Marine Biology Department at California State University Long Beach

September 28, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs

So you think if I want to understand how life
on earth works, I want to understand how life in the oceans work. We want you to do the science. You know we want you to experience that and
know what it’s like. In our program, undergraduates get a very
heavy introduction very quick, and that is unique. You will be doing real experiments and putting
yourself in a position where you can be published because of your undergraduate research project. You have a really immediate access to rocky
inter tidal, sandy beaches, estuaries. We have small boats so we can go offshore. We have a diving program. We have access to a 76 foot research vessel
so we can go offshore. First of all we have a long history. We’ve been doing it since 1969. We have over 900 alumni from our program and
they’re in every aspect of marine science that you could possibly imagine. And they’re all over the world. One of the classes I teach is called marine
ichthyology. It’s the study of marine fish. And I get to actually teach this class out at
Catalina. Students spend four weeks with me. They are completely immersed in marine fishes. And the great thing there is I can lecture
about what fish do and about their biology and their form and function, and then literally
an hour later they’re in the water seeing it. There’s no better place to learn marine biology
than at a Marine Lab like that. We have a wide variety of electives that students
take as they’re graduating. Things like marine microbiology and marine
mammalogy and wetlands ecology. Just so many different great marine electives
and that’s what really gets the students understanding and knowing kind of what they want to do with
their lives when they graduate. I think one of the best things about our program
is that the students get to go in the field as soon as they get here and they get immersed
in marine biology. One of he most unique things about our program
is that the students get to take marine biology their very first semester. And we’re so close to the ocean that they
actually can go on field trips to the ocean within lab time, which means that every student
in every class gets to do field trips. We have a marine lab. That’s one of our greatest assets. In there students can become research assistants
or teaching assistants where they’re teaching through the interactions with the organisms. I think students really walk away feeling
more confident. In searching for a job and internship in my
later years at school I had found that people that went to Long Beach knew people from Long
Beach. They know the classes you take and they like
what you know. So the classes here are designed to help us
get the information we need to succeed in this major. The faculty here at Cal State Long Beach is
really helpful. Their doors are always open too they will
give you advice not just for classes but also just make sure you’re on top of it for applying
your next steps. Whether it’s grad school or a job. I actually got a couple of my undergrad jobs
through faculty that would reach out to me and say “hey, this exists you should go do
this.” They take care of you and they make sure you’re
doing what you should do to progress. They’re actually doing science that it’s actually
real. It’s reak data. It’s not some made-up worksheet that they
gonna analyze. And so you know that’s a really, again I think
a really exciting component of a lot of the courses.