Historical Timeline



  • C. Floyd Jackson, UNH Professor of Zoology, 1908-1952; interested in studying the sea and Great Bay Estuary; responsible for establishing UNH's early commitment to marine biology by hiring faculty with similar focus.
  • C. Floyd Jackson opens the first summer Marine Zoological Laboratory on Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals; first undergraduate program of its kind in the country. (1928)
  • Isles of Shoals closed by government and used as strategic outpost for WWII activities. (1941)
  • C. Floyd Jackson published "A Biological Survey of Great Bay for the Maine Fisheries Commission: physical and biological features of Great Bay and the status of its marine resources. (1944)


  • Marine Station Committee established to find a location for a marine biology laboratory. (1963)
  • UNH leases site on Adams Point from NH Fish and Game Department and begins planning for a marine biology laboratory. (1963)
  • EDAL - Engineering Design Analysis Laboratory founded, Professor Godfrey Savage, Director. (1965)
  • Grant received from the National Science Foundation to build a marine biology lab on Adams Point. Microbiologist Galen Jones hired as its first director. (1966)
  • National Sea Grant College Program established by U.S. Congress "to promote the wise use and development of the nation's marine resources through university-based research, education and advisory services." (1966)
  • UNH Diving Program established. (1967)
  • John Kingsbury of Cornell University hosts the first 2-week Shoals marine biology program at Star Island and begins work to re-establish the undergraduate summer program on Appledore Island directed by C. Floyd Jackson from 1928 to 1941. Galen Jones, guest speaker. (1968)
  • Balance of funds to complete lab at Adams Point acquired from New England Regional Commission, through the efforts of Jere Chase. (1968)
  • Groundbreaking for Jackson Estuarine Laboratory at Adams Point. (1968)
  • EDAL sponsored EDAL-HAB, the first undergraduate, student-tested submersible in the U.S. (1968)
  • NOAA/Sea Grant funding for the EDAL's "Undergraduate Ocean Projects Course". (1968)
  • First research vessel purchased. (1969)
  • UNH-CORNELL offers 4-week summer course, Introduction to Marine Science: 2 weeks at Star Island followed by 2 weeks at UNH. (1969-1971)


  • Jackson Estuarine Laboratory dedicated, honoring UNH's "father" of marine biology, Professor C. Floyd Jackson. Research vessel christened the "Jere Chase" . (1970)
  • New England Estuarine Research Society established.
  • NOAA established within the U.S. Department of Commerce, administers National Sea Grant Program. (1970)
  • UNH achieved "Program Status" under the National Sea Grant Program. (1971)
  • Shoals Marine Lab (SML) summer program on Appledore Island opens. Established by John M. Kingsbury of Cornell University in partnership with UNH. (1973)
  • UNH joins N.H. Audubon Society and N.H. Division of Parks to establish a marine education program and nature center at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, N.H. (1973)
  • The Marine Program established under Bob Corell and receives direct budgetary support from the N.H. State Legislature. (1973)
  • Hubbard Fund established to support Marine Program. (1975, 1981 and 1996)
  • ONASSIS Oil Refinery proposed for Durham, NH. (1973) UNH Marine faculty (as well as other departments) testified. Proposal defeated. (1974)
  • UNH and University of Maine Cooperative Sea Grant Program established. (1976)
  • Marine Docent Program established under Sea Grant. (1977)
  • Annex to Kingsbury Hall completed as first Marine Program building, administrative headquarters for the Marine Program. (1978)
  • Portsmouth Commercial Fishing Pier built- UNH arranges permanent slip for research vessel. (1978)


  • UNH designated as a Sea Grant College with University of Maine. First joint arrangement in US. (1980)
  • AFAIR (Anadromous Fish and Aquatic Invertebrate Research) Laboratory established (1984)
  • Marine and Freshwater Biology major option for undergraduate students established within COLSA.
  • Coastal Marine Lab in New Castle, NH established providing coastal ocean access for research and diving training.(1988)


  • Marine Program reorganized under three Centers: Center for Marine Biology, Center for Ocean Engineering and Center for Ocean Sciences. (1991)
  • Polynucleotide Sequencing Facility established. 50-foot research vessel Gulf Challenger commissioned; replaces the Jere Chase. (1993)
  • Sandy Point Discovery Center opens as the educational center for Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, on Great Bay in Stratham, N.H. (1994)
  • CICEET (Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environment Technology) established. (1997)
  • RECOMS (Remote Contaminant Monitoring System) Observation Program in Great Bay established. (1998) NOAA grant for open ocean aquaculture research of shellfish and finfish off coast of White Island (Isles of Shoals). (1998)
  • Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center established, Chase Ocean Engineering Lab. (1999)
  • Cinemar - Cooperative Institute for New England Mariculture and Fisheries - established; manages UNH's Open Ocean Aquaculture program. (1999)
  • Northeast Consortium established (UNH-University of Maine-MIT-Woods Hole partnership that collaborates with commercial fishermen regarding coastal ocean issues). (1999)


  • Environmental Technology Building opens; home to CICEET. (2001)
  • The Hubbard Center for Genome Studies (HCGS) was established to provide a focal point for genomic research at UNH. (2001)
  • The UNH center of excellence for Coastal Ocean Observation and Analysis (COOA) was established in October with a $2M award from NOAA. (2002)
  • Environmental Technology Building dedicated to Senator Judd Gregg and renamed Gregg Hall. (2004)
  • The Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) was established as a partnership between UNH and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) to address issues of oil and other hazardous spill preparedness, response and restoration in coastal areas. (2004)
  • Center for Large Pelagics Research established. (2004)
  • Construction and renovation of the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex, including the addition of a pier support facility and research pier constructed at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex. (2009)


  • Jackson Estuarine Laboratory renovation and modernization. (2010)
  • Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center founded - The Center is an evolution of the Open Ocean Aquaculture Project, established in 1997 with the support of Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). Funding for the Center is provided through an annual grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • R/V Gulf Challenger repowered with new clean diesel engines, transmissions, controls and generators. (2011)
  • NOAA hydrographic research ship, Ferdinand R. Hassler, is homeported at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex. (2013)
  • School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering formed. (2013)

Timeline provided by the University Museum, Dimond Library, in conjunction with its exhibition Students of the Sea: History of the UNH Marine Program from 2001. Updated information courtesy of the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering.