In short, COMES would not exist if Oregon State University was not a land grant university with a College of Agricultural Sciences.  The fishing and seafood industries are very important to Oregon's economy. Although most of Oregon's fish, shellfish, and other ocean-based commodities are wild-caught instead of farmed, research on these commodities both pre- and post-harvest is critical to the continued success of these important agricultural products. In addition, shellfish and seaweed aquaculture are growing businesses for the state and the region, which requires continued research in these areas.  In the College of Agricultural Sciences, this kind of research takes place at Agricultural Experiment Stations around the state. COMES officially became a marine-oriented experiment station in 1989.

Although most of the COMES faculty are stationed in either Newport or Astoria, each faculty member also belongs to an academic department within the College of Agricultural Sciences.  The majority of our Newport faculty find their "academic home" in the department of Fisheries and Wildlife, but we also have a couple that represent Applied Economics.  All of the Astoria faculty belong to the Food Science and Technology department.  Some of the COMES faculty have teaching responsibilities through their academic departments - classes are taught in Newport, Astoria, and Corvallis, as well as through E-Campus. Faculty also use broadcast technology when needed to accommodate students in multiple locations.