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Marine and Environmental Sciences

Marine and Environmental Sciences (MES) is a study of the complex relationships between humans and the land, oceans and atmosphere. The MES major integrates oceanography, chemistry, biology, physics, and math to provide a technical, multidisciplinary education closely aligned with the Coast Guard missions of fisheries law enforcement, environmental response management, search and rescue operations, oil spill cleanup, and iceberg tracking.

  • MES involves considerable amount of time spent conducting hands on laboratory experiments using the latest technology and fieldwork often on board the Marine Science research vessel, the Michael J. Greeley.
  • Courses take advantage of the CGA’s proximity to the Thames River estuary for field studies.
  • Open electives allows students to specialize in areas such as toxicology, astronomy, arctic science or to pursue independent research.
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Areas of Specialization

Beginning in your 2nd class (junior) year, and continuing through the first semester of your 1st Class (senior) year, MES majors specialize in two of the following three areas of specialization. Each area consists of a three-course sequence and hands-on fieldwork laboratory experiences.

  • Biological-Environmental Science
  • Chemical-Environmental Science
  • Physical Oceanography


MES majors have access to exceptional resources, including the R/V Michael J. Greeley, our 36-foot marine science research vessel; laboratories with state-of-the-art, research-grade equipment; and, very importantly, abundant waters – the Academy sits on the Thames River and is just miles away from the Long Island Sound, gateway to the Atlantic Ocean.

Facts and Figures
$3.5M MES Equipment SVGin scientific equipment is accessible to MES majors
32 MES ConferencesTotal number of conferences on average attended by MES majors each year
>50% Female ScientistsMore than half of MES majors are female
2 MES ScholarMES majors have been named Fulbright Scholars