American Society for Microbiology designates Ocean Station ALOHA as a Milestones in Microbiology site

Washington, DC – October 27, 2015 – Ocean Station Aloha, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) has been designated a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology. 

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for November 17, 2015 at the Ocean Station ALOHA.  In conjunction, the inaugural lecture in the newly-established Pavel Distinguished Lecture Series, "Waypoints in Microbial Oceanography," will be presented by Professor Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation and past president of the American Society for Microbiology. Both events will be open to the public.

The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and scientists that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. 

The plaque commemorating the Milestones in Microbiology designation will be presented by Tim Donohue, Ph.D., Past President of the ASM.  “This open-ocean research station has played a key role in defining the discipline of microbial oceanography and educating the public about the vital role of marine microbes in global ecosystems,” said Donohue.

Since 1988, teams of scientists have conducted pioneering research at Station ALOHA that has transformed the ecological understanding of the most abundant life forms in the sea – microorganisms.  The teams have discovered complex microbial interactions, numerous novel microorganisms and unprecedented metabolic pathways; and have made significant contributions to the understanding of the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. 

In 2006, Hawai‘i Ocean Time-series (HOT) research program was enhanced with the creation of a new NSF-supported Science and Technology Center (STC), the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE). This multi-institutional collaboration was established to investigate the identities, roles, and impacts of microorganisms including their potential responses to global environmental variability and climate change. In addition to this important, basic research mission, C-MORE had the important education mission: to train a new breed of inter-disciplinary microbial oceanographers, to develop curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to increase the number of students and teachers engaged in quantitative sciences and engineering, focusing on underrepresented groups, especially Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. In July 2014, a third collaborative research program, Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE), was created to complement the objectives of HOT and C-MORE, and to specifically investigate microbially-mediated processes that govern the flow of matter and energy at Station ALOHA with a greater temporal and spatial resolution.

Through public and private partnerships with the NSF, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation, Ocean Station ALOHA has increased public awareness of the science of microbial oceanography and its global importance. 

Previously designated Milestones in Microbiology sites include the Waksman Laboratory at Rutgers University; Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California; the site of the University of Pennsylvania Laboratory of Hygiene; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; the Microbial Diversity Course at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole; Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Connecticut; the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Bacteriology; The Rockefeller University; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the University of Michigan.  For more information on these sites, visit  


The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.