Apr 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine and Coastal Science

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments


Students and faculty at Western Washington University engage in coastal and marine-focused research and education through a wide array of programs and partnerships, cooperating across fields of study, working in the lab and in the field. Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) is a joint program of Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC), and the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Environmental Sciences. The MACS program is advancing the state of knowledge about the oceans, coasts, and marine ecosystems for the scientific community and for the communities we call home. Program students are learning to understand these systems, engage deeply with them, and become the creative problem solvers of tomorrow.

The program brings together expertise in physical, chemical, geological and biological marine science. MACS courses allow students to explore and interpret fundamental observations about our coasts and oceans, and develop an understanding of the process of science while gaining practical skills in an equitable and inclusive learning environment. The program values place-based learning that emphasizes connections to people and communities.

Program website: marine.wwu.edu

Program admission and application website: marine.wwu.edu/admissions

Contact information: macs@wwu.edu

Mission Statement

The Marine and Coastal Science program helps students develop into competent, thoughtful, ethical, scientists who are prepared to meet the growing marine and coastal needs of Washington State, the nation and the world.


The departments of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology and the Shannon Point Marine Center are home to faculty with many marine specialties, including marine sediments, physical oceanography, marine chemistry, estuaries, geophysics, volcanology, paleoecology, geochemistry, fish evolution and development, fisheries, , larval and plankton ecology, deep-sea ecology, marine mammalogy, microbial communities, invertebrate physiology, symbiosis, chemical ecology of algae, protozoology and environmental genomics.

Program Faculty

Core faculty in the Marine and Coastal Science Program have home departments in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and Geology, and engage in interdisciplinary teaching in MACS, as well as teaching in their home department, and marine based research expanding what we know and understand about marine and coastal systems. 

BRIAN L. BINGHAM, Director of Marine and Coastal Sciences. BS & MS, Brigham Young University; PhD, Florida State University.
SHAWN ARELLANO, Biology Assistant Professor. BS, University of Kansas; PhD, University of Oregon.
W. JAMES COOPER, Biology Assistant Professor. BS & MS, Florida State University; PhD, University of Chicago.
KARIN LEMKAU, Chemistry Assistant Professor. BA, Wesleyan University; PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
BRADY OLSON, Biology Assistant Professor. BS, University of Idaho; MS, Western Washington University; PhD, University of Washington.
EMILY ROLAND, Geology Assistant Professor.  BS, Colorado School of Mines; PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
CASEY SAENGER, Geology Assistant Professor. BS, Bates College; PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution    
KATHRYN SOBOCINSKI, Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor. BS, Connecticut College; MS, University of Washington; PhD, The College of William and Mary.

Affiliate Faculty

Numerous faculty in partner departments have marine expertise and are brought together for greater collaboration and communication as affiliate MACS faculty.  Many of the courses they teach are available as electives in the MACS program, through cooperation with their home departments.   

ALEJANDRO ACEVEDO-GUTIÉRREZ, Biology Professor. BSc, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Mexico; PhD, Texas A&M University.
JACQUELINE CAPLAN-AUERBACH, Geology Professor. BA, Yale University; PhD, University of Hawaii-Manoa.
CATHERINE CLARK, Chemistry Professor. BA, University of Natal- South Africa; PhD, Boston University. 
ROBYN M. DAHL, Geology Assistant Professor. BA, Oberlin College; MS, PhD, University of California –Riverside.
SUSAN DEBARI, Geology Professor. BA, Cornell University; PhD, Stanford
JAMES DIMOND, MACS Research Assistant Professor. BS, University of Vermont; MS, University of Rhode Island; PhD, University of Washington
DEBORAH A. DONOVAN, Biology Professor. BSc, MSc, University of California-Davis; PhD, University of British Columbia.
ERIC GROSSMAN, Geology Professor. BA, University of California - Berkeley; MS and PhD University of Hawaii. 
MARCO B.A. HATCH, Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor. BS, University of Washington; MS and PhD, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.
BERNARD A. HOUSEN, Geology Chair and Professor. BS, University of Washington; MS, PhD, University of Michigan.
ROBIN KODNER, Biology Associate Professor. BS, University of Wisconsin; PhD, Harvard University
WAYNE G. LANDIS, Environmental Sciences Professor and Director, Institute of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. BA, Wake Forest University; MA and PhD, Indiana University.
BROOKE A. LOVE, Environmental Sciences Associate Professor, BS Stanford University, PhD, University of Washington.
ERIKA McPHEE-SHAW, Environmental Sciences Professor. BA, Dartmouth College; PhD, University of Washington.
BENJAMIN MINER, Biology Professor. BA, University of Florida; PhD, University of California-Santa Cruz.
CRAIG L. MOYER, Biology Professor. BS, MS, Oregon State University; PhD, University of Hawaii.
CAMILO PONTON, Geology Assistant Professor. BS, Florida International University; MS, Florida International University; PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
JOHN M. RYBCZYK, Environmental Sciences Professor. BS, Michigan State University; MS, Eastern Michigan University; PhD, Louisiana State University.
DAVID H. SHULL, Environmental Sciences Professor. BS, University of Washington; MS, University of Connecticut; PhD, University of Massachusetts Program.
RUTH M. SOFIELD, Environmental Sciences Professor. BA, West Virginia University; MS, McNeese State University; PhD, Colorado School of Mines.
SUZANNE L. STROM, SPMC Senior Marine Scientist.  BA, Middlebury College; MA, Harvard University; PhD, University of Washington.
KATHRYN L. VAN ALSTYNE, SPMC Marine Scientist. BS, University of Rhode Island; PhD, University of Washington.
SYLVIA YANG, MACS Research Assistant Professor. BA, Harvard University; PhD, University of Washington.


    Undergraduate Major


      Marine and Coastal Science

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

      Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments