UNC Wilmington info, for marine bio

<p>Does anyone have any good scoop on UNC Wilmington for an out of stater? Not sure if it would make much sense, as we have UCSC here which should be just as good or better for marine bio...but I'm not finding much about this school here or in the guide books I have.

<p>It is NOT wise to major in marine biology (unless you're a double major). Marine biology is mostly a graduate school field. An undergraduate degree in marine biology is not required, nor is it recommended. It is difficult to branch out from marine biology into other fields for grad school. What is far, far more important is getting the necessary biology (cellular biology, molecular biology, comparative physiology, genetics, developmental biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, microbiology, and botany), biochemistry, organic chem, physical chem, physics, calculus, statistics, computer science and possibly geology and differential equations that you need to succeed in the field. There are many summer programs (Scripps, Duke, Shoals, and Woods Hole spring to mind) that one can and should participate in to gain some background in marine biology, which will be far more helpful than marine biology courses. Independent research is often strongly recommended, if not required, for marine biology grad programs, so seek out schools that actively support undergraduate research. </p>

<p>Marine biology is a subset of oceanography (often called biological oceanography) and is by far the most popular branch (chemical, geological, and physical oceanography being the other three), so the availability of jobs is not high.</p>

<p>Many, many schools can provide you with the proper undergraduate background for a career in marine biology. Many of these schools, like U Kansas, are not located on the coast. I strongly suggest picking a school strong in the basic sciences and math. Specializing at this point is a very bad idea.</p>

<p>Finally, one needs to know what one's getting into. Wanting to play with dolphins and fish is all very well, but very, very few people get these jobs. Most likely one will take a research cruise for 2-3 weeks PER YEAR, and spend the rest of your time writing up results and grant proposals for future research. Future marine scientists will probably, with the increased focus on climatology, be studying microorganisms and microfossils instead of the traditional macroscopic focus. Conservation biology, beach loss, and environmental chemistry are also becoming increasingly important in marine biology. If these don't sound fun, it might not be the best field.</p>

<p>UNC Wilmington has a good marine biology program, however. They run one of the the very few underwater laboratories in the world (Aquarius). UNCW has a "fun" reputation, and the male/female ratio is skewed to about 40/60. Biology, psychology, and education are popular majors. </p>

<p>If your S doesn't plan on a career in marine biology and just wants to major in it, ignore most of what I said above. :)</p>

<p>warblesrule, You seem to have a lot knowledge about this field. How is the University of Rhode Island, and Eckerd College for this field? Just curious.</p>

<p>NC State has a Marine Sciences program. It also has a College of Natural Resources that offers other related degrees that might have a wider range of applications in the post-grad. job market. </p>

<p>All the kids from our area who go to UNC-W love it there.</p>

<p>warblers- thx for your post- just curious if you're in the field, as you're so knowledgable.
I've looked at the actual class requirements for some of the marine bio majors, at a few colleges, and they do seem to encompass many of the foundational classes you recommend....???
its just that it I think it may be difficult for my kid to spend 3-4 years doing exclusively "hard" science in the lab and math, when she's dying to be out in the field or on a reseach vessel...I worry that might kill her interest before she really gets to do anything related to it
yes, I was also curious about Eckerd, UMiami and UC Santa Cruz, if you have any experience or info there</p>

<p>I'm a biology major, with a concentration in marine biology. I'm hoping to go to MIT/Woods Hole for grad school, but that's still two years away. </p>

<p>nemom- URI has a fantastic graduate program in oceanography (Bob Ballard, who discovered the Titanic, teaches there). I'm not sure how good their undergrad program is. Eckerd is very strong in marine science. </p>

<p>wecandothis- The only UC I've really looked at for grad school is UCSD, so I don't know very much about the others. UCSB has a pretty good program, and UCLA is great at the undergrad level. I don't know anything about UCSC. If California is a desired location, Occidental is certanly worth consideration. U Miami has a great program, and it's fairly strong in the sciences overall. The program is relatively unique in that it also incorporates meteorology and marine policy.</p>

<p>Ahh, thanks for the info.</p>

<p>Although it has been a few years, we visited UNC-W, Miami, Eckerd, and several other "marine science" schools. Son ended up at Miami admitted to the marine science program. However, he has changed majors, but I'd be glad to impart any info I can about UM's program. Just drop me a message.</p>


I can certainly sympathize with that; I was bored to tears in my genetics class. Fortunately, there are options! In addition to the marine labs I mentioned in my earlier post, the National Research Foundation sponsors programs called Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). These are awesome programs- they provide room/board, ~ $3000 stipend, research experience, etc. Women and URMs get a definite boost in REU admissions. There is also the option of interning at an aquarium over the summer, which can be a great experience too. Studying abroad might be a good idea; there are great programs in Australia for prospective marine biologists. </p>

<p><a href="http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/list_result.cfm?unitid=5053%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/list_result.cfm?unitid=5053&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href="http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href="http://www.sheddaquarium.org/internship_listings.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.sheddaquarium.org/internship_listings.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href="http://www.aqua.org/internships.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.aqua.org/internships.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href="http://www.neaq.org/community/intern/positions.php%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.neaq.org/community/intern/positions.php&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href="http://www.mbari.org/education/internship/genintern.htm%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.mbari.org/education/internship/genintern.htm&lt;/a>
<a href="http://www.mbayaq.org/aa/aa_jobs/aa_jobs_volunteer.asp%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.mbayaq.org/aa/aa_jobs/aa_jobs_volunteer.asp&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href="http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/mbiolaq/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/mbiolaq/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>thx sooo much, Warblers
could you share with us where you are attending? just curious</p>

<p>warblers- is your homepage supposed to be written by "dufus"????

