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The Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS) is a world-class oceanographic research institute dedicated to discovering and communicating exciting and critical science about our planet for the benefit of society. Our philosophy emphasizes the importance of understanding the processes that govern change and sustainability in the world’s oceans to best use and protect our vital marine and coastal resources. Today, the institute remains true to the unique vision of Dr. Fred Grassle, whose founding principles established a tradition of pioneering research through integrative, inter-disciplinary approaches to ocean science, education and public service.

Since its inception in 1989, IMCS has experienced rapid growth in federal funding from agencies such as NOAA, NSF, ONR and NASA. This success is attributed to the outstanding faculty and staff drawn from diverse departments around the university, including the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences , Department of Environmental Sciences , Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis , Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources , and the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory . Our emphasis on collaboration has led to major interdisciplinary initiatives in undersea science and technology; ocean modeling; observation, prediction and analysis; environmental biophysics and molecular biology; ecosystem dynamics; and protected area management. In addition, IMCS supports a dynamic Coastal Ocean Observing System, employing innovative applications of ocean technology, such as autonomous undersea vehicles that support homeland security, monitor episodic and long-term ocean processes, and explore the biological complexity of marine ecosystems.

IMCS is also recognized as a leader in science education, incorporating K-12 learning and public outreach into its core mission as a science institution, and developing strong collaborations between Rutgers Graduate School of Education, science and humanities faculty, and outside partnerships with institutions such as the Liberty Science Center. As part of this mission, IMCS has played a pivotal role in developing techniques that engage researchers in geophysical sciences with non-scientists, and currently directs the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR) - a state federal partnership program that informs the resource management community and fosters public stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources.

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