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Marine Biology Colleges: Marine Biology Schools and Careers, Marine Biology Degree and Education

Marine biology colleges give students a chance to study and explore the oceanic sciences, and learn about the animal habitat and wildlife on the ocean floor. Marine biologists are involved with research and the scientific study of ocean geology, animals, and plants. A marine biology degree covers a wide range of subjects to help students learn about marine life, chemistry, and physics for fieldwork and ecological research. Students at a marine biology college can take part in a variety of deep sea explorations, working with marine mammals and organisms, as well as performing tests and experiments in a marine lab.

What is Marine Biology?

Marine biology is the study and exploration of marine mammals, plants, and wildlife living on the ocean floor. It covers a vast spectrum of knowledge and includes the study of botany, chemistry, mammalogy, and conservation. Many marine biologists are also involved with environmental preservation and zoo rescue, and a marine biology degree can branch out into many specializations in the study of aquatic organisms and oceanic history. Studies in marine geology, conservation, and the technical aspects of marine biology offer many rewarding opportunities for a successful marine biology career.

Job Description and Responsibilities After Marine Biology College

Students who complete coursework and training at a marine biology college can pursue a variety of exciting and rewarding career paths in the field. Common responsibilities of a marine biologist or researcher include:

  • Research of marine and aquatic organisms
  • Studying the biochemical processes of fresh water organisms and plants
  • Planning and conducting experiments
  • Studying marine plants and animals as well as their behavior and interactions
  • Reporting on the interdependency of the environment and ocean animals
  • Monitoring marine communities
  • Educating people on research findings and results
  • Collecting and studying samples
  • Discovering and recording new species

Career Options With a Marine Biology Education

A marine biology education program at marine biology colleges and schools offers comprehensive training for a variety of rewarding careers. Examples of marine biology careers and job opportunities include:

  • Marine Biologist
  • Marine Mammal Specialist
  • Naturalists
  • Marine Biology Team Managers
  • Marine Biology Educators
  • Aquarium Directors
  • Conservationists
  • Ecologists

Skills Acquired with a Marine Biology Degree

Students of a marine biology college can gain advanced knowledge and specialized skills in scientific research methods and application. Many marine biology schools encourage students to take part in an internship to further refine their skills and earn college credit. Skills acquired with a marine biology education include:

  • Scientific method development and application

  • Strong critical thinking and research skills

  • Analysis and experimentation

  • Reporting and data collection

  • Publishing experimental reports and results

  • Networking with other biologists and scientists

  • Fieldwork experience

Marine Biology Colleges: Programs, Classes and Courses

Training in marine biology careers involves both hands-on lab experiments and research, as well as classroom instruction to understand basic scientific principles and research methods. Students may be involved with using computerized laboratory equipment, and studying a variety of disciplines including mathematics, engineering, and computer science. Marine biology careers are generally limited to research and fieldwork; most students need to pursue a marine biology education beyond the bachelor's degree in order to continue in the field.

Marine biology colleges are usually a part of the natural and applied science division of colleges and universities. A marine biology school offers students in-depth training and course of study, with classes such as:

  • Scale and Process in Marine Biology
  • Field Investigations
  • Diseases of Aquatic Animals
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Marine Ecology
  • Design of Oceanographic Field Experiments
  • Conservation Genetics
  • Marine Mammalogy
  • Sustainable Fisheries
  • Marine Resources and Conservation Management

Students who choose a specialization within their marine biology degree program can also explore marine biology careers in oceanic history, aquatic restoration, biological oceanography, or molecular studies. With today's advancing technologies in science and research, students can gain the hands-on experience they need from a formal marine biology school or college. Lab training and supervised fieldwork studies help students gain a well-rounded and balanced education in the field.

Marine Biology Schools Accreditation

Most marine biology colleges and schools are accredited by the regional Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and/or the regional Higher Commission on Learning. Each state may also offer independent accreditation to marine biology schools.

Employment Prospects and Job Options with a Marine Biology Career

A marine biology career can branch out into a variety of specialized studies and research, allowing scientists to work in teams and publish their research findings. Some marine biologists work on research ships where they collect information and conduct experiments on board, while others work in a lab to record results, discover and report new organisms, and record results. Marine biology is a highly specialized division of biological science, and there are very few openings in the field. Marine biologists are often required to work in the field, and almost all marine biologists who work in research have earned a Ph.D.

Median annual earnings for a marine biologist with a bachelor's degree are approximately $29,000 per year, and those with a master's degree can earn up to $35,000 per year. Salaries for a marine biology career are much lower than those of other biological scientists such as microbiologists or conservational researchers. Related occupations include:

  • Foresters

  • Conservation scientists

  •  Medical scientists

  • Veterinarians

  • Agricultural and food scientists


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