As a marine laboratory the DISL’s mission encompasses marine science education, marine science research, coastal zone management policy and educating the general public through the Estuarium, DISL’s public aquarium. Founded in 1971 by the State Legislature, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) is Alabama’s marine science education and research laboratory. Located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, the DISL is surrounded by Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and the waters of the Gulf, making it perfectly situated for a wide range of marine science activity.
The DISL primarily serves the 21 four-year colleges and universities of Alabama through its college summer courses and graduate programs of University Programs (UP). Our educational mission also includes Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) which encompasses K-12 field programs, teacher-training, and public outreach. DHP also includes the Estuarium, the public aquarium of the DISL, which focuses solely on the Mobile-Tensaw Estuary System.
The research programs of the DISL range from biogeochemistryand oceanography to systems ecology. Although most research focuses on the near-shore and estuarine processes of Mobile Bay, field sites of our internationally-renowned faculty include Mexico, Australia, and Croatia and other countries.
DISL offers local government, industry and agency decision makers a range of coastal zone management services. One of our area’s major players in coastal zone management is the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, which falls within the DISL’s numerous programs