Southern Arkansas University's Marine Biology Program Begins This Fall

by Lee Hogan  on Monday, Jul. 7, 2014 10:37 am  

Southern Arkansas University expects its marine biology degree to draw students from across the state and region to Magnolia.

The degree was approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in the spring, and is the only program of its kind in the state. The program will offer its first courses in the fall, and is expected to start with about 20 students.

"We are excited that SAU has been approved to offer the only marine biology major in Arkansas," Trey Berry, provost and vice president for academics, said in a news release. "Several of our faculty members in the College of Science and Engineering have strong backgrounds in this field and our new partnerships on the Gulf Coast will provide SAU students with experiential learning and research opportunities to prepare them for the job market or for graduate school."

The university has added Jesse Filbrun, currently leading an oil spill research project at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, to lead the program.

"Dr. Filbrun has a unique set of research skills working with stable isotopes in both fresh and saltwater environments, and he will excel in the areas of teaching, research and service," Claude Baker, biology professor and former department chair, said in the release.

Also starting this fall is the university's engineering program, which is also expected to start with about 20 students.



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