From its humble beginnings in tiny shed in a small Florida town, Mote Marine Laboratory has expanded to include a 10.5-acre campus in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations and public exhibits in Key West and field stations in Summerland Key and Charlotte Harbor. Florida's extensive coastline and marine and estuarine environments have enabled Mote scientists to build a platform of marine research conducted in the nearshore environment.
From the original focus on sharks, Mote research has expanded to include seven major areas of concentration, organized into seven research centers. While each center focuses on its own specialty, Mote scientists are able to partner with others within the lab to integrate efforts across a number of fields. This approach has led to discoveries that establish Mote as a global leader in many areas of marine science.
Mote recognizes the importance of advancing the understanding of sea science to the general public. To that end, Mote conducts extensive public outreach and operates a public aquarium that serves nearly 400,000 visitors a year. Mote is one of the few organizations in the world that combines marine research with public outreach through a full-fledged aquarium.
Mote Marine Laboratory is also one of the world’s few remaining private marine research laboratories and, as a nonprofit organization, is funded through federal, state and local grants and through the generosity of individual donors and foundations. Over the last five decades, the world has learned many things about its oceans. One lesson has remained constant: There is still much to discover.
Mote scientists are committed to that process of discovery: Advancing our understanding of the sea and what is needed to sustain it.