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Historic first

MI introduces PhD and master's programs in fisheries science

Teaching and Learning

By Leslie Earle

The Marine Institute has introduced new graduate degrees in fisheries science that will foster the next generation of fisheries researchers.

Pending approval by the Board of Regents, the School of Fisheries will deliver three program options in the fall of 2017: master of science in fisheries science (fisheries science and technology); master of science in fisheries science (stock assessment); and doctor of philosophy in fisheries science.

“World-leading graduates”

“Fisheries researchers can address many critical questions about the sustainable development of our ocean ecosystems,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute).

“Our aim is to produce world-leading graduates who can help us understand how we can be as efficient and selective as possible in harvesting and conservation and do it in a more sustainable manner.”

Across the three programs, students will conduct cutting-edge research and complete focused training courses in programming, statistics and study design. Stock assessment students will receive extra training in this specialized area of research.

“Our goal is to equip graduates with the applied skills to produce real-world impacts.” — Carey Bonnell

The Marine Institute’s fisheries science program will be unique in that all students will complete a mandatory course in science communication, which will train them to make their work accessible to people without formal training in science.

“Our goal is to equip graduates with the applied skills to produce real-world impacts,” said Carey Bonnell, head, School of Fisheries.

“We created these programs not only to further career opportunities for our graduates, but also to advance our fisheries research capabilities and knowledge for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Developing scientists

Students in the programs will be mentored and supervised by researchers within the School of Fisheries and will conduct original fisheries research as part of their studies.

“The best-managed fisheries are generally the ones that are most informed by science,” said Dr. Brett Favaro, the MI instructor who led the development of the program.

“Our plan is to train scientists to do work at the forefront of fisheries research, so that we can preserve the biodiversity that forms the basis of healthy fisheries while helping industry catch fish sustainably.”

The launch of the fisheries science programs marks the first time the Marine Institute has offered a doctoral program in its 53-year history. The programs were also approved on the 25th anniversary of the Marine Institute joining with Memorial University.

For further information about the programs, please visit the website.

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