Faculty of Ocean Studies - Dean's Message
Welcome to the Faculty of Ocean Studies. The Faculty of Ocean Studies (FOcs) has been set up to promote the ocean economy as one of the main pillars of development by optimising the opportunities available to the country as an Ocean State with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.3million km2. The Faculty became operational in August 2014 and was structured so as to address the much needed multidisciplinary approach towards promoting the ocean economy. The Faculty presently comprisesof three departments; The Department of Ocean Engineering & ICT, that of Marine and Ocean Science, Fisheries and Mariculture and that of Maritime Trade and Finance. The Faculty aims at supporting the related existing and upcoming developmental sectors through undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, focused research and tailor made continuous professional development courses.
As from August 2015, the Faculty started offering its first postgraduate programme, the MSc Coastal and Ocean Management, to provide the skilled labour force for promoting sustainable development of the ocean economy. The MSc Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction is the second postgraduate course which the faculty will offer as from August 2016, adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction being particularly important for coastal communities. As from the academic year 2016/2017, two full time undergraduate programmes, BSc(Hons) Marine Environmental Sciences and BSc(Hons) Geomatics will be on offer. These undergraduate courses are both of three years duration and during this period, research seminars, talks and open dialogues will be regularly organised to enable students to learn about the ocean economy sectors, the emerging developmental sectors and to network with the key stakeholders.
Staff and students will have the opportunity to show case their research work during the seminars and consolidate collaboration with key players in the ocean economy. Recognising that the way forward to develop the ocean economy will be through technopreneurs, we include modules on Entrepreneurship, Marketing and SMEs in most of our programmes. Furthermore, a postgraduate course on Ocean Economy and Entrepreneurship has been developed to promote small scale enterprise in the field of fisheries and aquaculture. In the near future, the Faculty is planning to provide capacity building in maritime law and on marine technology to cater for the professionals who will ensure that the country benefits to the maximum on new emerging developmental sectors of the ocean economy.
Academic staff are currently undertaking research on several aspects of coastal and ocean resources. Research related to the sector of aquaculture, and marine species such as molluscs, and fish taxonomy are being undertaken by staff from the Department of Marine and Ocean Studies, Fisheries and Mariculture, in addition to research related to resources conservation; coral farming, mangroves and marine habitats. A web portal, Oceanis, is being developed by academics from the Department of Ocean Engineering & ICT, to promote collaboration between local stakeholders, to promote community engagement in the coastal and ocean sector and to educate the community on the potential and importance of the ocean. This department also conducts research in the field of marine ICT, climate change and disaster risk reduction. The staff from the department of Maritime Trade and Finance is actively promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in students from the faculty. Students joining the faculty will have the opportunity to work with this multidisciplinary team of researchers.
Apart from the full-fledged programmes and research, the Faculty has since its creation offered several continuous professional development courses in the field of aquaculture, coastal zone management, coastal engineering, climate change, oil and gas management, cost and benefit analysis of coastal protection structures, disaster risk reduction in the coastal zone of Mauritius, coral reef diseases, integrated coastal zone management, remote sensing and GIS, open geospatial tools and ocean data collection and analysis. After two yearsвЂ™ of existence, the Faculty of Ocean Studies has positioned itself both at national and regional level through its collaboration with international partners, such as the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach Management, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, University of Western Australia, Ocean Institute, the Scottish Association of Marine Science, the University of Aberdeen, UK, the University of Delaware, US and University of Stanford, US.
It is worth appreciating that the decision to contribute to the development of the ocean economy, an emerging economic sector is indeed a challenging one, especially at this point in time. We congratulate you for this. So on behalf of the staff of the Faculty of Ocean Studies, I once again extend a warm welcome to all those joining us to contribute to this privileged task - Shaping the Ocean Economy while Maintaining a Healthy Ocean.
вЂњWith every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, youвЂ™re connected to the ocean. No matter where on Earth you live.вЂќ вЂ“ Sylvia Earle - American Oceanographer.
Associate Professor (Dr) Manta Devi Nowbuth
Dean of Faculty