As human beings, we can only inhabit 29 percent of the world’s surface due to our inability to live on or under the water. Seventy one percent of the world’s surface is accounted for by the oceans. If this sounds staggering, consider that the oceans encompass nearly 300 times the habitable volume of the terrestrial Earth. Humans have only begun to explore the vast stretches of water across Oceania. There are consistently new species of organisms being discovered under the water’s surface. The study of these organisms and those that reside in brackish waters is referred to as marine biology. It is a growing field that remains largely untapped due to the incredible amount of ocean left to explore.
What Schools have Marine Biology Programs in New Jersey?
Marine biology is a specialized area of the general science of biology. This means that it is less common to find marine biology as a major than as a course. There are, however, a number of colleges and universities that teach marine biology as a major rather than a class or two on the subject. These schools include:
- Fairleigh Dickinson University – This university has two campuses in Teaneck and Madison, NJ. It offers a bachelor’s degree in marine biology that includes a semester of warm-water field experience in the Dominican Republic at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s field station in Samana.
- Richard Stockton College of New Jersey – This college is located in Pomona, NJ. The marine biology degree is actually called a marine science degree with a marine biology track.
- Rutgers University – Located in New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences offers a marine biology major for students who maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.4 GPA in classes required for the major. Students apply for the program in their junior year.
Marine Biology Curriculum
While different colleges and universities have varied curriculums, they share many similarities since there are certain concepts that are requirements for becoming a marine biologist. Some of these courses include:
- Chemistry – As a requirement for understanding the concepts taught in marine biology, students must take several units of general chemistry. Here they will learn the concepts of chemical equations and basic properties of chemicals.
- Biology – Students will also take general biology courses that teach concepts such as cellular structure, classification of species, and organism structures.
- Organic Chemistry – After taking general courses in chemistry and biology, students will take organic chemistry. This is the study of the chemistry of living organisms and carbon-based molecules.
- Oceanography – This course teaches students the fundamental mechanics of the ocean. They learn things such as plate tectonics, tidal formations, and the carbon cycle.
- Marine Ecology – Ecology is the study of the forces that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. Marine ecology examines the reasons why certain organisms thrive in different areas of the ocean.