1890   1900   1910   1920   1930   1940   1950   1960   1970   1980   1990   2000   2010

see also Memorial Resolutions for information about past faculty at Hopkins
bibliography of books, videos and journal publications about Hopkins


   <- A flow diagram of the faculty and their major area of interest over the history of HMS.

Pre 1890:

1853-1906 The Chinese people who settled on the land that would become Hopkins, came directly from China by junk or via San Francisco. They came to fish abalone and later expanded to fish squid, rockfish, etc. Chinatown in this area was atypical of Chinese communities because it was made up of families: almost 50% male and 50% female. Other Chinese communities were mostly male as the residents did not intend to stay permanently, but to make their fortune and go back to China. The settlers chose this particular spot because it was outside the Monterey city limits and provided the best protection from the sea. Abalone was in abundance here because the otters had been decimated by the fur trade earlier in the century and the local Caucasian residents didn't eat them. There is archaeological evidence that the local Native Americans also ate abalone, but their populations were largely gone by this time.

1860 David Jacks became landlord of "China Point."

Chinese fishing boats
1853-1874 The Monterey Mexican population did not exploit the local marine resources for a significant portion of their food. Their economy consisted of a small lumber and whaling industries. Meanwhile the Chinese shipped dried abalone and fish to San Francisco and China. They used locally made redwood flat-bottom boats that could be pulled up on the sand for storage and protection from winter storms. Chinese Fishing Boats
1874 Italians arrived and started fishing for rockfish to be sold fresh to San Francisco. The Italians needed piers for their much heavier keeled boats. To avoid competition the Chinese switched to squid. The Italians were not interested in squid at the time and Chinese could fish for the squid at night using fires in baskets hung over the side of the boat, thus avoiding confrontation. The Chinese never dove for abalone, but only collected them from the intertidal region. Later the Japanese would come and dive for abalone. The Chinese utilized everything, even seal testicles and penises! The good squid was dried on racks for consumption with the squid not fit for consumption was dried on the ground and then packed in salt. Poor squid was used in this way to get around the salt tax in China, with the squid themselves being used as fertilizer there. Chinese immigrants could not become citizens, because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, but their children born here were citizens. Because the China Point community was composed of families, some of the earliest Chinese-Americans came from this area. Chinese Fishing Boats

1880 Local economy consisted of whaling, fishing, and sand mining. The Del Monte Hotel was built to try to increase the tourist industry. Chinatown provided part of the labor and a point of interest for tourists. Late winter and early spring was tourist season. With nothing much else to do at night, tourists watched the squid fishing lights. [Whale vertebra]

Chautauqua: The Nature Study Movement in Pacific Grove, California

1882 The Exclusion Law prevented additional Chinese from entering the country. The Chinese already here would often go back to China and legally should have been permitted to return, but often were not let back into the U.S. The Chinese Exclusion Act wasn't repealed until 1943.

Whale Vertebra


1892 Stanford opened the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory at Lover's Point. David StarrJordan, Stanford's first President and Harvard-trained Ichthyologist, oversaw this opening. The Station was named after Timothy Hopkins, adopted son of Mrs. Mark Hopkins, and is the oldest marine lab on the west coast, third oldest in the country. (The Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole was founded in 1888 and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1890.) Approximately one acre of land was obtained from the Pacific Improvement Company at Point Aulon (Lover's Point). The first building was erected for approximately $700, paid for by Hopkins. [L-R: Jordan, Hopkins and the Naples marine lab Hopkins was modeled on.]

David Starr Jordon Timothy Hopkins Naples Marine Lab

First classes offered at the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. Students came down for six weeks with their professors during the summer only. Students would bike to Point Lobos to collect intertidal organisms at low tide, leaving at 2 AM! [Class of 1894 *]

1893 A second building for the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory was erected at Lover's Point.

Class of 1894
1894-1900 Around 1900 the Presidio opened. Spanish/American war occurred from April to August 1898. The Chinese were being squeezed out by Monterey on one side and Pacific Grove on the other. Chinese population is around 150-200. [Hopkins Seaside Laboratory] Hopkins Seaside Laboratory


1906 Hopkins Seaside Laboratory's name was changed to the Marine Biological Laboratory of the Leland Stanford Junior University at the request of Mr. Hopkins. The Chinese population increased to a peak of around 350 a month after the San Francisco earthquake, when the San Francisco Chinese moved down here. Not long after the earthquake and fires in San Francisco, there was a fire in the Chinatown here. The fire may have been set intentionally. It destroyed buildings where our Fisher and TRCC buildings are today. Buildings remained across from the railroad tracks (where the recreation trail is today). The Pacific Improvement Company fenced it off and tried to make the site into a university park. They offered the Chinese another site (McAbee Beach) with an area around the airport used to dry squid. This offer became an embarrassment and political liability, so the Pacific Improvement offered to donate the land to the University of California. The deal was never consummated.



