Mission & History


The mission of the Vermilion Sea Institute is to foster sustainable and enriching relationships between human societies and the ecosystems that support them. Because we recognize that these relationships are complex and multi-dimensional, VSI supports and implements programs that address not only ecological, but also cultural, economic, and sociopolitical aspects of environmental issues.


Statement & Policy

We know that we could not continue to do the important work that emcompasses the mission and vision of Vermilion Sea Institute without a beautifully diverse group of passionate and compassionate individuals around the globe. As an international nonprofit that aims to respect and celebrate our connections across landscapes, and cultures, we recognize the need to mirror that diversity and connectedness within our organization. We are still constantly and growing in our individual and collective capacities to practice equity and inclusion and we are committed to building a community for all. A community of different races, ages, genders, countries of origin, sexual orientations, and identities where everyone is empowered to bring their whole self to the work we do. A community where various, talents, skills, and perspectives will be honored and valued. We believe that science education and conservation work is not a neatly packaged product of objective data collection, but rather a chaotically beautiful product that includes subjective humanity and lived experiences of us all.


Nestled upon the shores of the Gulf of California within the Bahía de los Ángeles Biosphere reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vermilion Sea Field Station (VSFS) has hosted scientists, conservationists, educators, and students since the 1970’s. Originally the headquarters for gold and silver mining operations, the adobe building was one of the first structures in town. Later, the San Diego Natural History Museum began using the facility as a field station for natural history research.  

Over the years, VSFS has been used by countless schools, educational programs, and researchers, including world-renowned scientists, authors, and media figures. The station has hosted a great variety of universities, including Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Colorado, Biola University, and Miami University. These partnerships and the work done through VSI has a rich history of fostering conservation projects, sustainable relationships between humans and the environment and solutions to global and local environmental challenges.

Photo by Courtney Baxter

Photo by Courtney Baxter

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Upholding individual and collective humanity is important to us at VSI. As such, we work hard to improve our own understandings and programs to reflect the inclusive diversity of our world in an equitable and sustainable manner. If you have any concerns or feedback on how we can improve our language, programs, or interactions, please contact our Community Outreach Coordinator directly via email: [email protected]. If you prefer to remain anonymous with your feedback, you may share it here.

Header photo by Courtney Baxter

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