About Us

The Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI) consortium represents a strategic alliance of 24 major universities, colleges, and foundations in Southern California, nine universities from the California State University System representing the Ocean Studies Institute (Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Pomona, San Bernardino and San Marcos) and the combined marine resources of the University of Southern California, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, University California Los Angeles, Occidental College, Los Angeles Community College DistrictThe Bay Foundation, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Region, and California Science Center Foundation.

SCMI’s mission is to foster marine research and education, focusing on urban impacts of the greater Los Angeles region on the coastal ocean.  We seek to improve scientific understanding and the development of solutions that will enable coastal waters and watersheds to thrive, adapt and become resilient to ongoing environmental stressors.

SCMI is located in the heart of The Port of Los Angeles on Terminal Island. The facility is a full functioning marine research institute equipped with offices, laboratories, classrooms, seawater filtration system, machine and wood shops, and a warehouse. There is ample docking space for universities small boats and the research vessel R/V Yellowfin.


SCMI supports various marine science research projects and programs which include water quality monitoring in the Port of Los Angeles and NOAA Ship of Opportunity Program (SOOP). Member campuses conduct a multitude of research projects aboard our Research Vessel the R/V Yellowfin and in our laboratories.  To facilitate research efforts SCMI provides equipment, vessels, and personnel to perform the tasks necessary to achieve the highest and most efficacious level of research.


 SCMI is committed to providing marine science expertise and research field experience to students at all levels. SCMI offers hands-on science education programs taking the students out of the textbook and straight into the marine environment. SCMI’s demonstration cruises on the R/V Yellowfin offers university and college students career level experience in marine science. SCMI also offers K-12 programing in our classrooms, laboratories, and wharf.

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities at SCMI can be found on California State University Long Beach employment page listed under the Ocean Studies Department.

Volunteer Internships

 SCMI offers high school, college, and university student volunteer internships year round.

Facilities Available at SCMI

  • Wet and Dry Laboratory
  • Indoor and Outdoor Flowing Seawater System
  • Dive Locker
  • Classrooms and Meeting Rooms
  • Machine and Wood Shop
  • Warehouse and Staging Area
  • State-of-the Art Scientific Gear and Equipment