There are many ways in which individuals can be of assistance to the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute.

Give a Gift

You can help expand our research by making a gift to the OSU Foundation. If you choose to support the Marine Mammal Institute, please know that your gift will have a significant impact. Private funds support about half of our research, for which we are extremely grateful. 

Purchase a Coastal Playground License Plate

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles offers a special license plate that benefits the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University. The Coastal Playground plate features an image of a gray whale mother and calf on a background showcasing a coastal lighthouse. Each sale and renewal of this special plate contributes critical funds to the OSU MMI, which are then used to support Oregon marine mammal research, public outreach, and educational opportunities for students. For more information about the license plate, please visit


The Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN) relies heavily on the involvement of citizen volunteers, who serve as its eyes and ears on the beaches. For more information, please contact Jim Rice, OMMSN Coordinator, at (541) 867-0446 or

Each winter, Dr. Bruce Mate teaches a weekend course to volunteers of the Whale Watching Spoken Here program. These 200–400 volunteers then help to educate 40,000 visitors to the Oregon Coast during the height of the gray whale migration cycle. For more information, contact the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.