The Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), founded by the State Legislature in 1971, is Alabama's marine education and research center. Located on the eastern tip of a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, the Sea Lab is the home site of the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium. The Consortium serves DISL members, twenty two Alabama colleges and universities, both public and private. Over the years, the scope has expanded tremendously, adding on to its educational programs, broadening its research scope, and providing a public aquarium that focuses solely on the native ecosystems of the Mobile Bay estuary. Additionally, the DISL's Coastal Policy Center offers local government, industry and agency decision makers a range of coastal zone management services. Programs at DISL include:
University Programs - Conducted in support of both undergraduate and graduate degrees of the member institutions. Students enrolled through member schools utilize resources at the Sea Lab as an integral part of their education.
Faculty Research - DISL faculty conduct research in disciplines ranging from biogeochemistry to paleoecology, with efforts concentrated on Mobile Bay, the overwhelmingly dominant natural feature of the Alabama coast, although research is carried out as far away as Antarctica.
Discovery Hall Programs - Since its initiation in 1975, Discovery Hall has expanded its program to include K-12 students, teacher training/enhancement, teacher in-service facilities and Elderhostel seminars, as well as supporting Bay Mobile, a portable touch lab to bring the coast and sciences to organized groups and the general public.
The Estuarium - A public aquarium with exciting visual displays and engaging interactive exhibits presenting an unforgettable educational experience to visitors. Focusing on the four main ecosystems of the Mobile estuary system (the Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Gulf of Mexico), the Estuarium includes the Living Marsh Boardwalk, a 10,000 sq. ft. Exhibit Hall and much more.
Coastal Policy Center - DISL offers support to the public through this center, a multi-disciplinary team of planners, educators and scientists offering a variety of informational and management services pertaining to coastal and wetland habitats.