AQUATIC AND MARINE BIOLOGY LAB
The history of the BGSU Marine Laboratory
The lab has been in existence since 1963, when Cynthia Stong and two students, Steve Toth and John Young, set up five 10-gallon tanks to house animals brought back from a spring field trip. Subsequently, the program has grown to over 60 tanks that include a wave tank, cold water tanks, coral reef tanks and the current construction of a salt marsh environmental tank. Many of the students who have graduated fromthe program have acquired marine-related positions. These positions range from graduate students and academic positions at marine institutions and universities, government positions in fishery biology, private industry and environmental firms to owning dive shops and pet stores. Many of our alumni have gone on to graduate schools at some of the most prestigious oceanographic and marine biology institutions in the world.
Visit our Marine Lab Virtual Tour
Several courses taught at BGSU offer the students field experience in freshwater and marine scientific techniques at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students have the opportunity to learn basic priniciples of performing field research by using scientific instruments that include seines, sieves, thermographs, oxygen and pH meters, secchi disk, snorkeling and scuba diving. During some field trips, animals are collected and brought back to the marine lab for undergraduate research projects and to keep our laboratory fully stocked. Field trips give the students a chance to learn what life is like for field scientists and allows the student to interact with scientists located at other laboratories. Students are encouraged to pursue these contacts as possible summer interships for studying marine science at an off-campus site.
Course such as Aquatic Ecology, Limnology, Algology, and Ichthyology focus on nearby freshwater lakes and stream ecosystems, including the Great Lakes. These courses compliment the marine science courses in teaching principles that apply both in freshwater as well as marine systems.
The Marine Biology course takes an annual field trip to The Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution located in Massachussetts, both world-renown institutions in the study of marine environments. For six days, the students are immersed in the ecology of the New England coast by studying the different habitats and organisms found within them. The different habitats include salt marshes, sea grass beds, mud flats and rocky intertidal zones.
Field experience is essential for all students because it allows them to integrate the concepts and principles learned in the classroom with actual environments and organisms. Hands-on experience, such as offered at BGSU, helps to prepare students for future careers in aquatic or marine sciences. After participating in field classes, BGSU students have participated in summer internships at a large number of marine stations, including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, The Marine Biological Laboratory, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sea World, and the Bermuda Biological Station for Research, among other institutions and have worked in locations such as Belize, Bermuda, Caribbean, North Carolina, Florida and Mississippi.