1916 Monterey Boatworks building was built by (Horace) Cochran and Pearson, and later run by Gus Smith. It was sold to Siino about 1927. A property exchange was made with the Pacific Improvement Company to move the Marine Biological Laboratory of the Leland Stanford Junior University from Lovers Point to China Point, just west of Point Alones (Abalone Point) or Point Loeb (Point Loeb is the current site of the Monterey Bay Aquarium). Initially this site for the Marine Biological Laboratory was just under five acres. [Monterey Boatworks ~1920]

Monterey Boatworks

1917 The Marine Biological Laboratory relocated because of too much public disturbance at Lovers Point. Its name was changed to Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University on October 26th. Walter K. Fisher became first resident director and served until 1943. He was an echinoderm taxonomist. Cypress trees still seen today were planted by Director Fisher. Agassiz was the first building, named in 1929 for Alexander Agassiz to honor America's leading oceanographer. [Agassiz 1916 & 1917]

Agassiz building 1916 Agassiz building 1917
1919 California Fish & Game had an office at Hopkins Marine Station until 1970. J.B. (Julie) Phillips was the officer from 1928-1968.  


1921 Two and a half additional acres were purchased for Hopkins Marine Station.

1923 Three and a half additional acres were purchased; the Marine Station was now a total of almost 11 acres in size. Steinbeck and his sister Mary took three classes at HMS during the summer. John Steinbeck took General Zoology from Professor Taylor, Classics and Exposition from Professor Bailey and three English courses offered from 1920-1923 that "fulfill[ed] the English requirements of medical students". John Steinbeck enjoyed intermittent attendance at Stanford from 1919-1925, but never got a degree. Ed Ricketts arrived, but didn't meet Steinbeck until 7 years later. No ecology class was offered at Hopkins Marine Station until the 1940s. [Ricketts. Photo by Ed Jr. 1947 *]

1924 Daughters of the American Revolution installed a plaque on the rocky point marking the site where Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo discovered Monterey Bay in 1542. It is still there today, but no longer readable. [Plaque] Cabrillo Landmark
1927 Siino Boat Works building was erected by Angelo Siino (this building is now our Fisher building). Siino bought the "Boat Works" from Gus Smith, who never lost a boat. [1978?] Sculpture works

1928 The Loeb building, with funds from Rockefeller Foundation ($50,000), and the Boiler House (now the shop), built to supply heat and hot water to Loeb, were erected. [Loeb 1928]
Loeb 1928


1930 Professor Cornelis B. van Niel started teaching his famous summer course in Microbiology. It was offered every summer through 1962 (except 1935 when it was given in the spring and 1955 when it was not taught). Many students from this course went on to become prominent scientists including two Stanford Nobel laureates, Professor Paul Berg and Professor Arthur Kornberg.

1931 The state of California designated the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge, making it the second oldest in the state. (San Diego Marine Life Refuge was established in 1929).

1936 Timothy Hopkins died on January 1st, leaving his estate in trust with 60% of its income designated "for the maintenance and development of Hopkins Marine Station, including the library and the support of research work therein." The Transportation Library received $4,000 annually and the remaining income from the endowment is split 60%/40% between Hopkins Marine Station and Lane Medical Library.

1939 Ed Ricketts' Between Pacific Tides was published by Stanford University Press. Between Pacific Tides


1940 John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts' 6-week summer expedition to the Sea of Cortez. [Steinbeck]

1941 John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts published the Sea of Cortez. Mrs. Hopkins died and income from the trust became available to Hopkins Marine Station.

John SteinbeckSea of Cortez book cover
1943 Professor Lawrence R. Blinks became Director of Hopkins Marine Station, holding the position until 1965. "Forest Lodge" property in Carmel Woods was donated by Mrs. Edith B. Shuffleton and renamed the "Carmel-Stanford House". One wing of the house was the Director's residence. By 1945 it was under emergency lease to Carmel Hospital. [Professor Lawrence Blinks] Lawrence Blinks
1944 Professor Gilbert Smith published "Marine Algae of the Monterey Peninsula, California".  

