Feature Story: Launch of new UNH School of Marine Science & Ocean Engineering

In September, the University of New Hampshire launched the new School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. This new, first of its kind interdisciplinary school is an integration of the all of the university’s various marine-related research, teaching and outreach efforts, including PREP. Formerly named The Marine Program, this new School brings together researchers, resources and skill sets from across the university to collaborate on projects focused on the marine, estuarine and near-shore environments.

Creating an interdisciplinary school is important because the issues facing the marine and estuarine environments are interdisciplinary by their nature. Those challenges cross scales, boundaries and scientific realms. By tapping into the varied skill sets of policy scientists, biologists, physical and natural scientists, biogeochemists, and engineers the knowledge and solutions gained can be far more wide reaching and holistic.

Of particular interest to PREP is the focus the School plans to put on estuaries and the estuarine ecosystem. UNH is lucky to be situated in the living laboratory of the Great Bay Estuary and the Gulf of Maine. In an hour’s time a researcher can gather data from the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory in the middle of Great Bay to the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex on the island of New Castle and then even out to Shoals Marine Lab out on the Isle of Shoals. The size, location and wealth of resources UNH will coordinate promises to give our communities a far greater understanding of the waters around us and will help to provide vital information for successful solutions.

PREP is proud to be a part of this new endeavor at UNH and will continue to be an integral resource for research, monitoring, outreach and education about the Hampton-Seabrook and Great Bay estuaries.

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.