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Hopkins Marine Station (1951 - Present)

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Pacific Grove, California



In 1950 the 40 ft ship "Tage" (named after Hopkins fish biologist Karl Jonas Tage Skogsberg who retired the year before) starts work for Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay and will continue until 1979. Most of the work was "hydrology" which means trawls of various kinds to sample life in the bay and on the bottom, and water analysis to determine quality and nutrient load. Because the canneries had collapsed, due to over fishing, there was a growing concern for the bay itself. With the deep Monterey Canyon, decadal occillations and a productivity unmatched worldwide, how exactly did all of this 'work'?

Also during the 1950's, an opportunity arose to gather a collection of high resolution photographs of the intertidal surrounding Hopkins Marine Station.

Faculty present in 1950s were:


Cornelis van Niel
Cornelis van Niel

Starting in 1962 the Te Vega, a 130 foot yacht, took students and researchers from Monterey to the south seas and the Indian Ocean, again doing hydrology, in order to better understand the oceans and how they work. Last voyage in 1968.

Marinostat building comes on line w/ hot and cold running seawater and light controlled rooms. 1963

John Phillips spearheads the development of Biology Course 175H, introducing students to independent research. 1963

Cornelis van Niel is 1st biologist awarded the President's National Medal of Science. 1964

John Phillips become director in 1965. Princess Huniko from Japan visits. 1965

Alan Baldrige becomes librarian. 1966

Stanford purchases Hovden cannery to prevent hotel being built next door. 1968

In 1968 Julius B. Phillips, California Department of Fish and Game, retires after forty years in an office at Hopkins on the top floor of Agassiz.

The Proteus, a 90 foot tuna boat,  bought in 1969 continues the work of the Te Vega, but mostly in Monterey Bay.

Between 1964 and 1967 three of the faculty long in residence at the station became emeritus: Cornelius van Niel 1963, Lawrence R. Blinks 1965, and Rolf L. Bolin 1968

Faculty present in the 1960s were:


Boatworks Restoration- Pat Hathaway Collection 1977
Boat Works Restoration- Pat Hathaway Collection 1977

Flora and Fauna - as described in the 1971 Hopkins Marine Station Bulletin 

Hovden cannery closes (canning squid) in 1972. Hopkins uses it for storage.

In 1976, Colin Pittendrigh was recruited to become director. Over the next eight years, Pittendrigh made a concerted effort to expand the facilities and increase the number of faculty positioned full-time at Hopkins Marine Station.

Isabella Abbott and George J. Hollenberg publish Marine Algae of California.

Boat Works becomes library, dive lockers, and front office in 1977.

Friends of Hopkins Marine Station started. Dick Berlin first chairperson, 1978.

Isabella Abbott receives Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1979.

Faculty present in the 1970s were:


In the 1980s, the number of faculty positioned at the Station grew to the largest number that it had ever been. With Lawrence Blinks, (although emeritus and 80 years old, he was still at work daily conducting exciting research with the membrane potential of the alga Halocystis) the faculty numbered 10; and included three members of the National Academy of Sciences. The faculty provided research and teaching competence in Neurobiology and Membrane Biophysics (Stuart Thompson, William Gilly, Laurence Blinks), Cellular and Developmental Biology (David Epel, Daniel Mazia), Comparative Physiology - (Colin Pittendrigh), Invertebrate Zoology (Donald Abbott), Phycology (Izzie Abbott), Ecology (John Roughgarden, Donald Abbott, Chuck Baxter), and Behavior (Donald Abbott, Colin Pittendrigh, Chuck Baxter, Stuart Thompson, William Gilly).

To begin the decade, several new courses were introduced in 1980 titled "Experimental Studies in Neurobiology and Behavior" given by Stuart Thompson and Charles Baxter (Fall Quarter) and "Experimental Intertidal Ecology" given by Jonathan Roughgarden and Charles Baxter (Winter Quarter).  Don and Izzie Abbott, aided by Charles Baxter, David Epel and William Gilly led the 175H "Spring Course" as usual which, in 1980, was devoted to the Biology of Tunicates. The new Fall and Winter Courses were considered as intensive-and research oriented as the Spring Course; and designed to be extension of the "Don Abbott tradition'' to the entire year.

Intertidal Invertebrates of California
Intertidal Invertebrates of California

Morris, Abbott, Haderlie publishes Intertidal Invertebrates of California, 1980

Donald P. Abbott receives Disnkelspiel Award, 1982 

In 1982, Stanford University formally recognized Don Abbott's great contributions as teacher-scholar by giving him the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to undergraduate education. In making the award President Donald Kennedy said: "For the extraordinary scientific mastery that has enabled him - through the creation of a justly famous summer program and through his writings - to provide national direction and shape to an entire discipline; for the inspiration he has provided to those many Stanford undergraduates who regard the rigorous Spring Course he created at Hopkins Marine Station as a life-determining experience; for his ability, while remaining a humane and gentle scholar, to blend criticism with praise and motivation with high expectations so that students work their fingers to the bone and love him for making them do it."

Hopkins Marine Life Refuge is renewed. Monterey Bay Aquarium opens. 1984

The Aquaria building is completed. 1986

Mark Denny publishes Biology and the Mechanics of the Wave-Swept Environment, 1988

Miller Library opens. Dennis Powers is director. 1989

Faculty present in the 1980s were:


The following paragraphs appeared in the Friends of Hopkins News Letter 1988-1989 and authored be the recently recruited Director, Dennis A. Powers.

 Historically, marine organisms have played an important role in the biomedical sciences by providing models to understand basic principles in disciplines that range from neurobiology to developmental biology, from behavioral biology to immunology and from vision physiology to endocrinology . As a result, these studies have laid the foundation for understanding homologous processes in "higher"organisms, including man. Hopkins' faculty continue to be leaders in this field with their use of: (i) squid and other marine organisms to study neurobiology, (ii) sea urchins and fish to delineate the mysteries of development, (iii) tunicates to uncover the basis of cellular immunity, (iv) fish to unravel the details of vertebrate hormone regulation, and (v) sponges and other marine organisms to uncover a wealth of biomedically important compounds.

In addition to its commitment to the biomedical sciences, Hopkins continues its great tradition in the ocean sciences with studies on marine ecology, population biology, and systematics. In fact, the recent successful application of elegant biochemical, molecular and immunolo~ical methods to difficult problems in the ocean sciences suggest that the Hopkins' faculty will continue to be at the "cutting edge" of this research which is on the threshold of an exciting new frontier. The development of sophisticated tools like satellite remote sensing of the oceans and in situ monitoring of chemical, physical and biological parameters, and the application of the powerful tools of biochemistry and molecular biology to problems in the marine sciences will allow us to address questions that were previously unapproachable; some of which have perplexed marine scientists for centuries. Hopkins and other marine institutions on Monterey Bay (e.g., the Naval Postgraduate School, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, UC/Santa Cruz, NOAA's Center for Ocean Analysis and Prediction (COAP), and others) are rapidly becoming major players in the emerging new frontiers in the ocean sciences. The combined strength of these institutions makes Monterey Bay home to one of the largest groups of marine scientists in the country.

Because of its strong commitment to both the basic biology of marine organisms and to the large-scale marine sciences, Hopkins is uniquely poised to catalyze interactions between each of these institutes.


The following paragraphs appeared in the Friends of Hopkins News Letter 1988-1989 and authored be the recently recruited Director, Dennis A. Powers.

