The CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research was formed in 2005 as a result of a merger between the former CSIRO Division of Marine Research, with laboratories in Hobart, Cleveland, and Perth, and CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, with laboratories in Aspendale and Canberra. The Division of Marine Research was itself formed in 1997 as a merger between two previous CSIRO Divisions, the Division of Fisheries Research and the Division of Oceanography. Its research is in the areas of Marine science (including Marine biology, Fisheries science, and Oceanography) and Atmospheric sciences.
CMAR's research currently covers the areas of Climate, Weather, and Ocean Prediction; the "Living Atmosphere"; Marine Ecosystems and Resources; and Integrated Coastal and Oceans Management. It also hosts two "national collections" (the Australian National Fish Collection and the CSIRO Collection of Living Microalgae) at its Hobart site, and manages the Research Vessel "Southern Surveyor" as the Marine National Facility on behalf of the nation. As at mid 2006 it is quoted as employing some 550 staff at locations in or near Hobart, Tasmania; Aspendale, near Melbourne, Victoria; Cleveland, near Brisbane, Queensland; Perth, Western Australia; and Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
A "popular" account of the early research activities of the marine components of the Division (former Divisions of Fisheries, Fisheries and Oceanography, Oceanography, and Fisheries Research) is available as "CSIRO at Sea: 50 Years of Marine Science" (see Books on CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research).