Marine Science

Onboard yacht in Galapagos

Marine science is popular at Hampden-Sydney, not only with biology, chemistry, and physics students but also with non-science (e.g., history and economics) majors. Hampden-Sydney is a full member institution of the Marine Science Education Consortium (MSEC) at the Duke University Marine Laboratory (DUML) in Beaufort, NC. Hampden-Sydney students enjoy streamlined admission and priority access to Duke Marine Lab courses and research opportunities in various summer sessions, for the fall or spring semester, or for an entire year. Hampden-Sydney students can also travel with "signature" study abroad courses and research opportunities offered through H-SC's MSEC connection. Course credits and grades from this cooperative program automatically transfer to Hampden-Sydney. H-SC graduates also can continue their studies at DUML or affiliated sites of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, earning traditional graduate research degrees or professional degrees in Coastal Environmental Management or a Master's in Environmental Management.

Student swims with a sea turtleHampden-Sydney has strong links to the Duke Marine Lab. Dr. Bill Anderson (Chemistry) taught and worked there before coming to H-SC, and Dr. Alex Werth (Biology) studied there as a Duke undergraduate. Both professors maintain research contacts at DUML with Duke scientists.

Marine biology is also taught at Hampden-Sydney, with coursework that combines traditional classroom studies and field trips to various sites including the Chesapeake Bay, Eastern Shore, and Outer Banks of NC. H-SC students have opportunities to study marine biology through numerous other courses, including ecology, animal behavior, and biodiversity, plus May Term travel courses (Tropical Biology, Evolutionary Ecology) that feature marine biology study in foreign locations including the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico. Marine biology studies at H-SC focus on biological oceanography, marine ecology, marine biodiversity and systematic, coastal engineering, resource management and public policy. Students also have opportunities for targeted studies in independent study and directed reading courses, plus chances to do supervised research with faculty. Professor Alex Werth studies whales, dolphins, and other marine life in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans, with research connections at Woods Hole, Duke, and many other marine labs.

Many Hampden-Sydney students have taken part in our MSEC cooperative program and continue to study marine science. While at the Duke Marine Lab, Nick Bowling '12 conducted research on leatherback turtles in Trinidad and studied urban ecology in Singapore; he is now earning a master's degree in marine resources (and earning more mate's licenses to pilot ships) at the Univ. of Texas-Galveston. JoJo Howard '10 studied wetlands and runoff at Wallops Island, VA After working for several summers on Alaska salmon, Joe Chambers '13 spent months SCUBA diving in Thailand and is now a master's student in Duke's Coastal Environmental Management program. Tom Drury '14 is studying marine biology at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine Science, and Ian Sammler '12 is studying biological oceanography in graduate school at Old Dominion University. Nick DeProspero '13 has worked for aquaria in North Carolina and Virginia Beach, and done work for various coastal and marine centers along the Atlantic coast. Tyler Moore'11 has studied fish biology and marine resources at NC State. Shaun Swartz '11 has studied marine biology in Florida. Tyler Huband '10 has studied marine biology in Australia and worked at the aquarium in VA Beach and at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Rick Godsey '85 is involved in aquaculture and oyster breeding.John Boswell '08 is continuing his graduate studies at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. Ryan Kelly '02 has been involved with marine environmental education in Morehead City and Wilmington, NC. Many H-SC grads have, like Rob Winner '07, worked on fishing boats in Alaska, or, like Curtis Read '10, been a ship captain or otherwise worked on deep sea fishing boats off VA and NC.

Studying marine biology in Galapagos Islands