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Marine Biology Concentration

The ocean covers nearly three-quarters of the earth’s surface, and its unfathomable expanse is home to millions of organisms large and small—from microbes to plants to fish and mammals. What happens in the water impacts the land and air, too, meaning marine and environmental science are closely connected. Whether you plan to wade in tidal pools and wetlands or dive deep into the ocean, a marine biology concentration is the place to start.

Why study marine biology at Gordon?

Gordon’s location just three miles from the Atlantic Ocean allows regular excursions to research spots along Cape Ann’s rocky coastline—including the Plum Island Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research site and the Great Marsh. Hop aboard Gordon’s boat (Ixthus) during our intensive Marine Biology Institute summer program, or take classes at places like the New England Aquarium through our membership in the Marine Studies Consortium. You’ll study marine organisms native to New England, and be prepared to take that knowledge to your chosen specialty within the field of marine science.

Learn about other biology concentrations ➔

What careers can I pursue with a marine biology concentration (biology major)? 

Careers in marine science are vast and varied. You’ll be equipped for graduate school in your area of focus within this broad field, and can tailor your studies to achieve your unique goals.

  • High school science teacher or college professor
  • Research specialist
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Aquaculture
  • Environmental biology and toxicology
  • Coastal zone management
  • Marine restoration
  • Marine conservation
  • Fisheries biologist

Gordon College Career Services ➔


Karina Scavo

Karina Scavo ’13

Ph.D. candidate (coral reef conservation and restoration in Belize) 

“The professors in my department played a big part in turning my passion for marine biology into a career path. Before graduating I knew little to nothing about graduate school, but Drs. Keller and Boorse were influential in challenging me to pursue my degree further and supported me through the application process. I am so grateful to have professors who not only support their immediate students, but who also continue to care for and guide their past students." Hear from others ➔


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Gordon’s proximity to ocean ecosystems provides remarkable access for labs, field trips and other opportunities. Join the Biology Club for coastal birdwatching trips or the coastal cleanup at Crane Beach. 

Off campus, students complete internships at a range of marine institutions, including:

  • Cape Ann Whale Watching
  • Mount Desert Island Oceanarium
  • New England Aquarium
  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Massachusetts Audubon Society
  • Ocean Genome Legacy

Global Opportunities

Expand your global perspective on marine environments through short-term and semester-long programs.


For more information, contact:

Dr. Greg Keller
Chair, Department of Biology


Or request more information about Gordon ➔

The marine biology concentration is part of the biology major.