With 71% of the Earth covered in water, marine biologists are a vital link to the medicinal, environmental, and technological applications of marine life on society. Humans not only depend on its marine habitats to sustain life—we also put enormous pressure on our marine habitats. It is marine biologists who help preserve and restore collapsing ecosystems from human activities and natural phenomena. A master’s in marine biology from Florida tech gives graduates the educational foundation and hands-on research experience needed to enter a career in marine biology.
The opportunities for marine biology careers are very diverse and because there are so many relevant study topics, many individuals select a particular interest and specialize in it. This could include specializing in a single species, organism, behavior, technique, or ecosystem. Marine biotechnology is an emerging field that offers opportunity in biomedical research and biotechnology product development such as a nontoxic coating that prevents the build-up of barnacles on ships.
Studying for a master’s in marine biology at Florida Tech is a multidisciplinary experience that includes other scientific disciplines, from aquaculture and oceanography to chemistry, meteorology and zoology. In addition to specializing in marine biology, the biological sciences departments also offer biotechnology, cell and molecular biology, and ecology.
As a leading research university, the curriculum, laboratories, and field research programs for students earning a master’s in marine biology is robust, encouraging students to think outside the box and formulate new ideas that contribute to the field. Florida Tech is near some of the most diverse marine environments, including the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon, providing students with a wealth of natural laboratories to conduct cutting-edge research.
NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and highly decorated military generals have chosen Florida Tech for excellence in science and engineering education. When it comes to marine biology graduate programs, consider that in 1971, Florida Tech’s undergraduate marine biology program was one of the first in the United States.
Not all marine biology graduate programs use PhD professors to teach courses. But at Florida Tech, all professors in the department hold doctoral degrees, teach the lectures, and collaborate on research projects. Small class sizes and a tight-knit community of students and faculty create a learning environment unlike other marine biology graduate programs. In fact, rigorous courses, excellent laboratories, and valuable field experiences combine to make marine biology one of Florida Tech’s most popular degree programs.
Research opportunities is another reason graduate students choose Florida Tech over other marine biology graduate programs. Department professors involve students in faculty-led research as well as nurture student research projects to expand their understanding of marine biology and explore its many career opportunities. Florida Tech offers the rigorous curriculum and research programs students might expect to find at much larger universities in a smaller, more intimate environment.
The university is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities in the F. W. Olin Physical Sciences Center and Instrumentation Center, and the F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building. These facilities offer cutting-edge laboratories and instrumentation as well as laboratories for photochemistry and computation chemistry. The Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs of an aquaculture and fish biology program, including a temperature-controlled greenhouse, small mammal and reptile facilities, recirculating systems, and an electron microscope suite. Other facilities include the Vero Beach Marine Laboratory, an off-campus facility on the Atlantic Ocean, and the Center for High Resolution Microscopy and Imaging.
While many graduate students live and work in the area, Florida Tech also attracts students from around the world. The university’s location on Florida’s Space Coast puts it in the midst of rich marine environments such as the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America; the miles of Florida coastline provides students with the unique benefit of internships and potential employment with many local, state and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquaria, mariculture companies, and private marine research organizations. The campus is also in the middle of one of the largest high-tech workforces in the country.
The multidisciplinary marine biology program at Florida Tech prepares graduates for their career by presenting the latest body of knowledge in the industry and offering excellent research facilities for conducting state-of-the-art marine biology research.
Marine biology has a diverse realm of topical interest that could include:
In addition to research activities, graduate students can become members of the scientific societies that support the marine biology field. Based on their laboratory productivity, students may be able to attend scientific meetings and present their research findings.
Graduate students are encouraged to submit their research findings for publication in respected industry journals such as Aquatic Toxicology, Marine Biology, Marine Biotechnology, Fish Biology, and many others. For an extensive list of marine biology journals, visit MarineBio.org.
With a master’s in marine biology from Florida Tech, graduates have a chance to find much variety in their career. Whether they choose a specialization or choose a multidisciplinary approach, a marine biology career allows graduates to contribute to the world they live in by better understanding the interaction of humans with the Earth’s ecosystems and natural resources.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.
A marine biology career typically involves occupations in biotechnology development, aquariums and aquaculture, agriculture, medical/pharmaceutical research, and academia. Other employers are local governments, aquaria/museums, colleges and universities, private research laboratories, or consulting firms.
According to the bureau, biological scientists (included with wildlife biologists) could expect to grow 5% through 2022. New jobs could rise in part from the demand to monitor the effects of climate change on ocean life and sea levels. Related fields like oceanographers are expected to experience a 16% growth in jobs during the same period as the need for environmental monitoring, protection, and clean-up expands.
After receiving a master’s in marine biology, many students enter a doctoral program at Florida Tech. Along with a chance to conduct additional research and find new ways to contribute to the industry, a doctoral degree typically increases an individual’s earning potential as well as recognition as a subject-matter expert. Some tuition scholarships are available.