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Why Have Biologists Studied at the Seashore? The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

Why Have Biologists Studied at the Seashore? The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

Chapter:
(p.5) One Why Have Biologists Studied at the Seashore? The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:
(p.iii) Why Study Biology by the Sea?
Author(s):
Jane Maienschein
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226673097.003.0002

Biologists have travelled to the seashore since the mid nineteenth century, for a number of different reasons that have changed over time. Throughout, the diversity of organisms and the opportunities for interacting with both nature and naturalists has lured researchers and students. This chapter provides a reminder of reasons why biologists have studied at the seashore in different times and places. It then focuses on the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, as an exemplar in its emphasis on integration of research and education, its search for independence guided by scientists, and its adaptation to changing demands while retaining its commitment to core values and thereby its unique character. The MBL provided a welcoming place for biologists to convene in the summers to carry out research in the laboratories or to attend or teach a course. They brought their families and returned, often over decades, and some began to stay year round. Research programs have evolved, centers have emerged, and the courses continue to train generations of excited new researchers. This chapter and this volume explore why biologists studied at the seashore and what difference their work there has made.

Keywords:   marine biology, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole

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