Founded in 1966 by Congress, the National Sea Grant College Program is a network of 32 programs working to promote the conservation and sustainable development of our marine resources through research, education, and outreach. Sea Grant is funded by the US Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
MIT was designated a Sea Grant College Program in 1976 and was the first Sea Grant program to receive funding for research. The program's competitive annual funding for Massachusetts academic investigators supports innovative research that responds to human health and safety concerns, along with efforts that produce new tools, instruments, and pioneering technologies. Projects range from water quality forecasting for ecosystem-based state management to exploring tidal in-stream energy conversion to support science-based decision making by local planning and management agencies.
The program's Marine Advisory Services (MAS) offers scientific guidance, training, workshops, access to databases, and informational materials to stakeholders. MAS staff includes specialists in marine ecology and biology, coastal policy, social sciences, education, communication, and geospatial and data management, and meets these challenges head-on with marine engineering and ocean literacy education, workshops, and publications that promote the wise and informed use of ocean and coastal resources.
In-house research has established an internationally acclaimed Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Laboratory designing marine robots with a multitude of applications in oceanography, environmental monitoring, and underwater resource studies. The Hydrodynamic Modeling Lab develops and applies high-fidelity numerical models to address coastal inundation and wave storm surges and the Ship Design Lab develops innovative tools for high efficiency, low carbon footprint ships, high-speed marine vehicles, including autonomous surface crafts.
Community partners and advisory committees include individuals from academic circles, non-government organizations, industry leaders, and state and local government agencies. Constituents include Massachusetts coastal communities, seafood harvesters and consumers, fellow ocean scientists and engineers, and the general public relying on the ocean for sustenance, energy, recreation, travel, and wonder.
Graduate and undergraduate MIT and visiting students participate in many Sea Grant research projects with support available to them from UROP or from their home institutions.
For more information, contact the director, Professor Chryssostomos Chryssostomidis, Room E38-300, 617-253-7131.