<p>The UW is also a very good school for oceanography/marine biology. I have friends who are there in the ocenography program and they were given paid lab jobs as freshman. It's extremely well funded and I've only heard positive things about it.</p>

<p>wecandothis- Duke. And yes, I had copied and pasted the wrong link. :o I switched it to the Duke marine lab.</p>

<p>bluetissues- as in U WAshington, I'm assuming? that would be closer than Florida for us...
warblers- are you happy with the program at Duke, and do you get any marine classes or off shore study/research into your program as an undergrad there?</p>

<p>Yes, the University of Washington. Living in Seattle, I forget that there are other UW's out there! It always seems obvious to me what I'm talking about when I say UW.</p>

<p>I absolutely love our program. :) If you choose to concentrate in marine biology, you're required to take at least 4 courses at the marine lab (1 semester or 2 summer sessions), so you obviously get plenty of exposure to hands on oceanography. The Biological Oceanography class culminates in a research cruise where you collect data for your project, for example. In the spring, the lab offers a Beaufort-to-Bermuda program where you spend half a semester at Beaufort and half in Bermuda. The marine lab also offers programs in conservation in Hawaii, urban ecology in Singapore, and sea turtle conservation in Trinidad. If you want to get the Honors Distinction in the biology major, you have do do independent research, so it's great to be able to actually do undergraduate research at the marine lab. Beaufort is pretty unique in its animal populations because NC is often the boundary for animal ranges; the lab gets both sub-tropical and temperate fauna. There are thriving populations of wild horses on nearby islands- they're pretty popular with students. Beaufort was one of Rachel Carson's favorite settings, and the wildlife preserve near the lab is named after her. The dorms are pretty nice, and there's a library with a pretty extensive collection. The cook has been at the marine lab for a looooong time, and the food is GREAT. There are usually relatively few students at the marine lab (30 during the year, 60-80 during the summer), so you get a lot of faculty-student interaction. </p>

<p>There are several courses at Duke that make use of the marine lab. My intro oceanography class spent a weekend field trip there, and several botany and organismal biology classes take field trips to the marine lab (intro biology takes field trips to many sites in NC). There are also courses in the Earth & Ocean Sciences department that revolve around a field experience- volcanology in Hawaii, paleontology in Yellowstone, marine geology in Florida, seismology in California, coastal geology in Virginia/NC, etc. </p>

<p>UNC Chapel Hill has a very similar program and runs a marine lab in Morehead City, not too far from Beaufort. Stanford and Cornell also have marine labs.</p>

<p>warblersrule - where else did you think of going to school and why? Did you factor in proximity to an ocean? I understand what you say about not necessarily majoring in Marine Bio, so for my junior S, we're curious about reasonably selective schools that are near to oceans but are not per se chosen for a Marine Bio undergrad program. An LAC might be OK. Distance from the ocean probably not:).</p>

<p>I have heard good things about College of Charleston's program as well. It is on the water and has a nice aquarium in Charleston that I believe they work with as well. ( My D thought about that major until we did some research and she saw all of the same stuff warblers posted- because yes, she did want to play with dolphins LOL She quickly changed her mind - writing proposals and grant applications did not appeal. LOL)</p>

<p>Once again I find myself in a Marine Biology thread with Warblersrule, who absolutely knows his/her stuff. All I will add is...</p>

<p>If an undegraduate is not sure if he/she intends to major in Oceanography/Marine Biology, then just get a basic foundation in the life sciences (and calculus). No undergraduate MB major is necessary because this is definitely a field where graduate study is the foundation of your career. Yes, I realize that UNCW offers an undergrade MB major, as do a few other places, such as Richard Stockton College (NJ), U of Miami, C of Charleston but a B.A. is not critical to a professional career in the field.</p>

<p>There are several fine graduate schools that offer MB or incorporate MB in an Zoology, Ecology or Environmental Biology program. A few of the notable ones are;</p>

<p>Massachusetts Institute of Technology/WHOI
U of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
U of New Hampshire
U of Rhode Island
State University of New York-Stony Brook
Duke University
U of South Carolina-Columbia
U of Alabama-Birmingham (DISL)
Texas A&M Galveston
Stanford University
U of California SD/Sripps
Oregon State University
U of Washington</p>

<p>I omit UNCW's graduate (PhD) program largely because it is brand new. Also new (and somewhat ambiguous to me) is the new Brown University/MBL joint program. The MBL is a laboratory at Woods Hole, MA. Not to be confused with WHOI. Also of note is Columbia University's graduate Ecology/Evolution program, which is associated with the American Museum of Natural History, and also with the World Wildlife Federation (with ties to the Coney Island Aquarium).</p>

<p>One benefit of the UNCW graduate program is that they guarantee resident tuition to all accepted applicants (in addition to any other grants, aid, etc.)</p>

<p>Thanks guys. I believe my S's college list, from reach to safeties, has just been taken care of:). Hooyah!</p>