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Marine Biology and Ecology Minor

Exploring the science of life from cells to ecosystems.

Marine Biology and Ecology Minor

Exploring the science of life from cells to ecosystems.

tide pools along Oregon coast
The marine biology and ecology minor covers a variety of marine organisms and habitats and the processes that impact and regulate the oceans and our planet.

The Marine Biology and Ecology minor allows students from a wide variety of majors to add a solid foundation in marine biology and integrate the field with their major field of study. The minor covers a variety of marine organisms and habitats and the processes that impact and regulate the oceans and our planet. Students in the minor also have the opportunity to study in residence at Hatfield Marine Science Center (HSMC) in experiential courses ranging from Marine and Estuarine Invertebrates to Pacific Northwest Coastal Ecosystems.

Located right next to the beautiful Yaqina Bay of the Pacific Ocean, HSMC is one of the most advanced centers of marine science research in the country. HSMC is home to OSU researchers, students and scientists from state and federal agencies including Oregon Department of Fish andb Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Students in the marine biology and ecology minor have the opportunity to study for one or more terms at the HSMC, typically during junior year spring or summer. For example, the Marine Biology and Ecology course (BI 450) is taught each spring at HSMC. BI 450 is a 15-credit, highly immersive course in which students eat, breathe and sleep marine biology for 10 weeks through lectures, field studies and laboratory research.

Students in the marine biology and ecology minor complete the core of the minor in biology, chemistry and statistics as well as an eclectic range of advanced courses and electives related to oceanography, aquatic botany, marine organisms and marine ecology.

If you would like a deeper background in marine biology, you might want to consider a Biology major with a Marine Biology option.

Students interested in earning a minor in marine biology and ecology should contact lead biology advisor Brock McLeod (brock.mcleod@oregonstate.edu; Tel: 541-737-2993).

Sample courses

Marine Ecology

Marine and Estuarine Invertebrate Zoology (Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center)

Marine Conservation Biology

Meet our students and alumni

Marine biology alumna develops tool to improve care for the giant Pacific octopus

Meghan Holst, a 2014 marine biology graduate and a biologist at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, co-developed a tool to help aquarists make end-of-life decisions for the giant Pacific octopus, a popular species in aquariums across the U.S.

Oregon State selected to lead NOAA institute for marine research with Francis Chan as director

Oregon State University has been selected to host a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration institute focused on collaborative study of the rapidly changing ocean and expanded demands on its use.

Zoology senior merges cultural identity and scientific curiosity

A graduating senior in zoology at Oregon State University, Devonte Casey has been deeply inspired by the synergy between his academic pursuits and his identity as a Native American.

Researching intertidal communities ecosystems: Ecology fellowship supports student fieldwork

For Lily Miksell, the Alexei Lubchenco Menge Undergraduate Research Fellowship presented an exciting opportunity to pursue her interests in ecology and conservation.

A dream that won't be squelched: Protecting marine life and inspiring the next generation

Simone Burton, an Honors biology major with an option in marine biology, has pushed through more obstacles than she could have imagined only four years ago. Now, she is confident that she will find a powerful way to protect marine life through a career in conservation, science communication and outreach.