The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) traces its roots to the Limnological Society of America (LSA), which was established in 1936 to further interest and research in limnological science. The society was an outgrowth of the meetings and discussions of the National Research Council's Committee on Aquaculture during the previous decade (Lauff, G.H. 1963. A history of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. Pp. 667-682 in, (D.G. Frey, ed.) Limnology in North America. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison).
While the LSA had members working in both freshwater and marine systems, the name did not reflect this 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 has grown from 221 charter members in 1936 to more than 3,800 members in 1993. Members are drawn from 58 countries including the United States, and more than a quarter of the membership reside outside the U.S.
The purposes of ASLO are to promote the interests of limnology, oceanography and related sciences, to foster the exchange of information across the range of aquatic science, and to further investigations dealing with these subjects. ASLO is best known for its journals, its interdisciplinary meetings, and its special symposia.