Faculty, staff, students and visiting scientists at the Shannon Point Marine Center are actively involved in research.
The Marine Center hosts two undergraduate programs that bring students from around the country to participate in educational and research activities: the summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and the winter/spring Multicultural Initiative in Marine Science: Undergraduate Participation (MIMSUP). Western Washington University students participating in SPMC's academic courses and the graduate Marine and Estuarine Science Program also have the opportunity to conduct research projects.
Resident faculty and staff at SPMC are involved in a number of research projects whose topics range from studying oceanographic processes involving microscopic plankton to biochemical studies of giant kelp. The combination of high quality research facilities and easy access to marine environments make SPMC an ideal location for marine studies. Many studies take place at local model study sites as well as at more distant locations. Hundreds of scientific publications have appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals as a results of these studies. As part of its research program, the Marine Center takes regular measurements of local water quality, including measurements of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and nutrient concentrations. These data are available through the Marine Center's seachable on-line water-quality database.
The lab also hosts visiting researchers from around the world who come to SPMC to collaborate with resident scientists.