Welcome to Marine Science at UH Hilo!
Located on the Island of Hawai'i, We provide hands-on learning centered around our coral reefs, estuaries, and deep sea habitat. Our bachelor’s degrees are balanced in marine biology, ecology, and oceanography.
The Marine Science Department at UH Hilo has the resources to prepare the next generation of marine scientists. Located just 10 minutes from the shoreline and our research vessel, our students have access to Hawai’i Island’s unique variety of tropical marine environments all year long. Our Bachelor’s degrees in Marine Science have been carefully designed to provide students the opportunity to study the unique variety of marine environments found around the Island of Hawai’i. We believe the best way to study the ocean is to be immersed in it. We prepare students to be innovative, successful life-long learners, and engaged stewards of the marine environment.
We inspire and enlighten all learners about the ocean. All our tenure-track faculty have PhDs in marine science and teach lab courses. All labs include field trips, such as shoreline biological inventory surveys, snorkeling-based ecological surveys, or oceanographic data collection aboard our research vessel. Field labs are integrated with classroom labs, where students practice fundamental marine biology and chemical analysis skills. Lecture courses provide the theoretical background that prepares students for marine science careers. With a broad range of expertise, faculty are able to mentor and advise students on a wide range of career paths available to the Marine Science graduate.
Opportunities to study marine science outside the classroom abound. The Marine Option Program (MOP) provides numerous field trips and experiences throughout the year. All faculty have active research programs, and we rely on undergraduates to participate as volunteers, employees, and project leaders on research projects. Students are encouraged to conduct their own research projects and can earn academic credit working on a MOP Project or a Senior Thesis. Opportunities exists to intern with our Boating Safety Program, Dive Safety Program, Analytical Lab, the Hawai’i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, as well as with local NGOs and federal and state agencies.
One Learns from Many Sources
We provide hands-on learning centered around the natural and cultural environment of Hawai'i. Check out Mia Lamirand's amazing video highlighting Marine Science at UH Hilo.
Marine Science in the News
- UH Hilo marine science professor publishes new genetic research showing evolution of marine snail
- Marine Science Graduate Receives Prestigious Fellowship to Address Marine Water Pollution
- UH Hilo Alumnus undergraduate research published showing Staph, MRSA in Hilo Bay Watershed
- Sources of staph, fecal bacteria washing into Hilo Bay detected by UH scientists
- Research across the Pacific: UH Hilo and Alaska scientists meet in Juneau
- Marine Science Graduate and Shark Husbandry Research Specialist featured in National Geographic Docuseries
- UH Hilo marine scientists conduct unprecedented research on reef ecosystems along Hawai‘i Island’s west coast (and in the newspaper)
- UH Hilo marine science students honored at annual symposium
- UH Hilo marine science lab is mapping the globe’s deadliest wave
- UH Hilo marine scientists identify sources of pollution in coastal waters off West Hawai‘i
- Marine Science researcher and alumni discuss coral disease research challenges
- Researchers find sewage from an oceanfront Big Island community reaches nearshore waters
- UH Hilo marine scientists say wastewater treatment plant is best option for Puakō
- Surfer Scientist: Hawai‘i Island surfer now UH Hilo graduate student researches coastal water quality
- Hawaiʻi Island coastal vulnerability, model solution highlighted at COP26
- Two UH Hilo marine science students win awards to fund their ocean conservation projects
- Marine Option Program celebrates 50th anniversary
- Native Hawaiians to embark on scientific research voyage to Papahānaumokuākea
- UH Hilo students to investigate coastal erosion
- UH Hilo livestream camera in waters off Kona is revolutionizing marine science education and research
- Marine Science student awarded Laulima Award for extraordinary leadership
- UH Hilo marine scientist sets up underwater livestream in waters off Kona
- UH Hilo alumna is now a NOAA postdoc, scientific diver, biologist studying the health of coral reefs
- Marine science major receives prestigious NSF graduate research fellowship
- Marine Option Program Sea Turtle Response supports rare turtle rescue in Ka'u
- Marine Science graduate study of coral recovery during El Niño offers hope for long-term survival
- Marine biologist Tim Grabowski sees great value in students gaining skills in teleconferencing
- An artist and a scientist work together to create a larger-than-life 3D sculpture of coral reef
- A time for healing: Hawaii’s coral reefs rebound during COVID-19
- UH Hilo marine scientists harness the power of citizen science in Hawai‘i
- Marine Science Graduate studies Mega plant-eaters at highest risk of extinction
- UH researchers receive top awards at national computing conference
- UH Hilo, UH Mānoa team wins national award for Hawaiian coral reef virtual reality app
- Marine Science student athelete recognized as Pepsi Senior
- Dr. John Burns awarded the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
- Team of UH Hilo students, faculty publish work on coral health and disease
- Marine Science student brings home award from national student e-poster competition
- UH Hilo students bring home awards from statewide Marine Option Program Symposium
- UH Hilo graduate student Bryan Tonga initiates first comprehensive study ever done on nearshore water quality in Micronesia
- Interview with UH Hilo marine scientist John Burns about the health of coral reefs
- Dr. Tracy Wiegner, marine scientist teaching students and communities about coastal water quality
- Welcome to Hawaii's "Plastic Beach"
- Marine Science faculty and students document how rainfall brings harmful bacteria into Hilo Bay
- Marine Science student gains valuable research experience at University of Iowa College of Public Health
- UH Hilo students learn and apply data science skills to reef study
- UH Hilo marine scientists and partner researchers investigate how climate change affects coral reef at French Frigate Shoals
- UH Hilo marine scientists train junior scientists in the waters of the Marshall Islands
- Stories about Beach Created By Volcanic Eruption Was Born Polluted
- The Ocean Cleanup visits Hilo Harbor
- Beach cleanups are missing millions of pieces of plastic
- Profile of Jonathan Chandrasakaran (BS Marine Science, 2012), Manager of the Datai Langkawi’s Nature Centre
- Profile of UH Hilo student and NOAA Hollings Scholar, Bri Craig
- A few stories about Dr. Colbert using the autonomous Wave Glider to study the Kilauea lava flow impact on the ocean.
- UH Hilo team scuba dive to research historic World War II battlefield
- Two Marine Science students experience with NOAA in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
- The documentary, Chasing Coral, on Netflix includes several MARE students that helped with deployment, servicing, and retrieval of the camera deployed at Wai 'Opae, Hawai'i Island
- QUEST divers from UH Hilo collected data to support this project exploring deep reefs (up to 165 feet!) around Hawai'i Island
Older news can be found in the News Archive.
The mission of the undergraduate degree program in marine science is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the world’s oceans and an appreciation of the importance of marine ecosystems to the global environment and human life. The mission is accomplished through a combination of hands-on laboratory and field experience, inquiry-based instruction, and direct interactive learning and is supported by a broad background in the marine sciences, including basic knowledge of the natural science disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and mathematics.