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Marine Science

Study the world’s oceans and marine life at Randolph College.

Researchers get an up-close view of a whale.

Why Study Marine Science at Randolph?

Randolph’s College’s marine science program is one of the only undergraduate programs of its kind in Virginia, with coursework covering topics in marine geology, marine and coastal ecosystems, oceanography, ocean-atmosphere dynamics, and climate change, with a wide range of hands-on experiences in the classroom, lab, and out in the field.

The curriculum also includes courses in chemistry, data science, geographic information systems, quantitative methods, geology, ecosystem ecology, and special topics that change each year.

The program will prepare you for careers and graduate programs in oceanography, marine biology, coastal ecology, ocean conservation, fisheries management, climate resilience, disaster management, environmental and marine law and policy, ocean engineering, and more.

Degrees offered

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marine Science

Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Science

Minor in Marine Science

Related Programs

The Randolph Experience

An Interdisciplinary Curriculum

The marine science program at Randolph College is a unique opportunity to develop a deep understanding of marine systems.

Our curriculum focuses not only on a typical marine science program, but also on building in-demand skills.

Students will take classes covering the fundamentals of marine science, such as marine ecology, as well as special topics courses that look at specific threats to marine and ocean ecosystems, examine a particular habitat in more detail, or explore another topic of interest.

Students and their professor test samples collected in the field.

Hands-On Experience

Every marine science student is expected to get hands-on experience in a marine environment.  The program provides every student with low- and no-cost fieldwork opportunities.

Students will learn essential skills, such as GIS, to prepare them for graduate school or careers.

Students find ample opportunities for hands-on research through our Center for Student Research including the Summer Research Program.

The Randolph Innovative Student Experience (RISE) program provides every student a $2,000 grant to fund research, internships, experiential learning and other scholarly pursuits.

Faculty Mentorship

You will work closely with faculty advisors and the marine science program director to plan a Randolph experience that meets your needs and will help you achieve your goals.

This includes both curricular and co-curricular experiences.

Small Classes

Randolph classes are full of engagement and interaction. Students get the full attention of their professors and develop camaraderie with their classmates.

The Honor Code

Randolph students live by our Honor Code and act with the highest integrity in both academic and social life.

Research

Randolph College students conduct advanced research projects in their majors with help from the Center for Student Research. They present their findings at the annual Symposium of Artists and Scholars.

Internships

Randolph students put classroom learning into practice by participating in internships.

With help from the Career Development Center, marine science majors can find internships with the likes of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, STEMSEAS, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sea Education Association and more.

Study Abroad

Opportunities for study abroad through affiliated programs in Costa Rica, Thailand, and others, as well as non-affiliated programs such as Sea Semester and the School for Field Studies are available.

Intercultural Competence

All Randolph students learn global citizenship with the capability to accurately understand and adapt to cultural differences and find commonality.

Unique Opportunities

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Randolphus Collegium discipulos praeparat ad mundum criticum et creativo confligendum, honeste vivendum et operandum, vitam abundanter experiendam.

Outcomes

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Wanda WildCat ’12, biology major
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Opportunities

Top Ranked Professors

Randolph College’s faculty are consistently recognized as among the best in the nation. The Princeton Review ranked the College in #12 for most accessible professors in the 2023 edition of its flagship college guide, The Best 388 Colleges.  

Randolph has been ranked in the top 20 for most accessible professors for six consecutive years.

Faculty

Sarah Sojka

Associate Professor of Enviromental Studies and Physics

Read More... Sarah Sojka

Karin Warren

Herzog Family Professor of Environmental Studies

Read More... Karin Warren

Teresa Angell
Cello Instructor

Leigh Berkeley
Clarinet and Saxophone Instructor

J. Mark Campbell
Trumpet Instructor

Kevin Chiarizzio
Trombone and Low Brass Instructor

Jacob Dishman
Staff Accompanist

Christopher Fosnaugh
Percussion and Drumset Instructor

Kyle Greaney
Clarinet and Saxophone Instructor

Hermina Hendricks
Senior Lecturer in Music

Alycia Hugo
Flute Instructor

Hope Maddox
Costume Shop Supervisor

Nora Moore
Voice Instructor

Kathryn Munson
Adjunct Instructor of Dance

Bill Parrish
Oboe Instructor

Kay Rooney
Violin and Viola Instructor

Rafael Scarfullery
Guitar Instructor

Curtis Smith
Piano and Organ Instructor; College Organist

Current Season

Wildcat Weekend Arts Showcase
September 17, 2022

Fall Music Showcase
October 6, 2022

The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus
by Christopher Marlowe
October 26-30, 2022

Candlelight Concert
December 8, 2022

Performing Arts Cabaret
February 23-25, 2023

Winter Music Showcase
March 4, 2023

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
Adapted by Morgan Gould
May 5-7, 2023

Spring Concert
May 6, 2023

Only at Randolph

Randolph students can take advantage of unique programs which give them a more enriching education than can be found anywhere else.

TAKE2

Two courses per half-mester means you get to focus in and dig deep into your coursework while still having time for the rest of the college experience. Two classes. Seven weeks. Repeat.

Learn More
The Randolph Plan

Randolph students work with faculty mentors to explore a broad range of disciplines as they chart their academic path.

