COSEE-West is part of a network of 11 Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence around the United States with support from the National Science Foundation. Each COSEE is designed to integrate ocean-science research into K-12 education programs and to promote a deeper public understanding of the ocean and its influence on our lives. COSEE-West is closely connected with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles County schools, and it serves K-12 educators, informal education centers and the general public across the greater Los Angeles area.
COSEE-West is overseen by the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles in collaboration with the College of Exploration. Educators with the USC Wrigley Institute have helped create a network that draws on the expertise of research faculty at USC and UCLA and of scientists and staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the California Science Center, and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.