The School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) at the University of Washington offers an internationally recognized master's degree program for launching careers in marine policy and administration. The Master of Marine Affairs (MMA) program is one of a handful of graduate programs in the United States focused on the intersection of natural and social sciences with public policy. SMEA's strength lies both in its rigorous, interdisciplinary academic program and its faculty research in current marine and coastal issues.
Students at SMEA learn creative approaches to resolving marine problems and conflicts and may concentrate in a variety of subject areas from coastal zone management to marine environmental protection to port and marine transportation management. After receiving the MMA degree, graduates are uniquely qualified for various marine and environmental affairs related positions. Graduates go on to become policy makers, analysts, planners, administrators, consultants, non-profit managers, activists and researchers.
SMEA faculty and students make important contributions to knowledge. Research teams are breaking new ground in such fields as climate change impacts, waste management, salmon and habitat recovery, ecosystem management, risk analysis, environmental disasters, and international collaborations.
The mission of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs is to provide leadership and training to address contemporary and emerging issues in marine systems, especially those associated with the human dimensions of global change. We equip students with the professional and analytical skills necessary to solve complex, interdisciplinary problems. Through student training, applied research, and service to the broader community, SMEA faculty and students will make significant contributions to government, nongovernmental organizations, and industry.
SMEA faculty conduct research across the spectrum of social and natural sciences, including political science and economics, cultural anthropology, marine ecology, natural resource management, fisheries and evolutionary biology, public policy, and law, among others. Together they have defined larger research areas for their work to be:
- Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
- Coastal Zone, Ecosystem, and Resource Management
- Environmental Law and Policy
- Environmental Protection and Restoration
- Marine Tourism
- Policy Process and Analysis
- Sustainability Science
- Maritime Commerce, Technology, and Security