Seward Marine Center

Sikuliaq at Seward Marine Center pier

The Seward Marine Center (SMC) is located approximately 130 miles south of Anchorage at the head of Resurrection Bay. Co-located with the Alaska SeaLife Center and the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, the Seward campus is a central feature in the community of Seward and the Kenai Peninsula. SMC is one of Alaska's primary docking facilities for marine research vessels.

SMC was established in 1970 to support research in fisheries, marine biology and oceanography. For more than half a century, SMC has been a driving force both in scientific research and in the Seward community.

Plankton net on R/V Acona
Marine technicians catch plankton by towing a net with R/V Acona, the first research ship homeported at SMC. Photo courtesy of the Seward Marine Center.

Read about the history of SMC from 1970 to 2020.

SMC provides access to saltwater laboratory space, mooring facilities, office support, and coastal support for Alaska's visiting marine and fisheries scientists, UAF graduate students, and staff and faculty of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. There is also a 4-plex apartment unit for visiting scientists. Scientists from other institutions are welcome to apply for research visits to the facility.


The mission of the Seward Marine Center is to support research vessel operations, shore-based marine science research, and CFOS mooring research and fabrication.

R/V Sikuliaq

The Seward Marine Center is the homeport of the 261-foot, global class, ice-capable R/V Sikuliaq. This ship is part of the US academic research fleet and is operated by the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The vessel began science operations in 2014 and supports global oceanographic research. Learn more about Sikuliaq.

R/V Nanuq

The Seward Marine Center operates R/V Nanuq, a state-of-the-art, 40-foot near-coastal research vessel. Commissioned in 2019, Nanuq  is designed to accommodate the deployment of a wide variety of equipment to support oceanographic and marine biology research. The vessel can be reserved and utilized by academic and research organizations. Learn more about Nanuq.

The Tsunami Bowl

Each winter Alaska holds a regional ocean sciences competition for Alaska high school students, called the Alaska Tsunami Bowl. The Tsunami Bowl is part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) competition, which was started in 1998 to celebrate the International Year of the Ocean. Each year the winning team of the Alaska Tsunami Bowl competes against other regional teams from all over the United States at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl finals competition. The Alaska regional competition is sponsored by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the Seward Marine Center, with additional support from Alaska Sea Grant and many other generous sponsors. Learn more about the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.