Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship Program


The Department of Biology’s Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship Program is one of only 6 UNF academic programs selected for University Flagship status because of the research accomplishments of its faculty, educational opportunities for its students, and its contributions to public education and science-based policy making about the Ocean.  Our mission is to discover and educate others about Coastal and Marine life with the goal of preserving it for future generations.

 Upcoming  Events




Oyster Reef


 Genetic Drift




Florida Institute of Oceanography




May 10 - June 16, 2017 (Modified Summer Session C)


Field Studies in Marine Biology:  OCB 3180L 4930; 3-4 credits

Prerequisites:  General Biology 1 & 2 (BSC 1010C & 1011C) and Chemistry 1 & 2 (CHM 2045C & 2046C)


The University of North Florida will be one of 5 host universities sponsoring the Florida Institute of Oceanography Study Abroad in Florida “Field Studies in Marine Biology” (BSC 4930) course in summer 2017.  This is a field intensive course.   Faculty at five universities serve as hosts as students travel to locations around the state to experience varied Marine and Coastal habitats.  After a few days of general orientation at the home institution, students will travel to the far ends of Florida returning the final week to UNF.  The course carries 4 credits.  There is a special lab fee, which also covers rooms during the course as well as meals during the work week.  Class size is limited and an interview is required of all applicants.


Students will spend a week at the University of West Florida in Pensacola examining Landscape Impacts on Coastal Waters, followed by a week at the University of South Florida-St Pete working on marine collection techniques, low energy shorelines and aboard an ocean-going research vessel.  Students then move to the Florida Gulf Coast University Vester Marine Laboratory in Ft Myers where they study coastal geology, oyster reefs, coastal currents and seagrass meadows.  Florida Atlantic University will host a week at the Keys Marine laboratory in Layton on the Florida Keys.  There students study reefs and reef communities, mangroves and algal communities.  Finally, students return to the University of North Florida for an experience with estuaries and lagoons where temporal and spatial variability are the themes.


The course is open to all qualified students, regardless of university affiliation.  Students not enrolled at one of the five host universities must  complete a summer transient form.  For additional information contact Dr. Kelly Smith,


Click here to link to a video describing the FIO Study Abroad experience from Summer 2013. FIO VIDEO


For more information about the experience please read the blog entries by students in this program. Student Blog link