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Institute for Ocean Conservation Science Helps Launch Stony Brook University's Master of Arts Program in Marine Science Conservation and Policy.

New M.A. program is the first of its kind in New York and among only a few such programs nationwide
November 22, 2010

Scientists from the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University (SBU), who also are members of the university’s faculty, are teaching the first course offered through the new graduate program, M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy. SBU’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) launched the new program at the start of the 2010 fall semester.  It is the first program of its kind in New York State and one of only a few such programs in the country.

Dr. Ellen K. Pikitch, executive director, and Dr. Demian Chapman, assistant director for science, of the Institute were selected to develop and teach the program’s first required course, Marine Conservation, which provides an overview of fundamental concepts of ocean conservation science. The course includes lectures on current threats to marine conservation, fisheries management, marine protected areas, conservation genetics, assisted reproduction, and other related subjects.

students in lab“Our world’s oceans and the life that inhabits them are finally beginning to receive long overdue and badly needed attention and resources,” said Dr. Pikitch. “Because of this new focus on marine environments, there is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in contemporary marine conservation and policy issues, and this program with help fill this demand.”

This one-year M.A. program balances coursework in marine science, marine conservation biology, and quantitative analysis with classes in marine management, economics, policy, or law. And, through a collaboration with the SBU School of Journalism’s Center for Communicating Science, the program also aims to equip students with skills that will help them communicate more effectively with the public, public officials, and the media.

“The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook is ideally poised to offer such a program,” said Dr. Robert Cerrato, director of the new graduate program and associate professor at SoMAS at SBU. “The faculty includes internationally known experts in the field of marine conservation, and the program also benefits from links to several institutes located within or associated with SoMAS including the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.”

Stony Brook University is now accepting applications for enrollment in the Graduate Program in Marine Conservation and Policy program for the fall 2011 semester. Click here for course requirements and additional information.


The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University is dedicated to advancing ocean conservation through science. The Institute transforms real-world policy while pursuing serious science, both of which are essential for ocean health.

The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) is the State University of New York’s center for marine and atmospheric research, education, and public service. SoMAS is at the forefront of advancing knowledge and discovering and resolving environmental challenges affecting the oceans and atmosphere on both regional and global scales. Visit

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