The Marine Biology Program has been a part of the Goshen College Biology Department since 1966, when Drs. Jonathan N. Roth and C. Franklin Bishop accompanied a small group of students to Pigeon Key during spring vacation.  After three years the program moved to more suitable facilities on Big Pine Key.

When a Goshen College faculty member who had retired in Layton (Long Key) prevailed on the Goshen group to drive 30 miles to sing in the Layton Community Baptist Church, church deacon Del Layton, mayor of the town of Layton, took great interest in the Goshen College program.  At his invitation the program moved to Layton. Marine biology laboratory sessions the first year were held in the Layton town hall; in subsequent years in a laboratory building erected in association with Lime Tree Bay Resort.  Later, a group headed by Layton donated a parcel of land for the purpose of building a marine biology laboratory. In 1985 GC responded to Layton’s generosity by erecting the current building.

In recognition of the instrumental role that John N. Roth and C. Frank Bishop played in establishing the marine program, in 2009 President James Brenneman officially named the facility the J.N. Roth Marine Biology Station and the laboratory the C.F. Bishop Marine Biology Laboratory.

Dr. Duane Kauffmann wrote a history of the marine biology program entitled: Willamette Valley to Long Key: The Story of the Goshen College Marine Biology Program.  We invite you to enjoy this history by downloading a copy of the booklet here.