Why Marine Ecology?


Marine biologist surveying coral reefs to assess reef health. Photo courtesy of http://educationcareerarticles.com/

Marine ecology is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment, including the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of the ocean. It is a broad field of study that is focused on understanding the oceans and marine life and developing solutions to problems influencing ocean health. Because marine ecology includes multiple diverse fields of study, including marine biology, oceanography, fisheries, and marine geology, it involves millions of scientists across the globe that regularly publish scientific research in journals, teach classes and give talks at universities, high schools, and other public settings, and develop policy and management plans at local, regional, national and international levels that protect and sustain our seas and marine life.


High school student monitoring intertidal habitats in San Diego, California with the LiMPETS citizen science program. Photo: LiMPETS website.

In addition, there is a large and broad groundswell of educated individuals involved in scientific education and research at multiple levels. These endeavors, collectively called citizen science, are very effective approaches to conducting scientific research while engaging K-12 and college students as well as a broad coalition of the public. Examples of these programs include Reef, Reef Check and LiMPETS.

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