Located just two hours from the Atlantic ocean, Millersville University features one of the country's best undergraduate oceanography programs. We offer BS degrees in Ocean Sciences and Coastal Studies (OSCS) and a OSCS-physical option geared towards ocean global climate change studies. The curriculum is designed with a dual-major approach. For example, the OSCS-Physical Option track offers a strong background both in oceanography and meteorology. Our programs are rigorous and demanding, and our graduates have done well in graduate schools and in finding jobs in environmental sciences.
Over the last two decades, we have built up a unique facility for teaching and research in oceanography among universities in Pennsylvania. A dedicated oceanography laboratory is used for teaching various ocean-related courses and is equipped with a 25-ft wave tank for study of surface wave phenomena, and a rotating tank to demonstrate geophysical fluid concepts. Our state-of-the-art equipment includes a two Conductivity Temperature-Depth profiles, with one of them fitted with a backscattering, Li-Cor, fluorescence and oxygen sensors, Acoustic current meter, portable weather station and a Seabird tide/wave gauge. We are also proud to be the founding member of The Marine Science Consortium, located on the beautiful Virginia coast and boasts direct boat access to the Atlantic Ocean, and adjacent waters of Chincoteague and Assateague coastal waters. The MSC is owned and operated by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and attracts students of all ages from the surrounding mid-Atlantic region. MSC research vessels, the R.V. Philip N. Parker, RV Flatfish, and the R.V. Mollusk, are used by OSCS faculty and students for the exploration and study of coastal, estuarine and continental shelf waters, and a variety of smaller boats, canoes and kayaks allow easy access to and study of near-shore shallow-water environments . The OSCS programs include weekend and summer study and research at the MSC and provides MU students with invaluable hands-on experience with modern research tools and techniques. The MSC has recently undergone a $15 million renovation complete with new housing, classrooms, administration buildings and state of the art computer and lab facilities.
The department's two oceanographers are both experienced teachers and researchers. They teach most of the major courses, while supporting classes are taught by meteorology and biology faculty with training in marine sciences. Our faculty are the principal investigators of a recent project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to acquire a comprehensive Seabird Sealogger seawater probe. Another recent NSF-funded project features a remote sensing laboratory of computer workstations and software packages used for satellite image analysis. Recently, our faculty was funded by NASA to process LIDAR data acquired in collaboration with NASA and USFWS. All these projects support the oceanography curriculum and research.