Our Past

A Unique Environment

LML BW Aerial Due to a combination of geological features and currents, the Monterey Bay is one of the richest marine environments in the world. The bay is home year round to harbor seals, southern sea otters, bottlenose dolphins, and two porpoise species. California sea lions, northern elephant seals, northern fur seals, four dolphin species, 13 whale species, and the threatened Steller sea lion come here at different times of the year. Thousands of different kinds of invertebrates and over 450 different kinds of large marine algae live here, as well as thousands of migratory and resident sea birds, shore birds, and fish.

Hidden under the sea surface is the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon, larger than the Grand Canyon. Here, deep sea environments are a short boat ride away for both researchers and whale watchers instead of hundreds of miles from shore. All of this led to the designation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 1992.

UC Santa Cruz Marine Science and Education

When UC Santa Cruz opened in 1965, the marine sciences were a key part of the campus vision. Now, with more than 20 marine education and research facilities located along bay, UC Santa Cruz serves as a major institution studying our coast and ocean.

Old Mount

Long Marine Laboratory is the oceanside research facility for UC Santa Cruz’s Institute of Marine Sciences. In 1974, Donald and Marion Younger donated 40 acres of coastal bluff and freshwater lagoon to UC Santa Cruz for the establishment of this marine laboratory and for wetland preservation. The Long Marine Laboratory was dedicated in 1978 to honor contributions made to the university by Joseph M. Long, founder of Longs Drugs.

Bill Doyle
The first director, Bill Doyle, recognized the value of introducing the public to the lab’s activities and he welcomed a new volunteer program to do just that. He then encouraged the establishment of the Friends of Long Marine Lab, a support group for this new education program.

While housed in a portable classroom, the education program grew to serve over 35,000 visitors a year with a small professional staff and a growing volunteer cadre. In 2000, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center was opened as its permanent home.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center


After nearly a decade of planning, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center opened on March 11, 2000, giving the public a unique view into the workings of a marine research lab. Through the work of the Center, Long Marine Lab remains the only working research laboratory in California open daily to the public.

Private donations funded nearly all of the project’s $6.4 million cost, including an outstanding $2 million cornerstone gift from H. Boyd Seymour Jr. of San Francisco. Seymour’s gift honored his father, Harry Boyd Seymour (1896-1977), and his grandfather, Arthur McArthur Seymour (1864-1919).

H. Boyd Seymour, Jr., was born in 1926 in Sacramento. He received his BA in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1947. A retired Principal of Franklin Resources, Inc., Boyd and his wife, Deborah made their home in San Francisco. H. Boyd Seymour, Jr. passed away in September 2009.

Numerous other donors each contributed gifts of $100,000 or more to bring the Center to fruition. They were Leanore Theriot Hooper and Emmet T. Hooper, Paul and Anne Irwin, David and Rebecca Kashtan, the Kresge Foundation, Anne and Paul Levin, the Joseph M. Long Foundation, Zoe Ann Orr Marcus, Frances B. McAllister, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Phyllis and Alan Simpkins, Richard and Mary Solari, and the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation.

Days & Hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM


November 11, 2018
1:30–2:30 PM
Can a fish drink too much? Join us for a lecture and book signing with the author of our newest exhibit, Squidtoons.

November 13, 2018
7–8:30 PM
“Oil and Gas Development Off California's Coast--Is More in Our Future?”

November 18, 2018
1:30 – 2:30 PM
Turning off the Tap on California’s Trash: Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Removal. Photo: NOAA

November 27–30, 2018
Santa Cruz County locals can visit the Seymour Marine Discovery Center for free! (Proof of residency required.)

November 28, 2018
6:30–8 PM
Learn more about becoming a volunteer, plus enjoy after-hours shopping in our Ocean Discovery Shop.

Now accepting proposals for the 2018-19 Student Research and Education Awards. Application deadline: November 30, 2018.

Apply NOW for the best science field trip of the year! Submit your application for Discovery Labs today.

Seymour Center has positions open for UCSC students who want to work in a dynamic and exciting environment. To join our team, apply today!

Every membership includes free admission for 12 months and other benefits. Join or renew online today!

Join our volunteer teamVOLUNTEER WITH US!
Looking for a way to make a difference? Interested in learning more about marine science and conservation? Feel great, learn lots, and make an impact—that's what happens when you become a Seymour Center volunteer!


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