Academic Success

Established in 1992, The Marine Science program at UH Hilo was the first undergraduate degree in Marine Science in the University of Hawai’i system. The B.A. degree provides students the flexibility to customize the degree to specific carees, such as ecotourism, aquaculture or environmental law.

Graduation 2014
Marine Science Graduates

The B.S. degree, established in 2008, was designed specifically to prepare students for graduate school. At the graduate level, faculty mentor students studying marine science through the Master of Science Program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science. We have outstanding teaching, laboratory and field resources to prepare the next generation of leaders in marine science.

Career Paths

Career paths pursued by some of our graduates include:

Federal Jobs

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • US Department of Agriculture, Research Technician
  • National Marine Fisheries Service

State & Local Jobs

  • Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)
  • Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi
  • Hawaiʻi Department of Education, Teacher
  • Alaska, Fisheries Biologist
  • Oregon, Fisheries Biologist

Non-Profit Organizations

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Conservation International
  • Palmyra Atoll, Island Hostess


  • University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Analytical Lab
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington, Laboratory Specialist
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Faculty
  • Utah State University, Faculty


  • Kona Blue, Aquaculture Technician
  • Queen's Medical Center, Lab Technician


  • Yap, Conservation Officer
  • Palau International Coral Reef Center Researcher

Student Success

The UH Hilo Marine Science students have had great success as students and as graduates.

Students and Faculty
C-MORE Symposium
  • Each year, between 1-3 students each year have been granted the prestigious NOAA Hollings Scholarship.
  • Each year, the MOP Student Symposium provides students from campuses across the University of Hawai’i system to present their Skill Project. UH Hilo students have excelled each year, winning the MOP Best Research Paper, as well as other awards, including the Best Poster and Anna Toy Ng Award.
  • Students frequently earn travel awards to attend national conferences to present research, including 13 undergraduate and graduate students that attended the ASLO/AGU/TOS Ocean Sciences Meeting in 2014.
  • Upon graduation, 80% were successful finding either employment or attending graduate school in their chosen field of study.
  • 82% of our students that graduate with a B.S. and apply to graduate school are accepted.

Faculty Success

All tenure and tenure-track faculty have PhDs in marine science related disciplines. The Marine Science department has faculty expertise that cover chemical, biological, and geological oceanography, as well as various aspects of marine biology.

Several faculty members have earned prestigious teaching awards:

Dr. Burns
John Burns
Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2020
Dr. McDermid
Karla McDermid
University for Hawaii Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, 2010
Lisa Parr
Lisa Parr
Francis Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2009; nominee for the Frances Davis Award and the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2008
Dr. Turner
Jason Turner
Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2007