (UP) serves the students of the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium’s (MESC) 22 public and private four-year colleges and universities through graduate and undergraduate programs. Throughout the year, graduate students conduct research, and attend classes while completing their degree under the mentorship of faculty and staff at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
The Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) oversees educational programs for K-12 field programs, teacher-training, and community outreach opportunities. The Estuarium, our public aquarium located on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab campus, is a part of DHP's educational outreach mission. The Estuarium focuses solely on the Mobile-Tensaw Estuary System. The BayMobile allows DHP educators to bring marine science to students across Alabama in the classroom and at community events.
Research programs at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab range from biogeochemistry and oceanography to ecosystem ecology. While much of our research focuses on the near-shore and estuarine processes of the northern Gulf of Mexico, field sites of our internationally-renowned faculty also include the Arctic, Mexico, Australia, and other countries.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab also offers state and local government, industry, and agency decision makers a range of coastal zone management services, including access to the nationally-acclaimed data management center. Armed with data through the DISL data management center, entities can make well-informed decisions and sound policies while considering environmental impact. Another key contributor to successful coastal zone management is the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, which falls within the services of DISL.