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smast SMAST Graduate Programs

The world of marine science and technology UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) is a nationally and internationally recognized institution for graduate education and research in marine sciences, fisheries, and ocean technology. There is a strong demand for marine scientists to address the urgent issues facing the marine environment—ocean acidification, climate change, changes in fish stocks, sustainability of the fishing industry, energy development, and coastal conservation. The development of new technologies to assess and address these issues is a component of our education and research.

About UMass Dartmouth UMass Dartmouth is a Carnegie-designated R2 national research university. More than one third of the University’s research funding comes from SMAST research activities.

About SMAST Leaders in the field SMAST is the largest marine science program in the University of Massachusetts system and brings in more than $4-$6 million of annual research funding from government, industry, and non-governmental agencies. More than 110 faculty, students, and staff engage in education, research, and policy activity related to the marine environment. SMAST is based at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which is a Carnegie doctoral research university (R-2). There are 1,400 graduate students and 7,000 undergraduates at UMass Dartmouth. SMAST has strong relationships with faculty in the ABET-accredited College of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences. UMass Dartmouth provides a private college educational experience and public university value. Cover image of building courtesy of Ellenzweig

• SMAST is a nationally and internationally renowned institution for research and graduate education in marine sciences, fisheries, and ocean technology. • In addition to our graduate program offerings, SMAST emphasizes interaction with industry and government and non-government agencies on compelling regional marine-related issues and technological development. • Since opening on Clark’s Cove in historic New Bedford in 1997, SMAST scientists have helped sustain the fishing industry, helping New Bedford to retain its position as the highest-valued fishing port in the nation.


Number of scientists, students, and staff working at SMAST



Estuarine and Ocean Sciences faculty

Number of full-time faculty members

Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences faculty pursue state-of-the-art basic and applied marine science research centered on the development of innovative technologies.


I had a great working relationship with the SMAST faculty, and I collaborate with some of the faculty in my present job. Each faculty member has a unique skill set and perspective, and their insights into marine science and fisheries management were invaluable.”

SMAST faculty are world-renowned leaders in the field of marine science. Our faculty collaborate with government and non-government organizations perform cutting-edge research, and address complex issues that affect marine ecosystems. Students engage in curiosity-driven and societally relevant research. Learning is interdisciplinary and involves observation, modeling, experimentation, and theory. Our faculty and students partner with agencies at the local, national, and international levels.

Visit for complete faculty bios.

Brian Howes Professor Specializes in estuarine and embayment nutrient cycling and modeling as well as saltwater and freshwater wetland, lake, embayment management and restoration.

Mark Altabet Professor and Chair of the Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences Research interests include marine and environmental chemistry.

Daniel MacDonald Professor of Civil Engineering and SMAST Affiliate Professor Specializes in estuarine oceanography, hydrodynamics, stratified turbulence, and environmental engineering.

Jim Bisagni Professor Emeritus Specializes in remote sensing of sea surface temperature and ocean pigments; remote sensing of dynamic ocean topography and surface waves; and air-sea interaction.

Cindy Pilskaln Professor Focuses on geochemical particle fluxes in the ocean and large lake systems with emphasis on their quantitative relationship to climate forcing over short- and long-time scales.

Wendell Brown Professor Specializes in coastal physical oceanography, moored ocean observations, real-time circulation modeling, and data/information management system development.

Miles Sundermeyer Professor Specializes in dispersion and transport processes, numerical modeling of mixing and stirring, numerical modeling of physical and biological interactions.

Lou Goodman Professor Emeritus Focuses on marine turbulence.

Amit Tandon Professor of Mechanical Engineering and SMAST Affiliate Professor Specializes in small-scale turbulence in the upper ocean boundary layers as well as theory, simulations, and observational analysis of sub-mesoscale features in the ocean.

around the globe to develop innovative technology,

Greg DeCelles ‘14, PhD, Stock Assessment Specialist, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries


Steven E. Lohrenz Dean of SMAST Research areas include the study of biological distributions and productivity, as well as cycling of carbon and nutrients in coastal and ocean waters.

