"It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish," remarked J.R.R. Tolkien. Climate change and sea level rise loom long on our coastal horizon. We must understand and get to work on adaptation. Image: US Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library.
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” said Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Likewise, knowledge of maritime history and the ocean can unlock a path to fair winds and following seas. OURAGAN, a ship laboring in a hurricane. (Source: NOAA National Weather Service Collection.)
"You don't have an erosion problem until you build something too close to the water." -- Orrin Pilkey
"The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish." - Jacques CousteauImage source: NOAA Restoration Center Photo Library.
The Outer Banks lies in the "eye of a human hurricane" as Dr. Stan Riggs and colleagues have noted. Barrier island responses to ongoing storms and sea level rise clash with escalating human efforts in sand bags, jetties, and constructed dune ridges aimed at stabilizing the dynamic barrier islands. Image: New Inlet, FEMA Photo Library.
Connect with Us
Dr. Paul Gares, COAS Director
Department of Geography, Planning and Environment
Brewster Bldg., Office Afirstname.lastname@example.org| Tel. (252) 328-6084
Exploring Careers in Coastal and Marine Studies
A wide variety of careers are available to students who augment their major field of study with a minor in Coastal and Marine Studies. Upon graduation you will have a basic foundation in coastal and marine science and specialized knowledge and skills in areas of your choosing. Our students have garnered awards and scholarships from state and regional agencies. Others have conducted honors theses on coastal and marine topics within their majors. Some have published their works and gone onto graduate schools, while others have sought exotic experiential learning and study abroad opportunities ranging from Costa Rica, Panama, and Australia.
The COAS Minor encourages students to work in the lab as well as field settings. In recent years, ECU's students have been taking advantage of service and volunteer opportunities in the region, such as working with local River Keepers on the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers and participating in beach and river cleanups.
While most minors are natural or social sciences majors, non-science majors use COAS to explore relationships between coastal and marine resources and their field of study. For instance, a criminal justice major chose COAS as a minor for their interests in conservation of fish and game species on the coast. A journalism major chose COAS in order to better communicate coastal science to the public and policymakers. Political science, pre-law, and public school teachers benefit from a breadth of knowledge in COAS that covers history, maritime law and modern conflicts, and oceanography. Of course, natural sciences majors benefit from deeper understanding of coastal and marine processes, particularly geology, geomorphology, coastal Geographic Information Systems, and biological oceanography.
Exciting field experiences are integrated into several field trips and activities in COAS classes. In addition, ECU offers both recreational SCUBA and advanced underwater research methods, with the latter available as elective credit in the minor. Summer "Summester" on the Outer Banks and field intensive trips are also readily available to interested students. Study abroad courses that include substantial and even focused coastal-marine themes are also regularly offered by ECU faculty.
The COAS Minor provides a complementary, focused set of expertise that can distinguish students with a traditional disciplinary or professional major: