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

Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM


March 24, 2018

The distinguished career of Gary Griggs will be honored at this elegant event. Proceeds directly support marine science education.

Sunday, March 18, 2018
1:30 - 2:30 PM

"Collecting Evolution: The Galapagos Expedition That Vindicated Darwin"

Join Matthew James as he tells the story of the 1905-06 Galapagos expedition and its implications.

Summer camp program information and applications are available online NOW! Applications due: Thursday, March 22, 2018 by 5 PM.

During March, members receive added benefits and discounts. Join or renew online today!

Interested in learning and sharing marine science and conservation with the public? Join the Seymour Center's volunteer team as an Exhibit Guide. We are now accepting applications.

Inspire scientific curiosity in your students with a field trip. Book a Self-guided Exhibit Exploration or a Reserved School Tour today.

Congratulations SREA winnersCONGRATULATIONS


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