The purpose of ASLO is to foster a diverse, international scientific community that creates, integrates and communicates knowledge across the full spectrum of aquatic sciences, advances public awareness and education about aquatic resources and research, and promotes scientific stewardship of aquatic resources for the public interest. Its products and activities are directed toward these ends.
For more than 50 years, ASLO has been the leading professional organization for researchers and educators in the field of aquatic science. ASLO traces its roots to the Limnological Society of America (LSA), which was established in 1936 to further interest and research in limnological science. While the LSA had members working in both freshwater and marine systems, the name did not reflect this diversity until 1948 when the Oceanographic Society of the Pacific merged with the LSA to become the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. ASLO is incorporated as a nonstock (non-profit) corporation in the State of Wisconsin. Membership in the society is presently more than 3,800 members. Members are drawn from 58 countries including the United States, and more than a quarter of the members reside outside the U.S. In 2011, ASLO members voted to change its name to the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, reflecting the increasingly international nature of the society.