Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Center for Ocean Solutions?

The Center for Ocean Solutions focuses on coastal and ocean ecosystems in the natural, physical and social sciences. Drawing  on a pool of 80 scholars and collaborating with academic, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, we tackle interdisciplinary and multisectoral problems. We are based at Stanford University and in Monterey, Calif.

What Institutions are participating in the Center for Ocean Solutions?

The Center for Ocean Solutions was created by three leading marine science and policy institutions: Stanford University (through its Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Hopkins Marine Station), Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). The Center combines Stanford’s expertise in marine biology, oceanography, engineering, economics, business, law and policy with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s unparalleled success at public education and outreach, and MBARI’s leadership in deep-sea exploration, ocean technology and marine economics. Other nearby institutions, including the University of California-Santa Cruz and California State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, may join the Center for Ocean Solutions collaboration in the future.

What are the major priorities of the Center for Ocean Solutions?

The Center for Ocean Solutions has three thematic focal areas that encompass the major threats to the oceans: global climate change, land-sea interactions and the protection of marine ecosystems and the services they provide.

Learn more about our Focal Areas.

How will the Center for Ocean Solutions achieve its mission?

Our mission will be accomplished through several long-term initiatives in which the Center partners with other institutions to develop and then implement effective solutions to major ocean challenges.  The Center also engages in shorter-term projects to help decision-makers address specific problems by providing advice, conducting research and hosting “uncommon dialogues” to bring together diverse perspectives. 

Is the Center involved in education and training?

In addition to helping implement better policies, the Center for Ocean Solutions is working to develop current and future leaders who understand the value of interdisciplinary problem solving. The new ties that the Center is forging among educational institutions in the Monterey Bay area will serve to expand marine curricula through a variety of programs, including a new series of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional short courses and workshops on specific ocean challenges, problem-solving techniques, and new scientific developments and tools. Drawing on the rich talent at our partner institutions, the Center also offers educational programs for public and private decision makers to provide them with an up-to-date understanding of ocean-related science, technology and policy. These programs allow policymakers to build networks with scientists and other decision makers, and help to hone their problem-solving and negotiation skills.

Learn more about our Leadership Development and Education efforts.

How is the Center for Ocean Solutions managed and funded?

The Center for Ocean Solutions is overseen by its Management Committee, with the university serving as the fiscal sponsor responsible for payroll and hiring. The Center is funded by a $25 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.