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Message from the Director
As of January 31, 2011, the School of Marine Affairs officially became the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. This name change (the second in our School’s history) reflects our broadening interest in and acknowledgement of the interconnections among marine, terrestrial, and atmospheric environments. It also acknowledges the importance of bringing human dimensions understanding to exploration of the implications for marine and environmental affairs of accelerating rates of change in both the human and non-human systems of our planet.
The “E” in our name also connotes our desire to grow our mission, which is “to provide leadership and training to address contemporary and emerging issues in marine systems, especially those associated with the human dimensions of global change.” Central is to advance our field as an “interdiscipline” that cuts across science and policy: knowledge relevant to effective policy and management in marine and environmental affairs lies in the regions where natural science, social science, and policy studies intersect. Our perspective is therefore one of integration.
The new school name does not change the degree we offer, which remains the Master of Marine Affairs (MMA), the degree we have been awarding since 1978, when we were the Institute for Marine Studies. In 2008, we introduced a new master’s curriculum, “Human Dimensions of Global Change in the Marine Environment,” to reflect an emerging new paradigm for marine affairs. The SMEA core curriculum is now dedicated to capturing the complex, changing, and interconnected nature of the most challenging problems in our field, especially in the ways they grow out of interaction of human and nature systems.
I invite you to explore our web site and to contact us with any questions you may have about our master’s degree program and the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.
Tom Leschine, Professor and Director
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