Interdisciplinary program will prepare students for careers protecting the ocean and its inhabitants

June 24, 2010

A new master’s program in Marine Conservation and Policy will be offered by Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) beginning with the fall 2010 semester. The 12-month interdisciplinary program is designed to give students a broad base of scientific knowledge about marine ecosystems, enhanced communication skills, and perspective on the economic, legal, and/or policy challenges of marine conservation.

“Our goal is to provide students from a variety of academic backgrounds with an understanding of contemporary marine conservation and policy issues,” said program director Dr. Robert Cerrato. “Graduates of this program should have the advanced training and broad skill-set needed to compete effectively for marine conservation positions that are not research-based. They should be well prepared for employment in government, environmental consultancy, and non-governmental organizations, and to apply marine conservation and policy knowledge in other fields such as law, teaching, communications, or business.”

The Graduate Program in Marine Conservation and Policy balances coursework in marine science, marine conservation biology, communications, and quantitative analysis with classes in marine management, economics, policy, or law. Through an exciting new collaboration with the School of Journalism, the program aims to equip students with the communications skills necessary to connect scientists with stakeholders and to make research results understandable to the general public.

Students in the Graduate Program in Marine Conservation and Policy will have the opportunity to learn from SoMAS faculty who are world-renowned experts in marine conservation, including researchers from the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, which became a part of SoMAS in 2008. Each student’s course of study culminates with an in-depth capstone study or internship resulting in the production of an original synthesis paper based on a consequential topic in marine conservation and policy.

“From oil spills to overfishing to the consequences of global warming, our oceans are in peril,” said Dr. Cerrato. “We hope that this program will train the next generation of ocean advocates and guardians who will build the framework for a smarter ocean policy.”

Stony Brook University’s Graduate Program in Marine Conservation and Policy is accepting applications through the middle of July for enrollment in fall of 2010. More information about the program and how to apply can be found on the MCP program page.

About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) is the State University of New York’s center for marine and atmospheric research, education, and public service. With more than 85 faculty and staff and more than 500 students engaged in interdisciplinary research and education, SoMAS is at the forefront of advancing knowledge and discovering and resolving environmental challenges affecting the oceans and atmosphere on both regional and global scales.

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