Program Partnerships

Program Partnerships

The Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) Program emphasizes study and research of interdisciplinary marine science. MACS faculty have joint appointments in MACS and one of four partner departments: Biology, Environmental Science, Geology, and Chemistry. Students majoring in MACS have the opportunity to take courses both within the MACS program itself as well as in one or several of our partner departments.

MACS students in boat


The Department of Biology encompasses areas ranging from molecular biology to ecosystem ecology, providing an outstanding learning environment that integrates education, scholarship, and service to actively engage students in the biological sciences and foster their development as lifelong learners.

A sea slug that looks like an orange sea horse

Environmental Science

The Department of Environmental Sciences in the College of the Environment trains students through academic and practical experiences to address environmental challenges, advances the state of knowledge in the environmental sciences, and engages locally, regionally, and globally to enhance scientific awareness and support for science-based policy. 

Macs crew on the floating lab


The Department of Geology offers the highest possible quality education in the geological sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels, creating excitement about discovery and the process of geologic inquiry. Departmental programs aim to develop in all students an appreciation of how geological processes affect the earth and society so that they will be environmentally responsible, scientifically literate citizens.

Geology lava flow


The Chemistry Department is recognized as having one of the strongest undergraduate-based research programs in the nation. Students are immersed in an environment emphasizing strong interdisciplinary scientific preparation and receive hands-on experience with advanced chemical and biochemical methods in state-of-the-art facilities. The program draws top students from across Washington and the country. 


water bublles

 Shannon Point Marine Center

The Shannon Point Marine Center is an interdisciplinary center for research and education that seeks to increase understanding of complex coastal and marine systems by integrating research with student-centered, immersive education, with a continuing commitment to diversity and mentoring. 

A one-hour drive from Bellingham, in Anacortes, this 78-acre coastal research center is covered mostly by forest and bordered by 3,000 feet of undisturbed beachfront.  The Center is a perfect learning environment, ideal for students studying marine sciences, with easy access to a variety of marine habitats, sophisticated laboratories, and a fleet of research vessels. 

Shannon Point Marine Center

 Salish Sea Institute

The Salish Sea Institute aims to strengthen a sense of place, increase knowledge and understanding, foster respect for history and culture, and lead to actions that serve to restore and protect the health of the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea

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