Students studying marine biology at Unity College get hands-on experience in their field starting their first day in class. America’s Environmental College has numerous resources that students can utilize on campus, with the Atlantic Ocean a short distance away. Take a look at some of the great reasons to study marine biology at Unity College.

You May Discover a New Species as a Marine Biology Major

In May of 2014, Unity College Professor of marine biology Dr. Emma Perry and four students were doing research on an island off the coast of Maine, when they discovered a new species of tardigrade, also known as a water bear. Tardigrades are some of the most resilient animals in the world, and can withstand conditions that most other micro-animals can’t.

Scientific tardigrade research is important because, according to the Consortium of European Taxonomy Facilities (CETAF), “biodiversity loss, global warming and other environmental issues need natural history collections and related expertise as sources of knowledge and for reference.”

Marine Biology Students may use the Coral Wet Lab

The Coral Wet Lab includes one of the largest collections of soft and hard corals grown on-site in Maine. The coral wet lab is fully integrated into the marine biology curriculum. It includes a large coral culturing tank in which students learn how to propagate corals, and which will provide living specimens for a range of classes.

“The wet lab provides practical knowledge of one of the biggest biodiversity crises out there,” Perry said, “and offers the potential for marine biology students to engage in culturing and growing corals to relieve commercialization and pollution pressure and learn techniques to restore vital undersea coral reefs that are under siege globally.”

Marine Biology Students Take Frequent Field trips to the Ocean

Unity lies less than 25 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Many of our marine biology labs take place at the ocean. Students have morning classes on campus, before hoping in a van and doing research at the ocean in the afternoon. Unity’s professors have some outstanding connections which allow students access to some amazing resources.

Undergraduate Resource Opportunities for Marine Biology Students

At Unity College, many students get involved in undergraduate research. Some of this research is comparable to what others do in graduate schools. Students have the ability to present their research at regional, national and professional society meetings, and on-campus twice a year at the Student Conference. When applying for graduate school and jobs, having completed hands-on research put you a step ahead of someone who has no experience in the field.

When the new coral wet lab was created, marine biology students had a hand in helping design it. “The students and I discussed the various design and equipment options available at each stage of the rebuild,” Perry said. “They then implemented their decisions, working many hours outside of class time to get results. The students have been working very hard to do this.”

It is something that the students can forever have on their resume. The experiential component is very important in undergraduate research.

Marine Biology Students get to take Amazing Classes – Even in Curacao

The classes that you take at Unity College as a marine biology majors are fascinating. The classes include: Coral Ecology and Management, Marine Mammalogy, Marine Fisheries, and Oceanography. During the 2017 May Term, Unity offered Special Topics in Tropical Marine Ecology. The class included a trip to Curacao, which was an amazing experience for all of the students.

While in Curacao, students visited the Curacao Sea Aquarium, snorkeled where they saw 22 different marine species, and also visited the Christoffel National Park. Students got to see first-hand what they had been reading about in books and learning in the classroom. It was an experience that not one of them will forget the rest of their lives. You can read more about their experience here:

If you are interested in marine biology, Unity College has the professors and resources to get students well on their way to a successful career. Feel free to take a closer look or reach out for more information.