Our History

The UMass Amherst Gloucester Marine Station (GMS) is located in Hodgkins Cove (Ipswich Bay, Gloucester, MA), which has a long history, first as a granite quarry (Cape Ann Granite Company, Rockport Granite Company; ~1856-1927) and then Consolidated Lobster Company (~1931-1963).

The property, spanning approximately six acres of land, was conveyed to the University of Massachusetts Foundation in 1964. From 1970-2007, Dr. Herbert Hultin, UMass Amherst professor, used the marine station to focus on seafood nutrition and microbiology research.

Starting in 2011 until 2015, the station housed the Large Pelagics Research Center, focused on bluefin tuna and sea turtles, led by Dr. Molly Lutcavage. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) invested in facility renovations during these years. They currently maintain an office in the marine station and several DMF staff use the outdoor seawater system for marine sampling and analysis on a seasonal basis. From 2015-2018 the marine station was used for teaching classes and meeting space, but had no full time UMass faculty presence.

2018 was a turning point for the station. UMass Amherst’s decision to invest in and to re-structure the station coincided with the hiring of three new marine-focused faculty to bolster capacity (Cheng, Kahl, Komoroske). Dr. Kahl is based in Gloucester full time, in a new unique Extension role to bridge linkages between the University and stakeholders focused on forging integrated marine and coastal systems research and engagement opportunities. Drs. Cheng and Komoroske are based on the Amherst campus, have expertise in marine ecology and marine conservation genomics, and conduct and oversee seasonal marine research at the station. In 2019, Dr. Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli was hired as a research scientist to add capacity to our Sustainable Seafood program and work out of the Gloucester Marine Station.

Along with multidisciplinary network of research capacity across the UMass Amherst Departments and Colleges, as well as the 5-campus UMass system, the station is well positioned to cultivate success.
These faculty and early infrastructure investments greatly extended GMS’ ability to:

Investment in faculty and infrastructure have extended GMS’s ability to:

1. Forge new connections with communities, industry and academia and the opportunity to build new partnerships with local and regional stakeholders;
2. Secure federal, state and local funding with multiple partners toward new initiatives
3. Recruit students for summer work at GMS through the UMass Intercampus Marine Sciences program, Five Colleges Coastal Marine Science Program, Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment Summer Scholar program; and
4. Set strategic direction toward collaborative research, education and engagement.