Learn More
The Liberal Arts Advantage

Randolph graduates learn to think critically, solve problems and work well with others. They are prepared to succeed in all aspects of life.

Learn More
Money for Your Research

The Randolph Innovative Student Experience (RISE) program provides every student a $2,000 grant to fund research, creative work, experiential learning or other scholarly pursuits.

Learn More

Department News

Transfer student Q&A: Sydney Preas ’26

This is part of a series profiling Randolph College transfer students. 

Read More

New Randolph exhibit focuses on marine plastic pollution

"Entangled and Ingested," which opens Jan. 12 in Hampson Commons, located in the Student Center, features seven life-sized collage portraits using plastic film to document animals that are harmed by marine plastic pollution.

Read More

Students visit Eastern Shore of Virginia for marine science field trip

Over several days, they assisted scientists at the University of Virginia’s Coastal Research Center with water quality monitoring.

Read More

Randolph announces new academic programs

Some of the programs, including computer science, marine science, and criminal justice/criminology, will be introduced for fall 2023.

Read More

Hailey Gilman ’22 conducts research on NSF-funded vessel 

STEMSEAS is a program that provides ship-based experiences for students aboard National Science Foundation-funded research vessels.

Read More

Transfer student Q&A: Sydney Preas ’26

This is part of a series profiling Randolph College transfer students. 

Read More

New Randolph exhibit focuses on marine plastic pollution

"Entangled and Ingested," which opens Jan. 12 in Hampson Commons, located in the Student Center, features seven life-sized collage portraits using plastic film to document animals that are harmed by marine plastic pollution.

Read More

Students visit Eastern Shore of Virginia for marine science field trip

Over several days, they assisted scientists at the University of Virginia’s Coastal Research Center with water quality monitoring.

Read More

Randolph announces new academic programs

Some of the programs, including computer science, marine science, and criminal justice/criminology, will be introduced for fall 2023.

Read More

Hailey Gilman ’22 conducts research on NSF-funded vessel 

STEMSEAS is a program that provides ship-based experiences for students aboard National Science Foundation-funded research vessels.

Read More
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Department Chair

Sarah Sojka

Associate Professor of Enviromental Studies and Physics

Credentials:B.A., Eckerd College
M.S., University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Associated Departments:Environmental Studies & Science, Engineering, Physics, Marine Science
Office:Thoresen 7
Email:ssojka@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

I fell in love with science as a child, balanced on my toes on a stool leaning over the sink with a friend, our “chemicals”, including dish soap and bubble bath, surrounding us, trying to remove the smell from black pepper. I remember the intensity with which we worked and the thrill of feeling that we were discovering something. My goal as a science educator is to foster that same sense of wonder and curiosity in all of my students.

I earned my undergraduate degree at Eckerd College in Environmental Studies-Public Policy. As a student at a small liberal arts college, I loved getting to know my professors and the opportunities for research, including a project studying water quality in Nicaragua.

My interest in water quality led me to the University of Virginia for an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences. I studied how physical processes affect the biological processes in shallow coastal systems. Unfortunately, we frequently study average or calm weather conditions in these systems and forget how much winds and waves can affect the primary producers. I used modeling, experiments and monitoring data to study how wind conditions affect light and nutrient availability for seagrass. I am continuing this research and look forward to involving students in it.

After graduate school, I took my work inland and began working on rainwater harvesting systems. These systems are designed to collect the rain that falls on the roof of a building and use it for irrigation, toilets and other uses.

My primary interest is how rainwater harvesting can be used to reduce stormwater runoff and protect coastal systems.

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Karin Warren

Herzog Family Professor of Environmental Studies

Credentials:B.S., Cornell University
M.S., University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Associated Departments:Environmental Studies & Science, Marine Science
Office:Thoresen 6
Phone:(434) 947-8335
Email:kwarren@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

Dr. Karin Warren is Professor and Herzog Family Chair of Environmental Studies & Science at Randolph College. She holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Cornell University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley, where she held a Department of Energy Global Change Fellowship.

Her areas of research include climate change, community resilience, urban water quality, and quantitative environmental methods.

At Randolph, she developed the BA and BS degree programs in environmental studies and science, and has chaired the department since 2002.

She is co-chair of Randolph College’s Sustainability Council, faculty advisor to the student environmental club, and campus liaison for the President’s Climate Commitments, Bee Campus, and the Udall Fellowship. She also oversees the “Little Scientists” event at the Central Virginia Science Festival at Randolph College.

She helped create and is the Coordinator of the Lynchburg Regional Community Climate Resilience Coalition, serves on the Executive Board of the Association for Environmental Studies and Science, and as Secretary of the Executive Board of the 500-Year Forest Foundation . She is also the Virginia/Washington D.C. group manager for the Cloud Appreciation Society, and is an avid lifelong skywatcher.

She has three children who are all graduates of Randolph College Nursery School, and her favorite spot on campus is the organic garden and orchard. She likes wandering through woodlands, poking around in streams, looking under rocks, crocheting all sorts of things, and watching the skies to spot atmospheric phenomena.

You can follow her on Twitter @drkarinwarren and Instagram @RCEnvironStudies

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