What Is A BS In Marine Conservation?
Students interested in the long-term sustainability of populations and ecosystems are ideal candidates for an interdisciplinary Marine Conservation degree at Florida Tech. This field of study examines how to mitigate the pressures that development, overfishing, and climate change impose on natural systems.
Students build a strong foundation in biology and a well-rounded background in conservation science and ecological principles. With an emphasis on marine systems, students in the program learn how to conserve biological diversity and protect rare, threatened, and endangered marine life. Although marine systems are emphasized, you will receive a solid grounding in all aspects of conservation biology.
Gain Practical Experience
In addition to biology and conservation, students in the Marine Conservation program build knowledge in chemistry, physics, and mathematics through hands-on undergraduate research activities. Florida Tech’s 'fast-start' approach means that first-year students get involved in research, engaging with faculty research teams in the lab and in the field.
“Why Pursue A BS In Marine Conservation At Florida Tech? ”
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There’s no better place to get a degree in marine conservation than at Florida Tech. Students spend a considerable amount of time learning outdoors in nearby natural laboratories, including mangroves, seagrass beds, creeks of the Indian River Lagoon, and the largest turtle nesting beaches in the United States. At Florida Tech, marine conservation is not just something students study: it’s something they get out into the field and experience through hands-on research activities.
Small Classes—Personalized Attention
Students earning a degree in Marine Conservation benefit from the department’s small class-sizes and personalized faculty mentorship, something larger universities cannot offer. Working with one faculty advisor who counsels them for their entire four-year program, students develop a strong professional relationship for study, research, and internship opportunities. Professors are passionate about research, engaging students in a multidisciplinary program right from their first year.
Florida Tech’s faculty prepare students for a career by involving them in hands-on research, including projects such as the effects of climate change, restoring lagoon health, effects of overfishing, and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Undergraduate students in Marine Conservation often publish their research in scientific journals, and participate in research exchanges with other institutions.
High-Tech Lab Facilities Filled with Modern Instrumentation
Florida Tech’s curriculum emphasizes experimental design and investigation, making classes challenging and interesting. Cutting-edge facilities and laboratories give students experience using the tools they’ll likely have on the job. The 70,000-square-foot F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center houses nine teaching laboratories, 19 high-tech research labs, a greenhouse, small mammal facilities, growth chambers, unmanned aerial vehicles, and state-of-the-art instrumentation:
- nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers
- photochemistry and computational chemistry equipment
- a scanning electron microscope
- high-speed video cameras
- genome sequencers
Classrooms in Florida Tech’s Backyard
Florida Tech is the perfect place for a BS in Marine Conservation. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, just north of us), minutes away from the diverse, estuarine habitats of the Indian River Lagoon, and the marine ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean. Our location in a state with so many miles of coastline provides us with many local, state, and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquaria, mariculture companies, private marine-research organizations, and other institutions that offer internships and employment.
The Melbourne / Orlando area has the fifth-largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.
Florida Tech is just over the causeway from the Atlantic Ocean, with its 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and a short trip to the Florida Keys and the Everglades. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.
Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations
Beyond the classroom, marine biology majors build leadership and professional experience through internships and participation in academic organizations. Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is the biology honor society for undergraduates that teaches students from all disciplines about biology and its importance, and recognizes students for outstanding academic achievements. Our own Marine Biological Society, is a club focused on the topic. There are opportunities to participate in student government and over 100 other student organizations.
TriBeta and the Marine Biological Society work together to hold guest lectures, social events, fishing outings and more. Membership is the perfect way to network with faculty and other students in the biological sciences to learn about internships, research and hands-on activities.
“How Will A BS In Marine Conservation Prepare Me For The Future? ”
Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities
SeaWorld, the National Park Service, the St. Johns Water Management District, the American Zoo & Aquarium Association and others have given Florida Tech students marine-conservation internships and jobs.
Students participate in marine-conservation internships and faculty-led research experiences on such topics as:
- The effects of overfishing on shark reproductive biology
- How climate change affects the growth and health of coral populations
- The impact of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on marine mammals
- How best to restore the Indian River Lagoon
- How warming waters will bring new predators into Antarctica
From the sea turtle conservation program at nearby Brevard Zoo to the multitude of public aquaria on the eastern seaboard, there are exciting interactive marine conservation internships for Florida Tech’s biology students.
Participate in Cutting-Edge Research
Faculty research teams are involved in the investigation of heat stress and disease in coral reefs and the history of El Niño events on sea bird populations. Undergraduates are studying how invasive species such as lionfish respond to climate change and climatic effects on native species.
“What Can You Do With A BS In Marine Conservation? ”
Graduates of the marine conservation program at Florida Tech are well prepared to begin their career in conservation biology. A BS in Marine Conservation prepares graduates to conduct marine-related research, and protect and preserve marine ecosystems.
Expand Your Horizons in Summer Programs
Whether they’re diving in the warm waters of Puerto Rico or the cooler waters of the Galápagos Islands, observing orcas in the Pacific Northwest, or contemplating the ecology of the Amazon, our marine conservation students take research to a whole new level. Florida Tech students travel around Florida and the world in our program of summer field courses. These exhilarating, hands-on opportunities provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences and a huge résumé-boost for students looking to pursue internships and careers.
Get Recruited Upon Graduation
Graduates of the marine conservation program are well prepared to begin employment in any number of industries from environmental protection, wildlife management or research. Florida Tech marine conservation grads have been recruited by employers such as:
- The American Museum of Natural History
- The Baltimore Aquarium
- EPCOT Center
- The Florida Medical Entomology Lab
- Sea World Florida
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- National Fish and Wildlife Service
- St. Johns Water Management District
- National Science Foundation
Graduates work in both commercial enterprises and governmental agencies, often doing scientific research and analysis related to conservation. Our graduates are also working at research-based non-governmental organizations, zoos, and aquaria, state and federal agencies, schools, museums, and other educational nonprofits, confronting the pressures that urban development, fishing, and climate change have on natural resources. Individuals working in marine conservation careers work with landowners and federal, state, and local governments to devise ways to use our natural resources while safeguarding the environment.
According to NOAA, the employment outlook in the field is very competitive with the study of fish and marine mammal population dynamics being in the most demand.
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. Although the Labor Bureau does not cite marine conservation careers separately, they do cite job growth for biological and wildlife scientists. Most jobs are related to the threats to wildlife and natural resources from human population growth, climate change, invasive species, and pollution.
Jobs for environmental science and protection technicians is on the rise due to public interest in hazards facing the environment. Employment of conservation scientists and foresters is expected to increase by 7% through 2024, with the greatest growth in federally owned forestlands. In recent years, preventing wildfires has become a top concern for government agencies.
Other Career Options
Other marine conservation careers to consider include:
- Director of conservation
- Marine habitat restoration specialist
- Marine research biologist
- Habitat biologist
- Marine fisheries biologist
- Wildlife biologist
- Director of marine education (in a zoo or aquarium)
- Natural resources biologist
- Curator of animal care and conservation
Graduate and Doctoral Programs
After receiving a marine conservation degree, many students often go on to master’s and doctoral programs for advanced degrees in marine biology, ecology, and conservation technology at Florida Tech, or from other institutions. Students most frequently continue their studies in:
- Marine biology
- Conservation technology
- Environmental science
- Coastal zone management
- Environmental resource management