1945 Hopkins Marine Station was mentioned in a sign left on a Japanese marine station door asking World War Two solders not to destroy the scientific equipment. more info [Sign on marine station in Japan]

1947 University of California, Berkeley's Department of Zoology rented space at Hopkins Marine Station to teach its summer course (Zoology 112/212). They continued to do this each summer through 1952.

1948 Ed "Doc" Ricketts was killed when his car is hit by a train at the Drake Street crossing.

Sign on marine lab in Japan


1950 A 40 foot Diesel-powered boat capable of collecting in the deeper waters of the bay was acquired and named the "Tage" in honor of the late Professor Tage Skogsberg. Professor Skogsberg carried on hydrographic work for many years in Monterey Bay.

1952 The "sea monster hunting" Danish expedition ship Galathea stopped by Hopkins to drop
off Dr. Rolf Bolin, a participant on the New Zealand and South Pacific leg of the cruise.

Tage boat


1962 The ship Te Vega was donated to Hopkins Marine Station by Harold Miller. It was replaced by the ship the Proteus in 1969 (an old tuna clipper). The National Science Foundation funded research on the boat and its maintenance until 1972. Professor Rolf Bolin was the program director for the Te Vega until he retired in 1967. He also served as chief scientist on 8 of its 12 cruises.

Interview with Harvard graduate student Vida Kenk and Professor Rolf Bolin (Cruise #8, 1965, Pago Pago to Honolulu to Monterey) FLASH video

Shipboard activities (Cruise #1, San Diego to Singapore, no Sound) FLASH video

1963 Marinostat building was completed with funds from the National Science Foundation. Renamed the Blinks Laboratory in 1978. Spring Class "Problems in Marine Biology" started by Professor Donald P. Abbott. [Marinostat and DPA at chalkboard] DPAMarinostat
1964 Professor Cornelis B. van Niel was the first biologist to be awarded the President's National Medal of Science. [van Niel receiving award] Professor van Niel honored
1965 Professor John Phillips became Director until 1972. Princess Huniko from Japan visits Hopkins at the request of her marine biologist grandfather, Emperor Hirohito. [John Phillips] Phillips

1966 Alan Baldridge was hired as librarian. He retired in 1993. [Alan Baldridge]

1967 Stanford purchased Hovden Cannery to prevent a hotel from buying it. In 1980 it burned down in a fire.

Alan Baldridge


1972 The Hovden Cannery closed (it was canning squid at the time).

Hovden Cannery
1976 Professor Colin Pittendrigh became Director, until 1984. Professors Isabella "Izzie" Abbott and George J. Hollenberg published "Marine Algae of California" with Stanford University Press. Professor Donald P. Abbott receives the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. [Professor Colin Pittendrigh]  
1977 Boat Works was renovated to be the Library/Dive Locker/Front Office. [Boat Works 1990?] MBW
1978 Friends of Hopkins Marine Station started. Dick Berlin was the first chairperson. The library moved from the second floor of Loeb to the Boat Works and was named the C.B. van Niel Library. [Friends Logo] Friends Logo
1979 Professor Isabella Abbott received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. [Professor Isabella Abbott] Isabella Abbott


1980 Professors Morris, Abbott, and Haderlie published Intertidal Invertebrates of California with the Stanford University Press. [Book cover]

Intertidal Invertebrates of California
1982 Professor Donald P. Abbott received the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education. [Professor Donald P. Abbott] DPA

1984 Hopkins Marine Life Refuge was renewed. It was expanded on January 1, 1985. Monterey Bay Aquarium opened October 20, 1984. [Refuge outline]

One of the things the refuge helps protect is a resident population of harbor seals that pup on the beach in front of the library.

