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Undergraduate marine studies to move to Rosenstiel

Change will provides new opportunities for younger students

By: Nina Markowitz // Contributing News Writer

Issue date: 7/8/08 Section: News
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The educational pursuits of undergraduates studying marine and atmospheric science just got easier: their programs will be moved from the College of Arts and Sciences to the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, located on an island in Biscayne Bay.

As a result, more research and elective opportunities will be available for undergraduates, there will be less course overlap, and more upper-level lab and field courses will become available. In addition, degrees will be granted from Rosenstiel instead of the College of Art and Sciences.

"It makes a lot of sense for [UM's] marine science program to be based in the marine science school," William Drennan, a professor at the Rosenstiel school, said.

This change is also expected to attract more funding for undergraduate research and increase graduate opportunities.

Since the 1970s, undergraduate marine studies have been kept on the Coral Gables campus; the Rosenstiel School was used solely for research. However, this has restricted research opportunities for undergraduates, which is something that administrators are hoping to change.

"The [change] would be really nice," said sophomore Andrea Leontiou, who is majoring in marine affairs. "Right now, I have to take economics, and I'm not grasping the connection to my major. It's destroying my average right now."

Dan DiResta, interim director of the Undergraduate Marine and Atmospheric Science Program, explained in an e-mail that the change will only be immediately effective for incoming students. However, students who are currently enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences as marine or atmospheric studies majors do have the opportunity to switch over to Rosenstiel and reap the benefits of the new program. Many of the changes will take place over time, he added, and results may not be seen instantly.

"The benefits are that we plan to offer a lot more upper-year classes, and offer a lot more opportunities for students to do research in the lab," Drennan said. "It gives a lot more opportunity for students to get their hands wet."

Nina Markowitz may be contacted at n.markowtiz@umiami.edu.
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