Sarah O'Malley

Department: Ocean Studies

· Assistant Professor

Phone: 207-326-2144
Office: 101 Dirigo House
Office Hours: MTF 1100-1200 or by appointment
[M, F in Library T in 101 Dirigo]


Sarah O’Malley is an Instructor in the Corning School of Ocean Studies. She joined the department in 2004 as adjunct faculty and became full time in 2008.

Her research interests include intertidal ecology and science communication. You can learn more at her departmental website:

B.S., Natural Resources, University of Maine
M.Ed., Science and Environmental Education, University of Maine

Block Schedule:

Hello and welcome! I am an Assistant Professor of Marine Biology in the Corning School of Ocean Studies here at Maine Maritime Academy. You’ll find me teaching:

  • General Biology I and II for Ocean Studies majors
  • Introduction to Environmental Sustainability for all students
  • Coastal Natural History for Ocean Studies majors
  • Introduction to Ocean Science for deck, engine and business students
  • Senior Research Preparation for Ocean Studies Students
  • Senior Research Advisor for individual senior Ocean Studies students

Alexa and Abby spent a lot of time with me in the sun and mud this summer!

polyphemus moth larvae natural history class

In Coastal Natural History you find all kinds of interesting things, like the polyphemus moth larva.

to show that students are actively engaged in research

First year General Biology students search for juvenile soft shell clams in a predator exclusion box.

You find the coolest stuff on the mudflats, like this horseshoe crab!

Monitoring the rocky intertidal zone with the National Park Service in Acadia.

to show that field work is fun

Field work is FUN! (even for acrobatic green crabs)

Students engrossed in a field dissection of soft shelled clams.

Sometimes we see tiny pieces of plastic in our plankton tows--and many of our students have chosen to study this problem for their senior research.

to show how beautiful it is in Maine
Field work in Acadia National Park is just the best!


My interests range from natural history and place based ecology, to community driven science and sustainability.  My passion is the edge of the ocean-the intertidal zone and estuaries.  I have been involved in a variety of projects that explore biodiversity in the intertidal including work with  clammers, fisheries biologist and students on the soft shell clam fishery in the Bagaduce River (which runs right by my office!), and a long term project of the National Park Service Northeast Temperate Network’s monitoring of the rocky intertidal in Acadia National Park. I also work with a network of different stake holders to support the restoration of river herring in the Bagaduce River. All of these projects are enhanced by bringing students along with me!

Over the past 7 years I have worked with faculty across academic departments to create and advise an interdisciplinary Environmental Sustainability minor. We graduated our first students from the minor in May of 2019!

If you want all the gory details, you can read my CV .

to illustrate the large crowd that came to a walk I led last summer

When you volunteer to lead an intertidal walk for a local non-profit organization, and 55 people show up!

I’m very interested in science communication and media and write and produce a weekly 5 minute science and nature radio show for a local community radio station. It is also pretty common to see me leading intertidal walks and talks for local land trusts and environmental organizations. Along with Professor Muhlin, I am currently working on a revision of the popular Maine based intertidal guide book Life Between the Tides.

When I’m not teaching, I’m reading (currently working on New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O’Toole, and  Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer), writing, trail running, skiing, growing vegetables, and spending time with my family.