University of Oregon

OIMB History

OIMB campus circa 1940

Army Barracks on OIMB campus during mid 1960′s

OIMB Dining Hall in 1970′s

View of OIMB campus in early 1980′s before construction of new buildings



University of Oregon has been teaching and conducting research in marine biology on the southern Oregon coast since 1924, when summer classes traveled to nearby Sunset Bay and used tents for dormitories and laboratories. In 1928-29, a portion of the Coos Head Military Reservation was selected as the permanent site for the University’s marine program and in 1931 over 100 acres of the Reservation, including some Army Corps of Engineers buildings, was deeded to University of Oregon. These buildings became the first permanent classrooms, laboratories and dormitories. In 1937, the Oregon State System of Higher Education shifted stewardship of OIMB to Oregon State University (then Oregon State College) until the Second World War, when the site was reclaimed by the federal government for strategic purposes. After the war, OIMB was returned, first to Oregon State College, then in 1955 to the University of Oregon. Until the mid-1960′s, the facility served as a summer field station. In 1966, the University undertook a two-year program of extensive building repairs and began using the marine station as a permanent, year-round research facility. A few years later, year-round educational programs were added to the existing summer teaching program. These teaching programs, as well as the research mission, continue to the present day. In 1985, OIMB added new teaching laboratories, research facilities and dormitories with a major grant from the federal government. In 1999, OIMB celebrated the construction of two additional research laboratories as well as the Loyd and Dorothy Rippey Library. An additional program of building renovation is currently in progress.

Check out this article: Bulletin of ESA: Focus on Field Stations