UAF Offers Online Fisheries Courses, Master of Marine Policy Degree
UAF student Kyle Gatt holds a China rockfish caught in 2021 as part of a lingcod rockfish sampling in Prince William Sound.
The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) is expanding its offerings with online courses and a new master’s degree.
UAF is teaming up with UAS for the Master of Marine Policy degree, which blends knowledge of both natural and social sciences. The program is meant to prepare graduates for marine resource management positions in state and federal agencies, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and private industry in Alaska, the nation, and the world.
Foundational requirements include studies in marine policy and statistics, an internship, and courses drawn from four core areas: management of living marine resources; analytic methods; law and policy; and economics, development, and sustainability.
The program commences in the fall 2022 semester. While the degree is offered via a joint program, admissions are through the CFOS and the UAF Graduate School.
For undergraduates, the Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and marine sciences now has a fully online asynchronous concentration, making it the first undergraduate program in North America that lets students choose a blend of fisheries, marine biology, and oceanography classes that can be completed asynchronously.
Asynchronous online learning allows students to view instructional materials at their own pace with preset deadlines. The fully online program does not have set meeting times, a feature that helps students balance college with work and other responsibilities.
“The goal of the asynchronous concentration is to provide access to students interested in fisheries and marine sciences who do not have the resources or opportunity to complete the Bachelor of Science degree at a UAF campus,” says Trent Sutton, associate dean of academic programs at CFOS.
Many popular courses from CFOS’ in-person Bachelor of Sciences program will be accessible in asynchronous form. Those include Salmon, People, Place; Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology; and Polar Marine Science.
The asynchronous program prepares students to work in fisheries and marine management, research, conservation, education, policy, and industry. Students develop hands-on experience and employer connections through a required internship, and CFOS assists students in securing those internships through a variety of fisheries and marine sciences employers.
The program also prepares students for graduate studies in fisheries, marine biology, oceanography, marine policy, and business administration. An undergraduate degree is a prerequisite for UAF’s Tamamta program, which focuses on Indigenous knowledge.