Ocean Studies

Professors Bring Diverse Experience

TWO NEW FACULTY MEMBERS have joined the Corning School of Ocean Studies and bring with them a desire to share their real-world research experience with undergraduate students in a learning environment known for its hands-on approach.

Assistant Professor of Oceanography LeAnn Whitney joined MMA in 2018 and comes from work at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, as a postdoctoral researcher and in her continuing role as a research scientist studying phytoplankton ecology. She also previously served as an adjunct faculty member at Southern Maine Community College.

Steven Baer joined MMA in 2018 as Assistant Professor of Marine Science also having been employed as a researcher at Bigelow, as well as with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and other colleges and universities. Baer’s specialty is Arctic oceanography, and he has worked aboard research vessels from the Bering Sea to Antarctica.

“Both LeAnn and Steven are involved with fascinating research and have integrated deeply within the MMA community,” says Department Chair Jessica Muhlin, “and they are bringing new ideas and perspective to the department.”

One of the main incentives for both to join the faculty at MMA “was the almost family-like environment in the department,” says Baer. “And, because of small class sizes, you get to know your students and can have an impact.”

Whitney’s focus is teaching introduction to marine science and biological oceanography, while Baer teaches upper-level chemistry, such as organic and marine geochemistry, as well as general chemistry to non-majors.

The professors have also been heavily involved with others in the department to develop content for the new Coastal and Marine Environmental Science major that will begin enrolling students in the fall of 2020.

Photo: Billy R. Sims


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