Exploration Science Program Launches!


The Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have teamed up to launch a new Master’s Degree in Exploration Science. Offered as part of the innovative Master of Professional Science program, the new track teaches critical exploration skills, providing students with the know-how to conduct expedition-driven scientific inquiry and field-based communication.

“Successful exploration involves a mix of scientific and practical skills as well as sensitivity to the ethical and cultural dimensions of working in different parts of our globe,” said Kenny Broad, director of the Abess Center and 2011 National Geographic Explorer of the Year. “New technologies allow researchers to communicate and share the experience of discovery—from the nosebleed heights to unimaginable depths­—with an audience beyond just scientists. We believe that a specialized curriculum combining risk assessment, decision sciences, and hands-on training in skills ranging from navigation to science diving to remote medicine can further the next generation of explorers.”


As scientific endeavors become increasingly specialized, projects require people with advanced degrees who have hands-on research and media experience, said Broad. The new Master’s Degree in Exploration Science will be of value for scientists wishing to improve their skills in the field, communication specialists who want to participate safely in remote field campaigns, and those who want to be involved in the growing areas of citizen science and experiential education.

The curriculum combines scientific research theory and field skills. It will be tailored to students’ specific interests. The program can be completed in 12 to 18 months, with significant components done in the field. Students will also complete a three- to six-month internship.

“Our MPS program is a very attractive option for students interested in acquiring the skills that prepare them to enter today’s competitive workforce, and the new Master’s Degree in Exploration Science offers a unique track for graduate students who want to work in scientific exploration,” said Roni Avissar, dean of the Rosenstiel School.


Core courses will include: Gold to Glory: History and Ethics in Exploration; Citizen and Participatory Science for Exploration; Exploration Technology and Media; and Research Diving. Electives will range from marine policy and broadcast journalism to tropical ecology and meteorology.