Before Dennis Powers arrived at Hopkins, he and Dave Epel wrote two equipment grants to the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research for instrumentation that would equip Hopkins with one of the most sophisticated molecular marine biology/ biotechnology laboratories in the country.  Their proposals were funded with high priority, with Powers and Epel being awarded almost $400,000 between the two agencies. Stanford generously provided some matching monies which allowed Hopkins Marine Station to renovate the Blinks Building and put together a modern molecular biology facility. Researchers at the Station were now able to clone and sequence DNA, synthesize oligonucleotides (small fragments of DNA), produce monoclonal antibodies, introduce new genes into cells and animals (transgenic animals), purify a variety of large molecules (proteins, DNA and RNA) and perform numerous biochemical and molecular studies that were previously impossible at Hopkins.

President Clinton and Vice President Gore visited Hopkins Marine Station 1998
President Clinton and Vice President Gore visited Hopkins Marine Station 1998

Alan Baldridge publishes Gray Whales, 1991

Denny publishes Air and Water, 1993

Tuna Research and Conservation Center opens {TRCC) 1994

David Epel receives Allan Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research, 1995

DeNault Research building opens, 1996

Mark Denny receives Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. President Clinton and VP Gore visit. 1998

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Honors George Somero, 1998

Faculty present in the 1990s were:


Milestones in Microbiology Site
Milestones in Microbiology Site

Mark Denny receives Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. George Somero becomes director, 2000

Barbara Block publishes Tuna: Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution, 2001

Steve Palumbi publishes The Evolution Explosion : How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change, 2001

George Somero publishes Biochemical Adaptation: Mechanism and Process in Physiological Evolution, 2002

Stanford@SEA starts and continues every other year to present, 2003

American Society for Microbiology designated Hopkins Marine Station as a "Milestones in Microbiology" site in memorial to Professor Cornelis B. van Niel's 32 years of research and teaching, 2004

Gilly, Baxter, & Burnett retrace Sea of Cortez cruise, 2004

Hopkins Marine Life Refuge name was changed to Hopkins State Marine Reserve. 2005

James Watanabe receives Western Society of Naturalists Naturalist of the Year Award, 2005

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Honors Barbara Block, 2005

James Watanabe receives the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Western Society of Naturalists Naturalist of the Year Award, 2006

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Honors David Epel, 2006

Allan A. Cox Medal for Fostering Excellence in Undergraduate Research at Stanford University, 1995

Mark Denny & Joanna Nelson publishes Conversations with Marco Polo: the Remarkable Life of Eugene C. Haderlie, 2006

Mark Denny publishes Encyclopedia of Tidepools and Rocky Shores, 2007

Mark Denny publishes How the Ocean Works: an Introduction to Oceanography, 2008

Stephen Palumbi becomes director, 2008

Scott Gilbert and David Epel publish Ecological Developmental Biology: integrating epigenetics, medicine and evolution,2009

Faculty present in 2000s were:


Open House, May 2017
Open House, May 2017

Stephen Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka publish The Death & Life of Monterey Bay, 2010

Stephen Palumbi wins Benchley Award for Excellence in Science, 2011

Barbara Block given the Rolex Award for Enterprise, 2012

Stephen Palumbi & son Anthony Palumbi publish The Extreme Life of the Sea, 2014

The David Epel Microscopy Center established in the Jacques Loeb Building, 2015

Special issue dedicated to George Somero, Journal of Experimental Biology, 2015

Scott Gilbert and David Epel publish Ecological Developmental Biology: The environmental regulation of development, health and evolution, 2015

Jeremy Goldbogen receives ONR: 2016 Young Investigator Award ONR, 2016

Barbara Block receives Benchley Ocean Award—the Academy Award of the ocean COS, 2016

Steve Palumbi elected to the National Academy of Sciences NAS, 2016

Mark Denny publishes Ecological Mechanics, 2016

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Honors Fiorenza Micheli, 2017

Mark Denny becomes director, 2018

Faculty present in the 2010s were:

Fiorenza Micheli and Jeremy Goldbogen become co-directors, 2020

Stuart Thompson receives Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2022

Hopkins Marine Station become part of the  Doerr School of Sustainability.

Faculty present in the 2020s are:

Memorial Lecture Series

List of Seminars Past

Specimen Collections