About Us

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s (DISL) mission is to become a center for transformative oceanic and coastal research and education.

Scientific diver in the water

Founded in 1971 by the State of Alabama Legislature to maximize the marine sciences capabilities of several Alabama institutions and minimize duplication.

Research programs range from biogeochemistry and oceanography to ecosystem ecology and ecotoxicology. While much of our research focuses on the near-shore and estuarine processes of the northern Gulf of Mexico, field sites of our internationally-renowned faculty also include the Arctic, Mexico, Australia, and other countries.

Located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, a barrier island in the northern Gulf of Mexico, DISL is surrounded by Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound, and the waters of the Gulf, making it a perfect location to conduct a wide range of marine science activity.

Aerial view of DISL


The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is located on the eastern end of Dauphin Island, a 17-mile long barrier island approximately three miles from the mainland and thirty-five miles south of Mobile, Alabama. It is surrounded by Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. The 35-acre campus is bordered by Mobile Bay to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south and is a five-minute walk from the Mobile Bay Ferry and Historic Fort Gaines. The campus is a no smoking, no weapons, and no pets campus.

Mailing Address:
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
101 Bienville Blvd.
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Aerial view of DISL
Exterior view of Wiese Hall at DISL


Learn more about the facilities and resources available at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab including:

  • Seven lecture/lab classrooms
  • Three seminar rooms including two with web conferencing abilities
  • Library
  • Two computer centers
  • Multi-stressor Lab
  • Wet Lab
  • Flow-through Mesocosm
  • Marine Mammal Necropsy Center
  • and more!
Aerial view of DISL
Exterior view of Wiese Hall at DISL

Research Vessels

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab maintains maintains two large research vessels and several small vessels to conduct research and support educational programs throughout the year.

The largest vessel, the R/V Alabama Discovery, is equipped to collect samples to show the biodiversity of Mobile Bay and the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The R/V E.O. Wilson is ideal for conducting a variety of research operations in coastal and nearshore environments.

The fleet of small vessels ensures our research staff is able to access to all of Alabama's coastal and nearshore habitats.


The Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s vision is to become a center for transformative oceanic and coastal research and education.


Serve the general public, all levels of government, and the academic community, by improving ocean literacy and providing the best available science for coastal policy, including:

  1. Produce and disseminate knowledge regarding world oceans, coastal zones, and watersheds.
  2. Train future generations of oceanic and coastal scientists.
  3. Enhance public understanding and stewardship of oceanic and coastal resources.

Core Values

  • Excellence
  • Ethics and Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Community Engagement
  • Financial Responsibility

Contact Us

See more about Who We Are

General Questions

Dauphin Island Sea Lab
101 Bienville Blvd
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
(251) 861-2141
(251) 861-4646

News and Events

Angela Levins
Public Relations Director
(251) 861-2141 x7509

University Programs

University Programs Registrar
(251) 861-2141 x7526

Discovery Hall Programs Outreach, K-12, Teachers

Cassie Hanback
Administrative Assistant Discovery Hall Programs
(251) 861-2141 x7515

Alabama Aquarium

Robert Dixon
Aquarium Manager
(251) 861-2141 x7550

Field Trips

Jennifer Latour
Scheduling Coordinator
(251) 861-2141 x7511

Special Events

Lori Angelo
Events Coordinator
(251) 861-2141 x7010

Executive Director's Office

Shelley Stephens
Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director
(251) 861-2141 x7505

Volunteering is a proven way to increase community connections and develop social skills. Investing volunteer time at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab strengthens the lab's education and research efforts in Alabama. Volunteer opportunities include campus beautification, facility improvements, and Aquarium education.


Complete the form to share how your business or organization wants to help.

Organization volunteer form


If you are interested in volunteering at the Alabama Aquarium, please fill out the form below.

Individual volunteer form