1986 The Aquaria building was completed in April.

harbor seals on beachRefuge
1988 Professor Mark Denny published Biology and the Mechanics of the Wave-Swept Environment
[Book cover]
Wave - Swept Environment
1989 The Miller Library opened. Professor Dennis A. Powers became Director, until 2000.
[Professor Powers]
Denis Powers


1991 Alan Baldridge published Gray Whales. He published a second edition in 2006.
[Book covers]

gray whales book cover

1993 Professor Mark Denny published Air and Water. It won the Association of American Publishers award for Best New Book in Astronomy and Physics in 1995. [Book cover]

Lecturer Chuck Baxter received the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education [Lecturer Chuck Baxter]

Chuck BaxterAir and Water
1994 With help from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Tuna Research & Conservation Center opened [TRCC] TRCC
1995 Professor David Epel received the Allan Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research [Professor Epel] Professor David Epel
1996 The DeNault Research Building opened. [DeNault building] DeNault building
1998 Professor Mark Denny received the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. President Clinton and Vice President Gore visited Hopkins Marine Station [Professor Mark Denny and President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and student Nancy Eufemia] Professor Mark DennyPresident Clinton, Vice President Gore and Nany Eufemia
1999 The Victorian house complex in New Monterey was purchased for student housing. [Hopkins Housing] Beldon House


2000 Professor Mark Denny received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Lecturer Chuck Baxter received the Western Society of Naturalists Naturalist of the Year Award.  Professor George N. Somero became Director until 2008. Professor Mark Denny published Chance in Biology: Using Probability to Explore Nature. [Professor George Somero and Chance in Biology book cover]

TOPP - Tagging of Pacific Pelagics program started by Hopkins along with NOAA and UC Santa Cruz. Later renamed Tagging of Pacific Predators

Professor George SomeroChance in Biology book cover

2001 The Hopkins Housing was fully renovated [$300,000] and students moved in for the winter quarter.

Professor Barbara Block published Tuna: Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution [book cover]

Professor Steve Palumbi published The Evolution Explosion : How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change. [Book cover]

Evolution Explosion book coverTuna book cover
2002 Professor George Somero published Biochemical Adaptation: Mechanism and Process in Physiological Evolution [Book cover] Biochemical Adaptation
2003 Hopkins Marine Station started the Stanford@SEA program in conjunction with the Sea Education Association of Woods Hole. Twenty-one undergraduates sailed a 134 foot steel brigantine to the Palmyra Atoll. [Ship] Stanford @ SEA

2004 American Society for Microbiology designated Hopkins Marine Station as a "Milestones in Microbiology" site in memorial to Professor Cornelis B. van Niel's 32 years of research and teaching.

Professor William Gilly, Chuck Baxter, and Nancy Burnett retraced the famous 1940 Steinbeck/Ricketts Sea of Cortez cruise.

Ship used in Back to the Sea of Cortez journeyVan Neil plaque

2005 The Agassiz building seismic renovation began.  As a member of the Palmyra Research Consortium, the Station helped launch a new research station on the Palmyra Atoll. [Palmyra Atoll]

Hopkins Marine Life Refuge name was changed to Hopkins State Marine Reserve on November 2, 2005.

Lecturer James Watanabe received Western Society of Naturalists Naturalist of the Year Award. 

Palmyra Atoll

2006 The Agassiz building was reoccupied. 

Lecturer James Watanabe received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Western Society of Naturalists Naturalist of the Year Award. [Lecturer James Watanabe and Marco Polo book]

Professor Mark Denny and Joanna Nelson published Conversations with Marco Polo: the Remarkable Life of Eugene C. Haderlie.

Conversations with Marco Polo book coverLecturer James Watanabe

2007 Professor Mark Denny published Encyclopedia of Tidepools and Rocky Shores.

The Hopkins State Marine Reserve was expanded and renamed the Lovers Point State Marine Reserve on September 21, 2007.

Tidepools and Rocky Shores book cover

2008 Professor Mark Denny published How the Ocean Works: an Introduction to Oceanography.

Professor Stephen Palumbi became Director.

HMS Marine Life Observatory established to generate and make available consistent long-term data sets.

Scripps installs buoy off Hopkins to record water temperature and wave information

Center for Ocean Solutions established as a joint program with MBA, MBARI, and Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment

How the Ocean WorksStephen Palumbi
2009 Professor David Epel published Ecological Developmental Biology. [book cover] Ecological Developmental Biology
2010 Professor Stephen Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka published The Death & Life of Monterey Bay
The Death & Life of Monterey Bay

2011 Professor Stephen Palumbi wins Benchley Award for Excellence in Science


2012 Barbara Block given the Rolex Award for Enterprise  

2014 Professor Stephen Palumbi and son Anthony Palumbi published The Extreme Life of the Sea

Lover's Point State Marine Reserve renamed Lovers Point - Julia Platt State Marine Reserve

The Extreme Life of the Sea
* Historical images courtesy of Pat Hathaway at California Views
See also Memorial Resolutions