Prospective Students

Our faculty currently are involved in research in oceanography, marine biology, environmental geochemistry, climatology, paleoclimatology, hydrology, locomotion and fluid dynamics, physiology, ecology and population genetics. Affiliated marine science faculty work in the areas of bioacoustics, fisheries, aquaculture, molecular genetics, hydrogeology, ecology and physiology.

Whether in the life sciences or physical sciences, local research opportunities abound: from the coasts and estuaries of San Diego County to offshore and island environments. The deserts of southern California, which include inland water bodies and former ocean basins, offer additional research possibilities. In some instances, research may focus on more distant areas. More information about faculty research interests, graduate student thesis titles and facilities is available through our website.

Tips for MSMS Research

The first step in conducting research as a MS student is choosing a research advisor. It is the policy of the MSMS Program for each applicant to have a provisional advisor before being accepted. Assuming that the student continues to work with their provisional advisor, that person will become the chair of the student's thesis committee. During the student's first year, meeting with their Thesis Chair on a regular basis (at least once every two weeks) is strongly encouraged. Students who do not meet with their thesis chair frequently have a more difficult time developing their research projects. The usual result is a slow start on the student's research, resulting in lower grades in Core Seminar and a longer time to complete the program.

Independent graduate research is just that: independent. This does not mean that a student should expect the immediate trust and support of the Thesis Chair. However, once the student has identified a focused research question and started to conduct their work, there is an expectation of independence and responsibility. A graduate student should carry out his or her own studies and think critically about the results as he or she progresses. A graduate student should not be a research technician who requires instructions from someone else in order to work. Consulting regularly with the Thesis Chair is important (see above); however, initiative and a certain degree of self-reliance are critical as well.