Mission & Vision

Since its founding in 1965, the Darling Marine Center has been an active center of marine research, education, and community engagement and outreach. In addition to supporting university research and education, the DMC also actively engages with fishermen, aquaculture entrepreneurs, and other marine industry professionals and community members through collaborative research, workforce development, and business incubation programs.

As the University of Maine’s marine laboratory, our mission is to connect people to the ocean by generating and sharing knowledge of coastal and marine ecosystems and the human communities that are part of them.

As we look ahead to our next 50 years, we envision that the DMC will be an internationally recognized center for marine research, education, and engagement. The DMC will enable scientific discovery and help sustain coastal communities, ecosystems, and economies in Maine and beyond. Through strategic investments in infrastructure, programs, and people over the next 10 years, the DMC will expand its impacts on the scientists, students, and communities that we serve.

We invite you to give our Strategic Plan a close read (or if you’d rather, the two-page summary) and share your ideas about how we can deepen the DMC’s contributions to knowledge of how our oceans work and to the health of coastal ecosystems and economies  in Maine and beyond.

Strategic Investments

To achieve the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan, we have identified three priority investment areas: Infrastructure, Programs, and People. To learn more about giving opportunities, please contact the DMC Director at dmc@maine.edu or 207-563-8144.


  • Construct a new Marine Science Education Center to replace aging and scattered infrastructure.
  • Construct a new maintenance facility and revitalize the vessel operations center.
  • Replace the large vessel used for research and education.
  • Increase high quality housing options for students and visiting researchers.
  • Construct a new Community Engagement Center to serve as the administrative and public gateway to the campus.


  • Enhance academic and research collaborations with other UMS campuses in ways that leverage the unique setting and capabilities of the DMC.
  • Develop and/or host graduate and professional-level short courses in areas of identified need where the location and facilities of the DMC offer particular advantages.
  • Catalyze knowledge synthesis, communication, and application by UMaine researchers, students, and our partners in research, education, industry, government, and local communities.


  • Ensure a strong core of faculty, staff, and students are in residence year-around.
  • Promote and expand access to the DMC by graduate students, junior faculty, and other early career investigators.
  • Develop shared technical support for DMC-based research and education activities.
  • Enhance capacity for community engagement to ensure our science is accessible to communities and industries throughout the state and beyond.