New Ocean Studies Degree and Systems Engineering Change
MMA announced a new major and a change to an existing engineering major available to students as of Fall 2019.
The Corning School of Ocean Studies plans to introduce a new baccalaureate degree program in Coastal and Marine Environmental Science. The four-year Marine Systems Engineering program will continue its focus on Naval Architecture, but will no longer require first-year participation in the Regiment of Midshipmen or training cruise.
“Environmental Science represents an important addition to our Ocean Studies department for students interested in human ecology and life quality, climate change, ecosystem delineation, and adaptation,” says Dr. David Gardner, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “With an emphasis on the marine environment, the major will tap MMA’s strengths and capabilities, and will be unique in the eyes of prospective students seeking such a field of study.”
The Coastal and Marine Environmental Science major will focus on the terrestrial-marine interface, as well as larger-scale impacts of climate change on coastal and marine ecosystems. The major will apply scientific methodology toward questions of conservation, resource management and marine policy.
Development of the new major is in early stages and includes hiring an endowed Sawyer Visiting Professor to help identify courses and expertise needed in the curriculum.
The Ocean Studies department has also been awarded a grant to support a planning workshop in May for faculty to work with facilitators from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers to discuss curriculum development for the new major.
“This new major is being implemented in direct support of our strategic goal of ensuring our curriculum remains responsive and relevant to industry demands 20 years into the future,” Gardner says. “It is one of several initiatives we are pursuing to introduce new programs that are both responsive and consistent with our mission.”
The Marine Systems Engineering major program that leads to a B.S. degree in four years no longer requires participation in the regiment and does not require freshmen to participate in a training cruise.
It will continue to be distinguished by its grounding in marine applications and naval architecture.█
Photos: Sarah O’Malley