Marine Science Degrees and Research at HPU
Oceanography is the interdisciplinary study of the global oceans from shallow coastal areas to the deepest ocean trenches; from the tropics to the polar seas. It is usually divided into four sub-disciplines: physical oceanography (the study of waves, currents, tides, and ocean energy), geological oceanography (the study of the sediments, rocks, and structure of the seafloor and coastal margins), chemical oceanography (chemical composition and properties of seawater and how it is affected by physical mixing processes and interactions with the seafloor, the atmosphere, and ocean life), and biological oceanography (marine organisms and their interactions with the ocean environment). All of these sub-disciplines are highly interrelated, as well as related to other fields such as meteorology/atmospheric science, geophysics, and ocean engineering. As you might expect, biological oceanography shares many aspects with marine biology, but in general is more related to the interactions of ocean life with the marine environment and the other oceanography sub-disciplines, and the distribution and patterns of biological populations in the sea. HPU’s oceanography program includes all of the sub-disciplines of oceanography.
What can you do with an Oceanography degree?
A Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from HPU is extremely versatile given the multidisciplinary nature of the curriculum. It provides you with the skills and strong academic foundation in the physical and biological sciences, and additional preparation in understanding marine systems. In particular, it prepares you for entry-level positions in marine & aquatic science careers: laboratory, field, and data technicians in research laboratories and government agencies, education and teaching, environmental analysis, marine policy, fisheries, marine industries, and many others. Given that the number of students trained in oceanography is small, many unique opportunities exist for these students. Students who aim to become leaders in oceanography, further specialize, or direct their own research will have the academic foundation to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in their chosen field. HPU offers a Master of Science in Marine Science program for students who wish to pursue a graduate degree.
Marine biology is the study of life in the oceans, from microscopic plankton to the largest animals on earth, the blue whales. Like biology, marine biology has many, diverse fields of study contained within it, including the study of the molecules within cells (molecular biology), the functions and adaptations of organisms (physiology), and populations of organisms and their interactions with each other and their environment (ecology). What unites these areas as marine biology is the saltwater environment, from coastal wetlands and estuaries, rocky shorelines and beaches, coral reefs and kelp forests, to the deep sea and vast open-ocean habitat. Marine biology draws on other sciences such as chemistry, physics, geology, and oceanography, and includes disciplines such as marine microbiology, phycology (the study of algae), marine toxicology, fisheries and aquaculture, deep-sea ecology, invertebrate zoology, ichthyology (the study of fish), marine mammology, and marine conservation biology.
What can you do with a Marine Biology degree?
A Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from HPU provides the skills and strong academic foundation in the sciences, biology, and marine systems that can lead to a variety of career options. In particular, it prepares you for entry-level positions in marine & aquatic science careers: laboratory, field, and data technicians in research laboratories and government agencies, aquarist or outreach/education positions in aquariums and zoos, aquaculture and fisheries science, environmental analysis, marine policy, and many others. Students who aim to become leaders in marine biology, further specialize, or direct their own research will have the academic foundation to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in their chosen field. HPU also offers a Master of Science in Marine Science program for students who wish to pursue a graduate degree.
- Our marine science faculty are experts in their fields, covering a broad range of disciplines, and are dedicated to a quality educational program.
- HPU’s small size fosters constructive interactions between the faculty and the students.
- Our location in the center of the world’s largest ocean makes it a perfect place to study marine biology and oceanography.
- In addition to a rigorous science education in the classroom, our marine science programs emphasize hands-on learning in laboratory and field courses throughout the degree curriculum.
- You’ll explore Hawai‘i’s coastal environments and ocean from the shore and aboard our 42-foot research vessel the R/V Kaholo, and learn scientific observation and analyses in laboratories at the Hawaii Loa campus and the Oceanic Institute.
- Students who graduate from our program leave with an in-depth knowledge of marine science and real-world skills for success in their future endeavors.