Why Study Marine Biology at UMM?
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A Hands-On Approach
From the very beginning of your academic career at UMM, you will work closely with your instructors both in the laboratory and in the field. We offer unique opportunities for student - centered undergraduate research, examining local marine organisms and their ecosystems. Our faculty specialize in teaching outdoors to enhance hands-on learning. You will learn about the biology and ecology of marine plants and animals inhabiting oceans, rocky shores, tidal pools, marshes, mudflats, and other marine environments. From the small to the large, from algae to marine mammals, UMM’s program in Marine Biology offers you a hands-on approach to the fascinating field of marine science. These experiences will provide you with skills highly valued by employers.
>> Learn More about our Applied Research in Marine Biology
A Personal Approach
The faculty are extremely knowledgeable, dedicated professionals who will share their research, expertise, and passion for the field with you. They will serve as your advisors and will guide you in structuring your education to best develop your talents and assure attainment of your educational goals. We have a wide-ranging program, with concentrations in Biological Sciences, Aquaculture, or Marine Ecology. Our courses are rigorous and of the highest quality so you will have the expertise to succeed in whatever career you pursue.
Professional Job Experience
In addition to coursework, we offer you practical, work-based learning experiences. There are a number of scientific and commercial marine biology centers through which you can obtain internships.
In particular, UMM has an on-going partnership with the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education (DEI), where you can conduct research in the area of shellfish and finfish research. In fact, the marine research and education facilities at the Downeast Institute serve as UMM's marine field station. The field station is located 25 miles west of campus in the island community of Beals, about 30 minutes from the Machias campus. The field station is immediately adjacent to the ocean, overlooking a working waterfront. A variety of marine habitats (rocky intertidal, soft-bottom intertidal, islands, and subtidal soft- and hard-bottoms) are within a quarter of a mile of the field station.
"Since I left Machias, there is not one person to whom I did not express my enthusiasm for the beauty of what I saw, the incredible intensity of biodiversity, the pure marvel of landscapes.
Is there a better place in America to study Marine Biology?
You have the oceans, rivers and lakes, the richness of fauna and flora, the wilderness, the harsh weather as well as the explosion of life in spring and summer. You can explore, discover and be directly in contact with nature. It was striking to me that it is such a perfect place for studying!"
--Francine Cousteau, President, The Cousteau Society of the United States
UMM is uniquely located at the headwaters of the Machias River estuary on the Down East coast of Maine. Far from the bright lights of the city, Machias is an ideal location for the naturalist. On the shore of the spectacular Gulf of Maine and the nearby Bay of Fundy, the ocean will be your classroom. We are minutes away from rocky shores, mudflats, salt marshes and sand beaches.
In addition to our own aquaculture laboratory, we are a short drive from state-of-the-art mariculture facilities for finfish and shellfish. Our NSF-funded Geographic Information Systems lab allows you to gain skills at mapping and track biological phenomena that are of research interest. Whether you pursue a career in marine education, fisheries science, aquaculture, or decide to continue your studies for a graduate degree, we will help prepare you for a lifetime in Marine Sciences.
Careers in Marine Biology
As the Earth's population has grown, we have become more dependent on the ocean, both as a food source and as a key to the health of the entire planet. As the ocean faces ever increasing demands on its finite resources, people with a background in marine biology are becoming more and more in demand.
UMM’s Marine Biology program can prepare you for careers in such areas as:
- Classroom teaching
- Interpreter/naturalist for aquaria, museums, tourist vessels, recreation or conservation areas
- Extension/outreach and environmental education
- Biologist for federal, state, or local marine natural resource agencies
- Biologist for government, private or non-profit consulting firms
- Resource Management
- Laboratory technician
- Hatchery employee
- Shellfish, finfish, or seaweed farmer
- Brian Beal, Professor of Marine Ecology
- Douglas McNaught, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology
- Ellen Hostert, Associate Professor of Biology
- Tora Johnson, Director of Geographic Information Systems
- Gayle Kraus, Professor of Marine Ecology
- Wendy Norden, Assistant Research Professor
- Shallee Page, Associate Professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry
- Sherrie Sprangers, Associate Professor of Biology
- William Otto, Associate Professor of Chemistry
- Gerard Zegers, Assistant Research Professor