Founded in 1974, Bigelow Laboratory is an independent, non-profit organization with a primary focus on basic research of microbial processes affecting the productivity of the world's oceans, coastal seas, and estuaries. From its beginning, the Laboratory has been distinguished by its spirit of scientific freedom and a tradition of open, interdisciplinary collaboration, mentorship, and entrepreneurship. We have developed multiple learning and research affiliations with institutions of higher learning locally, nationally and worldwide. Currently headquartered in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Bigelow Laboratory's facilities include the J. J. MacIsaac Facility for Aquatic Cytometry, the Center for Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy and the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Culture of Marine Phytoplankton, which holds the largest collection of marine phytoplankton cultures in the world.
Bigelow Laboratory derives most of its revenue from Federal research grants and in the current fiscal year has been awarded about 25% of research dollars covered in grant applications submitted to various funding agencies. This research results in a yearly average of over 30 peer-reviewed publications.
The Laboratory was named in honor of Henry Bryant Bigelow, a visionary oceanographer who is recognized as a founder of modern, systems-based ocean science.