Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, founded in 1974, is a private, non-profit center for global oceanography, ocean science education, and technology transfer.
The Laboratory’s research ranges from microbial oceanography to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions, and is organized around the three core themes of Blue Biotechnology, Ocean Biogeochemistry and Climate Change, and Ocean Health. The Laboratory’s 60,000 square-foot, shore-based campus is located in East Boothbay, Maine, on the Damariscotta River estuary. In December 2012, the campus became the first LEED Platinum certified laboratory in Maine and one of seven in the New England area. The Laboratory was recently rated one of the top 10 places to work in Maine.
The majority of the Laboratory’s funding comes from federal and state grants and contracts, licenses and contracts with the private sector, and philanthropic support. Bigelow Laboratory supports the work of over 70 scientists and staff. The Laboratory also maintains a library open to the public both in East Boothbay and at McKown Point in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
The Laboratory’s primary research focus is on the microbial life and biogeochemical dynamics of the world’s ocean, advancing society’s understanding of the interactions between ocean ecosystems, global processes, and the environment. The Laboratory’s education programs include undergraduate training through a semester program offered in affiliation with Colby College, and a National Science Foundation-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. The Laboratory is also the home to several service facilities, including the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA), the Single Cell Genomics Center (SCGC), and the J.J. MacIsaac Facility for Aquatic Cytometry.
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