Window to the Sea

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea—except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch—we are going back from whence we came."
- President John F. Kennedy

Students, faculty, staff and visitors to UNE's Biddeford Campus have long felt the tug of the sea as they stand at the mouth of the Saco River looking out over waters entering the Gulf of Maine. Over the years, the University’s marine science programs have attracted faculty interested in training the next generation of leaders in ocean science, industry and policy. And we have attracted some of the brightest, most passionate students entering these fields.

Through science, policy, management and economic assessments of the Gulf of Maine and the spectacular array of Marine ecosystems on the shores of our oceanside campus, UNE researchers in learning communities with students explore the natural and human dimensions of ocean ecosystems in Maine and New England.

The Marine Science Center is critical to helping UNE educate marine professionals who go on to attend the best marine graduate schools in the nation, work at scientific laboratories, start their own entrepreneurial businesses, and work in governmental and nongovernmental marine organizations throughout the world.

A unique feature of the Marine Science Center is our flowing seawater laboratories. No other facility in the State of Maine offers labs like these, which allow our faculty and students to conduct research and work with marine animals.

Academic Programs


Marine Sciences

UNE’s program in Marine Sciences examines all facets of the marine environment. Our seaside campus serves as an ideal starting point for research into a variety of marine, estuarine and freshwater habitats, and our Global Education Program offers study trips to marine habitats around the world. Your field experiences are grounded in a curriculum that provides a sound base of knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics and geology, allowing you the flexibility to focus on an area of personal interest. As a Marine Sciences major, you may choose either a Marine Biology or Oceanography track.

Ocean Studies and Marine Affairs

As human activities continue to reshape our shorelines and alter our coastal systems, the need increases for men and women with expert knowledge in the conservation, management, regulation and governance of the planet’s oceans and their resources. Our program in Ocean Studies and Marine Affairs prepares you to be a leader in this growing field. You study the institutions that oversee coastal and marine systems and come to understand how humans impact the oceans. You consider coastal and marine science, resource policy and use, ecosystems ecology, conservation approaches, and methods of sustainable development.

Aquaculture and Aquarium Science

Based both in the Departments of Biology and Marine Sciences, the program in Aquaculture and Aquarium Science prepares you for careers in the growth and marketing of marine and freshwater organisms, and for work with aquariums in maintaining the health and viability of their collections. The program emphasizes the science and economic components of these fields.