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Marine and Coastal Science—Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology

Our oceans account for more than 96 percent of the world's water, and few of the world's coastlines are beyond the influence of human pressures. The interdisciplinary Marine and Coastal Science major highlights the terrestrial-marine interface, coastal issues and human impacts on the marine environment.

Students develop a broad foundation in marine and coastal sciences while focusing on Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology. The Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology emphasis concentrates on physiological adaptations to the marine environment and the biology of marine species from the molecular level to entire populations.

Real World Outcomes: 

With global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and an increasing reliance upon oceans, scientifically-based management of marine and coastal environments is critical to sustainability of these valuable resources. Graduates will meet these challenges with a strong foundation for post-graduate study or careers in research, teaching and policy in government and private sector positions.


Courses, fieldwork and research opportunities encourage students to think collaboratively and draw upon globally-recognized experts from a wide variety of disciplines as well as the resources of UC Davis' Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Coursework in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth sciences lays the foundation for core curriculum in marine science. The Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology emphasis provides mastery through coursework covering the ecological processes that determine the distribution and abundance of marine organisms as well as the patterns and mechanisms of evolution in the ocean. The major concludes with a capstone research course.

Major Advisor
Advisor Name: 
Mandy Rousseau
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