Exploration Science Degree Track

Exploration Science Exploration Science
Master of Professional Science

Exploration Science is the applied study and practice of field research using diverse methods, technologies, and approaches to drive question-based scientific endeavors. It combines scientific research theory and field skills with an outreach and educational component for experimental and virtual expeditions bringing discovery to a wider audience.

The Exploration Science MPS track immerses students in citizen science project design, exploration technology applications, and field-based skills training, while offering essential background information that acknowledges the cultural and ethical implications of exploration. Students will be able to tailor their degree to best fit their interests and will be prepared to lead professional exploration initiatives and expeditions in a variety of environments. This track is being offered at the Rosenstiel School in partnership with the University of Miami’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.


Bachelor’s degree in any field

Course topics:

Scientific research diving, motorboat operations, citizen science, exploration technology and media, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), field techniques

Example job titles:

  • Naturalist/Expedition Diver (Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic)
  • Chief of Dive Staff
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Communications & Marketing Specialist (OceanX)
  • Marketing and Development Coordinator (PADI)
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator (Inspiring Girls Expeditions, Alaska)


Open All Tabs
  • Why is this track important?

    The world is full of unanswered questions.  Exploration science is a path to getting answers.  There is still more to discover and explore.  This track takes academic and practical approaches to discovery enabling students to develop an exploratory mindset. This multi-disciplinary approach to address questions and problems requires creative methods and focused curiosity to solve today's challenges as we seek to understand an increasingly complex and interconnected planet.


  • Why Miami?

    Miami is located in one of the most ecologically unique locations in the world.  Bordered by the singular Everglades and North America's only living coral reef, here temperate, tropical, and sub-tropical ecologies mix at the tip of South Florida.   Having these unique habitats to explore at the back door of the University of Miami help make this program geographically distinct.  The Rosenstiel campus is located on the water and has access to these diverse environments along with having a singular research diving program preparing students to help explore and study the underwater realm of this area and beyond.

  • What can students do with this degree?

    Graduates from this track have graduated to work in areas of environmental education, surveying, GIS mapping, natural resource management, citizen science, conservation, media production, and ecotourism.  Employment has included working with federal and state government agencies, NGOs, science museums, universities, informal education organizations, and ecotourism companies.   In addition, some have continued their education in PhD programs and others have started their own organizations.  Students in this track have completed internships in Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, and Australia in addition to our home continent of North America.

  • Why is this track unique?

    This track is the only graduate program offering this specialization in a professional master’s degree.  The focus on multidisciplinary study and flexibility gives students the ability to tailor this education to their interests.  Students in the exploration science track take courses in citizen science, media production, GIS/mapping, expedition planning and management, and field-based skills, including scientific diving and boat handling.  Students complement these courses with additional electives in science and/or policy.  The location of the program and the ability to draw upon the diverse faculty of the University of Miami and surrounding community help set this program apart.

Track Leader

Dr. Keene Haywood

Exploration Science Track


(305) 284-1781
Citizen science, applications of technology to exploration, video production and multimedia in science communication, and geospatial technologies. Dr. Keene Haywood is directing the Exploration Science program through the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. His background is mixture of media production, conservation, geospatial and...

Plan Of Study Grid

Fall Course Title Credit Hours
RSM 600 Introduction to Research Diving Techniques  3
RSM 667 or 664

Motorboat Operator Certificate Course * 1 or Scientific Small Boating * 1

EVR 664 Citizen and Participatory Science 3
EVR 674 Theoretical Practical Issues in Exploration Science 3
EVR 660
& EVR 661
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems
and Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory * 1
RSM 700 Research Ethics 0
Credit Hours 13
Spring Course Title Credit Hours
EVR 665 Science and Natural History Media Production 3
MBE 621 Field Techniques and Instrumentation in Tropical Marine Ecology * 3
EVR 627 Exploration Science Field Studies * 3
EVR 662 Intermediate Spatial Analysis * 3
Credit Hours 12
Summer Course Title Credit Hours
EVR 805 MPS Internship 2 2-6
Credit Hours 5
Total Credit Hours 30

*  or Elective

1  Can be taken in Fall or Spring

2  Enrollment in 2 - 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Students may enroll in more than 6 internship credits with the approval of the Program Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS.

Elective Options

Students may request elective courses with the consent of their Academic Advisor. Refer to the course schedules for a list of classes available on the Rosenstiel School campus. The course offerings may vary from semester to semester. For more details, visit the UM Academic Bulletin.