SMSP Careers

Alumni from the School of Marine Science and Policy (SMSP) have gone on to various careers, from working in Naval Research Laboratories to overseeing data analytics at facebook. School alumni have started several businesses, also in varied fields including biotech. Earning a degree here, at either the undergraduate or graduate level, sets you up with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen field.

Alumnus Jonathan Dinman in a Shedd Aquarium display.

Blue Hen Aquarist

Jonathan Dinman enrolled at UD in 2011 as a marine science major. He was in the program’s first graduating class of students in 2015 and now works with ocean creatures and environments every day as an aquarist at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Dinman said his time at UD helped shape his future as an aquarist as it provided opportunities to learn research and laboratory skills, participate in a study abroad to New Zealand, and hear from professionals in the marine science field, which exposed him to careers outside of academia.  

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Career Resources

Delaware Sea Grant connects graduate students in marine science and policy with a number of prestigious fellowships in federal government, as well as some local opportunities.
Another Sea Grant resource is, which has a great place to start a search for what comes after your degree.
The Ocean News network posts anywhere from 15-30 new ocean conservation jobs every week with 20,000 views per month.
PSOs are responsible for knowing the biology and ecology of local species such as marine mammals (whales, dolphins, and pinnipeds), sea turtles, birds, and even bats. PSOs work on offshore vessels and are subject to specific regulations for each project. PSOs may also observe from small aircraft or land. PSOs monitor and collect detailed data, working within regulatory requirements in the offshore industry, and their tasks include: Accurately identifying marine species and their behaviors; Collecting and cataloging detailed quality data; Providing biological expertise to clients and marine vessel crews, and; Knowing the regulations and guidelines for each specific project (as instructed by their Project Manager)