The two campuses are separated by approximately 120 miles, which raises some unusual challenges in an academic department, but the merger also brings many advantages and special opportunities for students and faculty on both campuses. There are the obvious benefits of improved access to facilities, curriculum and programs, such as ships, boats, and coastal labs, and membership on the graduate faculty of Texas A&M University for Galveston colleagues. We expect continued growth of the Marine Sciences Program in response to increasing public interest in environmental issues and a stable job market for broadly trained B.S.-level graduates. Galveston students who decide to pursue graduate studies in oceanography can take upper-level mathematics and science courses in Galveston or in College Station. Other enrichment options are available on both campuses via video-linked classrooms. Our strategy is to provide a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to meet increasingly diverse needs and interests of students on both campuses. Such programs benefit the department by giving us the opportunity to work with and recruit enthusiastic students early in their undergraduate careers, and they benefit the students by allowing them to apply their developing skills to real problems in the ocean while working toward a B.S. degree.
Although the Galveston mission centers on undergraduate education, there is also an active and growing research program, with approximately 15 graduate students currently in residence working with specialized laboratory facilities. We expect and encourage continued growth in graduate research in Galveston, because it benefits students on both campuses and leads to a stronger faculty. A new geological oceanographer soon will join the faculty in Galveston, and we expect further expansion in the next two years. These new faculty members will develop research programs to complement their undergraduate responsibilities.
There are many exciting new possibilities for oceanography at Texas A&M as a result of the merger. We will bring you more information about some of these in the future, as the details develop. This issue of Quarterdeck features an article describing some state-of-the art work in chemical oceanography by several Galveston faculty members and their students. We are also pleased to highlight the activities of three of our Galveston undergraduate students and five former graduate students who recently completed their degree programs.
- David A. Brooks, Editor
Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Updated July 24, 1995