About Our Program
Marine biological studies at the University of Hawai‘i have a long history of excellent research and graduate training in nationally ranked programs like Oceanography, Zoology, Botany, and Microbiology. Now, the School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology (SOEST), and the College of Natural Sciences have come together to form a graduate program offering Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Marine Biology. This program, led by Co-Directors, Dr. Stephen Karl and Dr. Timothy Tricas, takes advantage of the 51 faculty members whose research interests span the study of marine ecosystems, marine biogeochemical processes, reef and oceanic fisheries, and human/marine interactions. It also partners with state and federal agencies such as the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center for NOAA, the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to offer research and internship opportunities.
The faculty and students in this program have access to one of largest coral reef habitats in the United States including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the Main Hawaiian Islands, and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. The unique location of the Hawaiian Archipelago in the central North Pacific Ocean makes it one of the most remote locations in the world allowing the processes that govern adaptation and evolution in the marine environment to be studied with minimal anthropogenic influence. The program emphasizes scientific training in marine biology as a high demand occupation for the future.
The goal of the training is to produce scientists who are experts in their research areas with a broad-based understanding of the biology, ecology, evolution and life processes of marine organisms. This program also addresses the growing need, locally and globally, for technically trained scientists, managers, and policy makers who are needed to understand the many processes that govern tropical marine ecosystems. Sound management of marine resources is becoming critical as these resources come under mounting pressure for exploitation from a growing human population and increasing stress from global climate change.
Graduates of the program will be prepared for leadership and innovation in marine biological sciences through fostering their development as critical thinkers, interdisciplinary scholars, communicators, educators and researchers while studying at the University of Hawai‘i. Graduates will understand the research process, engagement of cross-disciplinary teams in problem solving, and will learn to communicate their findings to all audiences. To accomplish these goals, the program will ensure that graduates demonstrate:
- A comprehensive understanding of marine biological systems including the organisms, their habitats and biodiversity. In particular, this program seeks to expose students to organisms, systems, and processes that occur in both offshore (oceanic) and near shore (coast and reef) environments with an emphasis on the important links between these habitats.
- Expertise in the quantitative and qualitative methods for field and laboratory research.
- A working, in‐depth understanding of research methodologies and developed skills in competitive grant writing and the publication and dissemination of research findings in professional and practical applications.