The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Bob Malouf Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

April 19, 2017


Robert E. Malouf was born in Dallas, Texas in 1946. When he was two years old, his family moved to Missoula, Montana, where he completed his early education. A pivotal high school biology class sparked Malouf's passion for science where, correspondingly, he met his high school sweetheart and future wife, Judy Hancock, who had been paired with him as a lab partner.

After high school, Malouf majored in Marine Biology at the University of Montana, specializing in invertebrate zoology. In 1968, Malouf was accepted as a master's student in Oregon State University's brand new Sea Grant Program. As Sea Grant's first master's trainee, Malouf worked with Bill Wick, who was head of outreach for the public wing of the Marine Science Center, a position that Malouf would later take on as Director of Oregon Sea Grant.

After receiving his MA from OSU in 1971, Malouf worked for Delaware Sea Grant as a resident biologist. During this time, he collaborated with farmers at Delaware Bay, where he became an expert on algae cultivation and feeding processes for oysters. Two years later, in 1973, Malouf returned to OSU as a research associate while pursuing his Ph.D. As a doctoral candidate, he focused on the potential for raising sea animals in the heated affluent created by nuclear power plants along the Oregon coast. Additionally, Malouf worked on the research team at OSU's marine laboratory at Port Orford, engineering the pump systems that drew in sea water for sampling.

Upon completing his doctorate, Malouf accepted a position as Sea Grant professor at the State University of New York - Stony Brook. Working there from 1977-1991, Malouf provided support for regional oyster fishermen and taught courses in marine fisheries, shellfisheries, and aquaculture. In 1986, he was promoted to the position of Director of Sea Grant for New York - Stony Brook.

Malouf returned to OSU once more in 1991, this time as Director of Oregon Sea Grant, a position that he held for seventeen years. As director, Malouf focused on lobbying efforts to obtain consistent federal and state financial support for research and Extension work. He also oversaw the operations of the visitor center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, as well as an array of Sea Grant programs in communication, education, and outreach.

In addition to his term as director of Oregon Sea Grant, Malouf served for over ten years as a member of Oregon's Ocean Policy Advisory Council, chairing its Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. He retired in 2008.