Coastal Biology Degree Programs

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What is Coastal and Marine Biology?

Coastal and Marine Biology is the study of aquatic organisms, ranging from the tiniest microbes to the largest marine mammals living in the rivers to the seas  It includes scientific research on a diverse range of topics, from basic research on how coastal and marine organisms function and how they interact with other species and their environments, to applied research on how to manage and conserve threatened or endangered aquatic populations or how to use natural products from marine organisms for useful purposes such as human medicine.  Last, but not least, Coastal and Marine Biology is also an important field for education because a well-informed and “ocean literate” public is necessary for protecting the ocean for future generations to come. 

How can I become a Coastal and Marine Biologist?

Becoming a Coastal and Marine Biologist requires a strong foundation in the basic principles of biology along with more specialized courses on oceanography and coastal and marine organismal biology.  Most successful coastal and marine biologists also complete some form of hands-on training, such as summer field courses, directed research with a faculty mentor, and/or internships with off-campus agencies that focus on marine science research, education, and/or conservation 

 

Why should I come to UNF for a degree in Coastal and Marine Biology?

Because of UNF’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the St. Johns River, and the Intracoastal Waterway, and the research accomplishments of several UNF Biology faculty members in the Ocean Sciences, the Department of Biology’s Coastal & Marine Biology Program was awarded UNF Flagship Program status in 2006, establishing it as a center for excellence in this field.

Students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Coastal & Marine Biology at UNF have the benefit of working directly with accomplished faculty members conducting research on a broad range of exciting and important topics in coastal and marine biology.  They also have the opportunity to take all the courses needed for a successful career in coastal and marine biology, including several field-intensive courses, and can gain hands-on experience and academic credit by interning with local zoos and aquariums, state and federal fishery management agencies, conservation groups, and other marine science institutions.

 

Programs of study

Undergraduate programs 

UNF’s Department of Biology offer two areas of concentrations or “tracks of study” for undergraduate students who are interested in obtaining a baccalaureate degree in Biology with a specialization in coastal and marine biology: Coastal Biology and Coastal Environmental Science.

  • Coastal and Marine Biology track

The Coastal and Marine Biology track is designed to provide a broad background in biology with a special emphasis on the biology of coastal organisms and ecosystems. This track is especially well suited for students interested in pursuing graduate work and research careers in coastal and marine biology.

In addition to prerequisites in General Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math and core courses in Cell & Molecular Biology, Ecology, Physiology, and Genetics, undergraduates working towards a B.S. in Biology with a specialization in Coastal Marine Biology have the opportunity to take courses in Oceanography, Marine Botany, Coastal Invertebrate Biology, Ichthyology, Shark Biology, Marine Mammology, Herpetology, Coastal Fisheries Management, Field Studies in Marine Biology, Conservation Biology, and more.

Click here to view the full program of study for the Coastal and Marine Biology track.   PROGRAM OF STUDY

  • Coastal Environmental Science Track

This track is designed to prepare students for entry into positions with government and environmental agencies specializing in environmental work.  It is a multidisciplinary program and provides students with foundation in biology, statistics, ethics and public policy courses.  In addition to prerequisites in General Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math and core courses in Ecology, Genetics, Oceanography/Limnology, Statistics, Conservation Biology, and Analytical/Environmental Chemistry, undergraduates working towards a B.S. in Biology with a specialization in Coastal Environmental Science have the opportunity to take biology-focused courses in Marine Biology, Environmental Toxicology, Marine Mammology, Coastal Fisheries Management, Field Studies in Marine Biology, and others, along with courses in Law, Economics, Policy, Political Science, and Philosophy. 

Click here to view the full program of study for the Coastal Environmental Science track.   PROGRAM OF STUDY

Graduate programs 

UNF’s Department of Biology offer two degree programs for students who are interested in obtaining a graduate degree in Biology: the Master of Science in Biology (M.S.) and the Master of Arts in Biology (M.A.).  UNF graduate students interested in Coastal and Marine Biology generally follow the degree program’s Ecology/Environmental Biology track, which emphasizes the understanding of current ecological/environmental sampling techniques with additional focus on developing strong skills in experimental design and statistical analysis.  The graduate program also offers a Microbiology/Molecular Biology track, which emphasizes training on the latest genetic techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA fingerprinting. 

 

 

 

Graduate coursework on coastal and marine biology includes courses in Marine Biology, Aquatic Toxicology, Coastal Fisheries Management, Freshwater Ecology, Animal Behavior, Ichthyology, Marine Mammalogy, and others along with required courses in Evolution, Quantitative Ecology, and Critical Skills in Science.  

  • Master of Science in Biology

The M.S. in Biology is a thesis-based degree that requires completion of an original student research project and is well suited for students interested in advanced study and careers in biological research.  The requirements for completion of this degree are 30 academic credits of which a minimum of 18 credits must be for graded coursework and 1 credit for thesis defense.  Remaining credits are for seminar courses and thesis research.

 

  • Master of Arts in Biology

The M.A. in Biology is a coursework-focused degree that does not require completion of a student thesis research project and is well suited for individuals that wish to increase their knowledge, training, and level of education in biology for personal satisfaction and/or career advancement, but do not desire or require independent research experience.  This can include but is not limited to K-12 science teachers or individuals already employed in science-focused careers such as local environmental agencies or research facilities.  The requirements for completion of this degree are 36 credits of academic coursework.

Click here to view information on the graduate degree in Biology at UNF.   UNF GRADUATE DEGREES IN BIOLOGY