History of BUMP

img014The Boston University Marine Program draws strength from its 40-year legacy of excellence and its recent re-birth as an interdisciplinary program. BUMP was founded in 1969, and for the first 37 years of its existence, it was headquartered at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. For decades, BUMP professors and students have made seminal contributions to the field of marine science including important advances in coastal wetland ecology and nutrient cycling, animal sensory biology and behavior, and marine biodiversity and conservation. Until 2008, all undergraduates participating in BUMP were biology majors who specialized in marine biology. However, since its inception, the BUMP curriculum has recognized the interdisciplinary nature of all problems in the marine realm and emphasized the interrelationship between marine biology, biogeochemistry, and physical oceanography.

sensory07In 2006, BUMP moved to BU’s Charles River campus, in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. A state-of-the-art marine research-teaching lab was built for the express use of BUMP students, and the program expanded to include faculty and courses from three departments: Biology, Earth Sciences, and Geography & Environment. In 2008, BUMP emerged as an independent, interdisciplinary Marine Science major, and in 2010, we celebrated our first stand-alone graduation. As always, BUMP continues to emphasize student research. The curriculum is organized around the Marine Semester, a sequence of four month-long research-based courses. In each month, students in the Marine Semester choose one course from among the 2-3 courses offered at that time. All courses involve field research. In September and October, our courses take advantage of New England’s beautiful and diverse marine habitats, including numerous sites along Cape Cod, the Great Marsh north of Boston, and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. In November and December, we head south, exploiting tropical field sites including open waters of the Caribbean Sea and an island marine research station located 9 miles off the coast of Belize, amidst the longest coral reef in the Western hemisphere.