Dr. Scott Hamilton joined the Moss Landing faculty as the new Ichthyology Professor in January 2011. He accepted 2 new students for Fall of 2011 and is considering accepting 2 or 3 graduate students for the fall semester 2012.
Dr. Cailliet became Emeritus Faculty as of July 1, 2009 and will no longer be taking new graduate students. Greg has graduated over 100 Masters students, and touched many more, during his career at MLML. All of the Ichthyology lab members, past and present, wish Greg well, and congratulate him on an incredible track record.
Information for prospective students:
Many answers to your questions about the program can be found on the MLML website. In particular, look at the Graduate Student handbook, which details all the expectations and requirements of the degree. MLML is focused on graduate student training with strong emphasis on a research-based thesis. Students apply to MLML and also one of the seven consortium CSU campuses.
The program is a significant time commitment in that it normally takes students 3-4 yrs to complete the degree. There are two years of coursework and the thesis project. While this is a bit longer than most Master's programs, the degree from MLML is highly regarded and with the types of research projects that students conduct, the Master's here is on par with completing one or two chapters of a PhD degree. So, students graduating with the training provided by MLML are well prepared for PhD research or entering a professional scientific career. Much of the coursework and lab exercises include field components and hands-on learning.
Student funding is always one of the most challenging aspects of MLML. Since we are a small department (which has its perks in terms of being a close-knit community) there is no dedicated undergraduate program. Thus, while there are some TAships available for some courses, not everyone can be a TA when they need funding (unlike many larger programs). I work very hard to try and secure funding for students by writing grant proposals for research each year, but there can be no guarantees, especially in these challenging economic times where competition for limited funds is intense.
If research funding and TAships are not available, there are other sources of support in graduate school, such as applying for national fellowships (e.g., NSF graduate student fellowship) that will provide tuition and a stipend. In addition, many students work in some of the affiliated research labs at MLML, while others get jobs or internships with the many marine organizations in Monterey (Center for Ocean Solutions, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California department of fish and game, etc.).
If you're still interested in MLML, please contact Dr. Hamilton to discuss your research interests and past experience. Admissions are very competitive and each year we receive applications from many highly qualified applicants, and too many to accept them all. Consider visiting graduate schools that you are serious about, so that you can see the facilities and meet people in person.
The lab's of Research Faculty Dr. Rick Starr and Dr. Dave Ebert at MLML are closely integrated with my lab and they can also serve as an advisor for students. Dr. Starr's research focuses on marine reserves, applied fisheries science, and fish movement studies, while Dr. Ebert studies the ecology and population biology of sharks and rays.