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The development of marine science research, teaching, and service at the University of Maine formally began in 1965, when Ira Darling and Clare Shane Darling transferred their 127-acre farm and woodlot on the Damariscotta River in South Bristol to the University. Their express purpose was to establish a marine laboratory. The gift fulfilled the decades old desire by University of Maine scientists and administrators to do just that. UMaine quickly began hiring faculty, starting research projects, building structures, developing courses, and creating ties to state and federal agencies. The transition from farm to world-class facility and laboratory was gradual, with periodic uncertainties over funding and direction. But, eventually, UMaine became one of the first twenty institutions in the United States to achieve “Sea Grant” status while University of Maine Marine Sciences overall became one of the University’s most important units, supporting research in the Gulf of Maine and the oceans beyond. Catherine Schmitt is Communications Director at the Maine Sea Grant College Program. She is the author of A Coastal Companion: A Year in the Gulf of Maine from Cape Cod to Canada (2008) and The President’s Salmon: Restoring the King of Fish and its Home Waters (2015). Her forthcoming book project (2016) is titled Historic Acadia National Park. Shelby Hartin is a 2015 graduate of the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism. She currently resides in Bangor and is employed by the Bangor Daily News as a customer service representative and features reporter where she writes for the arts and culture, food, and homestead sections of the paper.