Marine Graduate School to Award First Degrees

The University of Massachusetts' new marine graduate school, begun in 2001 to leverage the teaching and research of all UMass campuses, will award its first degrees this month.

UMASS Intercampus Graduate School of Marine Sciences and Technology to confer first degrees UMass Dartmouth and UMass Lowell graduates studying underwater vehicles and red tide 

The University of Massachusetts' new marine graduate school, begun in 2001 to leverage the teaching and research of all UMass campuses, will award its first degrees this month. 

Yuko Hasegawa (UMass Lowell) and Christine Buzzell (UMass Dartmouth) completed their master’s degree requirements in the fall semester, thus becoming the first “graduating class” of the University of Massachusetts Intercampus Graduate School of Marine Sciences and Technology (IGS). 

"Congratulations to Yuko and Christine, two true UMass pioneers," UMass President Jack M. Wilson said. "Each will bring what they have learned and discovered at UMass into their laboratories and use it to have a lasting impact on the world around us. They and their science are living proof of the power of intercampus collaboration and inspire us to create new partnerships with both public and private institutions." 

"The IGS is a dynamic example of how campuses, working together, can enhance the education for their students and serve the community in better ways," UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "We are very proud of Yuko and Christine and look forward to hearing about their work in the years ahead." 

UMass Lowell Chancellor William Hogan added, "The faculty have cooperated closely to make this first intercampus graduate program both effective and seamless for students – a significant accomplishment. Yuko and Christine, through the use of distance learning, were able to study with the very best professors in their field, regardless of their campus affiliation. Marine sciences are particularly important to the Massachusetts economy and we are pleased to be contributing to this innovative and exciting program." 

"The faculties at UMass Lowell and UMass Dartmouth have launched the IGS into graduate education," said Brian Rothschild, Dean of the school. "Congratulations to them and to Yuko and Christine. We now have twenty-three students in marine sciences and technology. We’re on our way." 

The IGS was established just over two years ago as a system-wide school, making available to students the marine science expertise and resources of all the UMass campuses. Today, four campuses have a total of 23 IGS students, each pursuing marine research with a professor on a 'home campus,' and accessing marine sciences courses on the other campuses via distance-learning technology. 

Buzzell took advantage of IGS’s concept of distributed education, taking courses from UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, which has a cooperative program with UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science and Technology. Her thesis research involves the design, implementation, and testing of a new programming language for underwater robotic vehicles. The language is designed to enable vehicles of different design and manufacture to communicate with one another, cooperate and solve problems. 

Hasegawa's research was a study of associations between marine bacteria and the micro-organisms that cause the harmful blooms known as 'red tide.' Her work, said her advisor, Professor Juliette Rooney-Varga, shows promise to contribute to the fight to control what has become a worldwide economic and public health problem. 

Buzzell is currently employed at the Naval Undersea Warefare Center, while Hasegawa is working at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. 

IGS offers both M.S. and Ph.D programs in marine sciences and technology. Students graduating with a M.S. or Ph.D. degree from IGS receive a joint degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell. The degree programs are fundamentally grounded in a broad, integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of marine sciences and technology. Students located at the four participating campuses are required to complete 'core' courses selected from the natural and social sciences to equip them for interdisciplinary studies and research before focusing upon an area of concentration. 

The programs prepare students for employment opportunities in the private and governmental sectors and academia. Emphasis is placed on the education of researchers and scholars who will contribute not only to basic research but also to the application of that research in a coherent approach to resource management and economic development issues. 

For more information on the Intercampus School of Marine Sciences and Technology, visit 

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