Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.


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For information about our program, please contact:


RIP TIDES Coordinator:

Adam Paganini, M.S. - email, 415-338-3514

Graduate Program Coordinator:

Ellen Hines, Ph.D. - email, 415-338-3512

RIP TIDES Principal Investigator:

Jonathon Stillman, Ph.D. - email, 415-338-3790

  • How will sea level rise, climate change or invasive species affect your community?
  • Do you want to learn advanced skills and tools to help solve environmental problems?
  • Are you interested in a career in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM)-related field?

Earn your Master of Science (MS) degree in Marine Science through
SF State University’s innovative new graduate training program, RIP TIDES, based at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC). RIP TIDES MS in Marine Science provides students with in-depth training in interdisciplinary science research, technology, communication and teaching skills, professional internship experience, career development workshops and dedicated program advising. This two-year program prepares students for leadership in a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related professions, to solve the critical challenges facing urbanized coastal ecosystems in a time of rapid global change.


Research projects: Trainees will formulate interdisciplinary research projects that benefit from the involvement of at least two faculty mentors with active research programs based at RTC. Our faculty have expertise in areas such as climate change, ocean acidification, marine environmental physiology, wetland restoration, impacts of sea level rise, invasive species, estuarine food webs, nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics, population genetics, marine mammal and sea bird conservation, conservation and marine protected areas, benthic-pelagic nutrient cycling, oceanography, carbon biogeochemistry of marine sediments, and marine spatial planning and ecology.

Professional internships:
Student interns will gain firsthand experience in professional organizations where scientific evidence is applied to benefit society, with an emphasis on environmental issues, including education, management and policy regarding San Francisco Bay and nearby coastal waters.
Entrance requirements: Undergraduate degree with minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA), and at least one upper-division course in marine sciences or demonstrated understanding of marine science topics at the undergraduate level.

All students accepted into the RIP TIDES MS program will be eligible for a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Traineeship (NRT) fellowship award during their second year. Ten students will be awarded NRT fellowships with a full support package of $34,000 plus full in-state SF State tuition during the second year of the program. Fellowship awards will be announced upon acceptance into the program, but are contingent upon students meeting academic benchmarks during their first year, including maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5, and completing a research prospectus acceptable to the student’s MS committee. RIP TIDES students without NRT fellowships and first-year fellows may also be supported by individual faculty members’ research grants and departmental teaching assistantships.


RIP TIDES Core Courses



Scientific Methods for Professional Aquatic Scientists practical, professional & communication skills needed for graduate student success 1
Foundations in Global Change in Urbanized Coasts and Estuaries case-study based course integrated with professional internship partners 1
Scientific Proposal Writing Skills CSU COAST funding, thesis prospectus 2
Graduate Electives
at least 2 required, 1 in Year 1 (at least one seminar class) 1,2,3,4
Seminar in Marine Science/Current RTC Research required all 4 semesters 1,2,3,4
Professional Internship (180 hrs) see Internship heading below 3
Writing and Professional Skills Workshop fellowship/grant applications, career development, manuscript submission, science communication, PhD programs 3,4
Graduate Research With guidance from research mentor 2,3
Master’s Thesis including a manuscript suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal 4
Teaching Assistantship teaching a laboratory section of an introductory undergraduate course 1,2


The application period for Fall 2018 will open in Fall 2017. Please check back for the application deadline.

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