Aerial view of the Marine Science Center. Photo by Benjamin Bertsch/Northeastern University
Students in Northeastern's Three Seas program go for a dive at the Marine Science Center. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University
Laura Goetz S'18 Works works in professor William Detrich's lab at the Marine Science Center. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Marine Science Center

The Marine Science Center is part of the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences. Often simply referred to as the MSC, the center is the marine research and educational facility of Northeastern University. Located on the peninsula at historic East Point in Nahant, Massachusetts, the MSC juts into the ocean just five miles north-northeast of the entrance to Boston Harbor.


Marine Science Center
Climate change and ocean acidification
We use a combination of field and laboratory techniques to better understand the novel adaptations of living organisms and the evolutionary pressures that have lead to the vast diversity of life on earth.
buildings on an icy coast
Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology
We employ state-of-the-art technology and diverse scientific perspectives to document how the oceans, as well as the organisms that inhabit them, have changed (and continue to change) through time.
a student doing work in the lab
Coastal Marine Ecology
We employ classic field ecology methods in conjunction with innovative laboratory manipulations and genetic tools to document species interactions, productivity, energy flow and biodiversity in coastal marine ecosystems.
Steven Scyphers
Fisheries and Ecosystem Service Valuation
We employ observational and experimental methods in the field and lab to evaluate the productivity of fisheries and ecosystem services and develop best practices to support our continued use of natural resources.
students doing work in the lab
Coral Reef Ecology
We use field and laboratory techniques that employ cutting-edge technology to better understand the complex relationships between corals and the diverse communities that they support.
brian helmuth
Coupled Human Natural Systems
We use a variety of experimental, observational, and socio-economic approaches to engineer solutions designed to mitigate the problems facing coupled human/natural systems.
Professor posing with arms crossed at MSC on rocky shore
Ecological Modeling
We develop mathematical models to understand how ecological and environmental processes occurring at different scales and levels of organization interact to shape the spatiotemporal distribution of marine species.
a student doing work in the lab
Marine Molecular Biology, Biodiversity, and Genomics
We are employing rapidly advancing molecular biology techniques to answer a variety of relevant evolutionary and ecological questions.


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Delve into your future career path on co-op

Co-op at the Marine Science Center allows students to experience four- to eight-month industry experience on the 20-acre campus in Nahant.

Students who co-op at the MSC work hands on with state-of-the-art technology in areas ranging from research, lab technicians, and marine robotics.

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BEACHES: Bridging Each Applicant’s Chances for Higher Education Success

This three-day workshop, held annually in June, aims to demystify the process of applying to graduate schools in the fields of Marine Science, Environmental Science, Geoscience, Ecology, and Evolution. BEACHES targets students who identify with groups underrepresented in STEM fields, first-generation college students, and students who do not have ready access to the graduate school pipeline.

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Dive into Three Seas

Spend a year in the field studying three unique marine environments that include North Atlantic rocky shores, tropical coral reefs, and North Pacific kelp habitats while networking with world-renowned faculty and alumni.

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Public Tours of the MSC

Learn about some of the current marine and environmental research taking place here, tour the facilities and grounds, and hear about the natural and cultural histories of East Point.

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MES and MSC News

What is ‘marine snow’? And how do microplastics slow the rate at which carbon is pulled from the sea surface to the depths?