Avijit Gangopadhyay Professor Focuses on ocean circulation, operational modeling, and climate studies.


Fisheries Oceanography faculty Department of Fisheries Oceanography faculty conduct cutting-edge research in interdisciplinary sciences related to interactions between marine organisms, the marine environment, and fisheries.

Steve Cadrin Professor and Chair of the Fisheries Oceanography Department Specializes in general fisheries science that is relevant to resource management, population modeling of fishery resources, and spatial population structure and movement. N. David Bethoney Research Assistant Professor Specializes in resource assessment and bycatch avoidance.

Changsheng Chen Montgomery Charter Professor Research interests include modeling and observational explorations of multi-scale global-regional-estuarine ocean circulation, and oceanic fronts.


Daniel Georgianna Chancellor Professor Emeritus Research areas include marine resource economics, comparative economic systems, and economic history.

MS in Marine Science and Technology • Thesis or non-thesis option • Thesis option requires 30 credit hours (minimum) • Non-thesis option requires 33 credit hours • Full-time students normally complete degree requirements in 4 semesters • Part-time students are encouraged to take 2 courses per semester

Pingguo He Professor Specializes in fish behavior and fishing gear as well as sustainable utilization of fisheries resource of the northeastern U.S. and beyond.

Brian Rothschild Professor Emeritus, Former Dean of SMAST Research areas include population dynamics, fishery management, and ocean ecosystems.

Kevin Stokesbury Professor Concentrates on marine biology/ ecology focusing on fisheries, including scallop population dynamics and life history studies.

Gavin Fay Assistant Professor Concentrates on the development of interdisciplinary modeling approaches, ecosystem assessment methods; and testing the performance of decision support tools for living marine resource management.

Jefferson Turner Chancellor Professor Concentrates on plankton and water-quality ecological surveys of Buzzards Bay; plankton communities of Boston Harbor and adjacent waters; and interactions between copepod feeding and reproductive success.

Professional Science MS in Coastal and Ocean Administration, Science and Technology (COAST-PSM) • 2-year program • Non-thesis degree that focuses on marine science with additional coursework in management, policy, or law • Flexible course structure, including online courses • 3 core courses (9 credits) required • Internship required during final summer of program • Paid stipends are available

PhDs PhD in Marine Science and Technology

Geoffrey Cowles Associate Professor Specializes in the application of numerical methods to problems in fluid and ecosystem dynamics, including both scheme development and applications.

Master’s degrees

• Requires 4 core, 3-credit courses (biological, chemical, physical, and marine policy) • Additional elective courses may be selected in a concentration area of your choice • Concentrations include 24 credit hours of courses (minimum), including elective and seminar courses • 18 credit hours toward thesis research required after completing a rigorous comprehensive exam • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the PhD degree program is required

• Post-graduate employment in marine-related fields may be arranged

Dual-Degree PhD Program with University of São Paulo Institute of Oceanography • Requires 4 (12 credits total) core courses in a concentration area beyond the core, seminars, and dissertation research • Concentrations include 24 credit hours (minimum), including elective and seminar courses • 18 credit hours (minimum) must be applied toward thesis research after completing a rigorous comprehensive exam • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the PhD degree program is required • Students are referred to the degree requirements of their home institution


Number of MS and PhD students


Facilities SMAST East

SMAST alums work for leading organizations around the globe.

SMAST East opened fall of 2017. The 64,000-sq.-ft. structure includes wet, dry, and computational labs; high-tech classrooms and office spaces; and a seawater research lab.

• Federal University of Ceará—Brazil • Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration


• Maine Department of Marine Resources

SMAST West, the original 35,000-sq.-ft. building, includes a seawater research lab, a 90,000-gallon acoustic-optic test tank designed for development and measurement of underwater measurement concepts, as well as world-class research laboratories.

• Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries • Rutgers University, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Ocean Glider “Blue”

• US Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies


Percentage of graduates in professional positions after graduation

The Digitizing Laboratory at SMAST East is used to process data captured from a live underwater video camera.

Research vessel SMAST’s 52-ft.-long, coastal research vessel, the R/V Lucky Lady, provides faculty and students with the ability to engage in field trips to examine coastal regions that have a profound impact on the local and regional economy.

Ocean glider Professor Wendell Brown and his research team deploy ocean glider “Blue” each year during the height of hurricane season. The underwater vehicle assists scientists in collecting valuable ocean data by running programmed routes south of New England.

Advanced video technology Professor Kevin Stokesbury and his graduate students have developed a live video camera to capture real-time visual information, allowing researchers to approximate the abundance, density, size distribution, and the impacts of commercial fishing. The goal is to help regulators manage the fishery.


Expanded Seawater Lab Image courtesy of Ellenzweig

R/V Lucky Lady


The academic experience SMAST’s students are engaged in scholarly research, community activities and educational outreach.

As part of your academic experience, you will • Conduct scholarly marine research with faculty • Collaborate with agencies at the local, national, and international levels • Engage in cooperative research with government and nongovernment organizations

Marcos Sastre-Cordova ‘14, PhD, Systems Engineer for a major Navy contractor

• Publish in scholarly journals • Present at conferences, seminars, and workshops around the world

Applying to SMAST Megan Winton, PhD candidate and runner-up for the Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship, worked with the state Division of Marine Fisheries to address the surge of great white sharks on Cape Cod.

Owen Nichols, PhD candidate, was awarded the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s John Annala Fishery Leadership Award for his track record as a marine scientist who fosters collaboration and understanding between the fishing and scientific communities.

“ “

The PhD program at SMAST provided the right balance between breadth and depth that really helped me further my career as an undersea systems engineer. Completing the degree has not only accelerated my professional growth but has earned me peer respect and recognition.”

If you are interested in becoming a student at SMAST please visit the website for more information and to complete the application process. We encourage you to contact the faculty member(s) who could potentially serve as your advisor based on your program interest(s). Faculty may be able to help you seek funding to pay for your graduate studies.

My experience at SMAST has given me the ability to branch out into new fields with confidence. I don’t feel hemmed into one tiny niche, because I’ve seen how dramatically each area of science influences the next. It’s great feeling that my knowledge and skills can translate to different career paths.” Dahlia Medeiros ’12, MS, Environmental Engineer, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Several SMAST students have received best presentation, poster, and paper awards at national and international conferences and meetings (including the American Fisheries Society, American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists, Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation, and Ocean Sciences Meeting).



Number of research grants awarded in 2017


Maine Ve r m o n t


New Hampshire




Springfield Providence

New Yo r k




New Haven Rhode Island


Our location SMAST is located on the water in New Bedford, MA. The Port of New Bedford is a deep-water commercial port, and is approximately 9 nautical miles from Cape Cod, 83 miles south of Boston, and 166 miles north of New York. We’re just minutes from UMass Dartmouth’s 710-acre main campus with affordable housing options on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts. We are strategically situated in a location that provides convenient access to many attractions.

By the numbers

7 minutes to ferry to Martha’s Vineyard 10 minutes from UMass Dartmouth 25 minutes from Fall River 30 minutes from Horseneck Beach 40 minutes from Providence, Rhode Island

SMAST West 706 South Rodney French Blvd. New Bedford, MA 02744-1221

55 minutes from Newport, Rhode Island


Miles from main UMassD Campus

SMAST East 836 South Rodney French Blvd. New Bedford, MA 02744-1221

Image courtesy of Ellenzweig

Apply For complete details about our programs, the application process and requirements, or to apply online, please visit the website at 508.910.6550 •


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