Research: Aquatic Science

The Aquatic Science area of study emphasizes the multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems and the conservation plans and management strategies to protect them. Aquatic science focuses on biotic and abiotic aspects of freshwater ecosystems from the cellular level to ecosystems. Freshwater ecosystems include aquifers, ephemeral and perennial streams and rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ephemeral rivers, wetlands, riparian habitat, and the interactions between aquatic and terrestrial habitat.

Sub-disciplines range from genetics to community structure of organisms, ecosystem and physical processes, climate change, and linkages between freshwater ecosystems and surrounding landscapes. Applied aspects include habitat and water quality assessment, indicator species, conservation, fisheries science, invasive species management, integrated water resource management, watershed assessment, human impacts, and restoration. Students in this field will combine their understanding of biology and species interactions with their understanding of policy and regulations for the betterment of the ecosystem and environmental health.

Coursework includes a core of required Environmental Science coursework covering a variety of interdisciplinary topics ranging from environmental systems, soil, water, global changes, environmental law, fundamentals of geographic information systems, and environmental assessment. Required coursework can be found in the UTSA Undergraduate Catalog.

What can you do with an Aquatic Science Area of Study?

Students pursuing an aquatic sciences area of study will be well suited for careers in natural resources specifically focused on aquatic systems. Government agencies - from municipal to federal levels - employ graduates with an aquatic science background to conduct research projects or direct fisheries management programs in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Many nonprofit agencies also employ graduates with this background to manage and research areas of aquatic resource conservation.

Examples of careers in Aquatic Sciences include: Fisheries Biologist, Aquaculture Biologist, Benthic Ecologist, Hydrologist, Marine Biologist, Park Ranger, Conservation Officer, Stream Ecologist, Water Quality Regulator, Wildlife Biologist, and Water Treatment Scientist.