Center for Marine Science

UNCW's Center for Marine Science : History

The university's focus on marine science has a history that spans over 40 years. In the 1970s, what is now CMS began as the Marine Biomedical Institute, then in the 1980s was called the Center for Marine Science Research (CMSR). After the Master of Science in Marine Science graduate degree was adopted in 2000, the center's name was shortened to the Center for Marine Science (CMS).

The turn of the new century brought increased marine science activity at the state, national and international levels, and in response to this a new $17.5 million facility was completed in 2000. This facility in the Myrtle Grove area of Wilmington is directly accessible from the Intracoastal Waterway, has docking facilities, and currently offers 180,000+ sq. ft. of net indoor space with the recent completion of the 11,000 square foot Shellfish Research Hatchery. Another addition, the 69,000 square foot Marine Biotechnology Building, was completed in 2013.

A distinct Business of Biotechnology program, started in 2005, offers post-doctoral fellows the chance to work on the most advanced research in marine biotchnology while getting their Master of Business Administration degrees at UNCW.

Launched in 2005, MARBIONC (Marine Biotechnology in NC) is an economic development program initiated and funded by the state of North Carolina and administered by the Center for Marine Science. Additional information about MARBIONC can be found at