Aquatic and Marine Biology is the study of living organisms in freshwater and ocean environments. Stetson University is uniquely situated in a part of the country that is replete with springs, rivers, lakes, swamps, salt marsh and ocean ecosystems. Freshwater is one of our most precious resources, which makes it vital for us to train the next generation to care for, protect and study our freshwater resources to ensure it remains healthy and stable. The oceans are our last earthly frontier, and we are likely to become more dependent on it for food and water in the years to come. An understanding of the delicate nature of this system, the impact of pollution and overfishing, and discovering the identity of all ocean inhabitants is vital for developing the ocean as a resource. Students will emerge from our program well-versed in the issues in both freshwater and marine ecosystems.
Teaching comes first with Stetson's Biology faculty. Classes are small and students are encouraged to ask questions and get to know their professors. All Biology courses include hands-on laboratory sessions taught by professors.
At Stetson you will work closely with a faculty member on a research project. You will be encouraged to participate in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), as well as present data from your research project at our Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium. Many students also will have the opportunity to attend scientific meetings and some will co-author a manuscript with faculty members.
Recent Senior Projects completed by Biology students include an investigation of the distribution of fish in two Florida springs, the effects of chemicals on amphibian development, the ability of fish to change color to match their environment (and avoid predation), circadian rhythms of fish behavior, interaction between exotic catfish and manatee, and feeding patterns of native and exotic snails in the same ecosystem.
A major in Biology requires 46 hours of course work, in addition to the College of Arts & Sciences general education requirements for the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. The required lower-division courses include: General Biology, General Chemistry, Biostatistical Methods, and Calculus.
In addition to these courses, each student must complete the following upper division courses: Invertebrate Zoology, Limnology, Marine Biology, Aquatic/Marine Biology Internship, four junior/senior-level electives, as well as an independent research project.
The independent research project is the capstone experience of the Biology major. Typically completed in a faculty member's laboratory, the research project allows one-on-one interaction between student and a faculty mentor and the opportunity for students to become research colleagues. The student research project requires the completion of the following sequence of courses: Research Proposal, Senior Project, and Senior Seminar.
Stetson Aquatic and Marine Biology majors are trained to be scientists. Therefore, many graduates pursue masters and doctoral degrees leading to careers in biological research, environmental science and conservation. Many others pursue other careers in the health professions (medicine, veterinary medicine, etc.).
Clubs and Organizations
Beta Beta Beta Biology Honorary Society