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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/227

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BIOLOGICAL LABORATORIES

THE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORIES OF THE PACIFIC COAST
By Professor WM. E. RITTER

THE study of marine botany and zoology has gained a foothold on the Pacific coast of the United States in the brief period during which biology has been institutionally naturalized in this part of the world, that promises well for the future.

Seaside laboratories have been established at three main centers of population: at Puget Sound, in central California, and in southern California. At the extreme north the University of Washington, in cooperation with several other institutions, has a laboratory at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. In central California the Timothy Hopkins Laboratory on Monterey Bay, belonging to the Leland Stanford Junior University, has now been in operation for twenty-three years; and near by is the Herzstein Laboratory owned by the University of California. On the coast of southern California are the Scripps Institution for Biological Research at La Jolla, near San Diego, securely founded because permanently endowed, and in the vicinity of Los Angeles laboratories at Venice and Laguna Beach are manfully striving toward permanency. The Scripps Institution is a research department of the University of California. The laboratory at Venice is being fostered by the University of Southern California and that at Laguna Beach by Pomona College.

With this bird's-eye view of what the country's long western sea frontage presents in the way of effort to turn to intellectual account the riches of life of this part of the Pacific ocean, we may proceed to a somewhat closer look at what is being done.

A student of marine life who has considered the geography of Puget Sound even from afar, does not need to be told that it is a great, richly stocked aquarium of both animals and plants. Almost completely landlocked though sufficiently open at both ends to enable the water to flow through it with each run of tides, beset with innumerable irregular islands, and rock-shored everywhere, a piece of the sea could hardly be more ideally circumstanced for all kinds of organisms adapted to such conditions. For several decades the prodigality of life in the Sound has aroused the enthusiasm of naturalists, resident and visiting.

Credit for the first efforts to create a laboratory for making use of this wealth of life is due to Professor Trevor Kincaid, of the University of Washington. After several years of preliminary collecting and reconnoitering by Professor Kincaid and his students, Friday Harbor was selected in 1903 as, on the whole, the most favorable place for a permanent