Introducing the Marine Science Education and Research Center at the University of New England
A. Christine Brown; Keith Matassa; Caroline E.C. Goertz; Diedre Muzenic;
Marine Science Education and Research Center, University of New England,
Biddeford, ME, USA
The University of New England has built a state of the art marine wet
laboratory and marine animal rehabilitation center on its waterfront campus in Biddeford, Maine,
USA. The 26,552 sq. ft. environmentally friendly Marine Science Education and Research Center is
operating on the banks of the Saco River. The primary purposes of the Center is to provide
excellent scientific and medical facilities that will enhance the northeast stranding network as
well as address the expanding laboratory needs of the University in the area of marine sciences.
The rehabilitation area consists of two dry isolation rooms, four pool
rooms, a diagnostic laboratory, surgery room, necropsy facilities, and areas for behavioral and
medical observations. The animal areas have heated floors, separate air handling systems,
separate water flow-through systems, variable height skimmers in the pools, three types of water
(seawater, chlorinated seawater, or fresh water), and other special design features.
Along with marine animal rehabilitation, the Center provides space for
marine oriented research by faculty from UNE and visiting researchers. Potential areas of
interests include marine invertebrates, crustaceans, phytoplankton, aquaculture, and preparation
for research in the field. Laboratory facilities include two flow-through teaching laboratories;
a third flow-through laboratory dedicated to research, culture, and propagation; non-animal
chemical laboratory areas; phytoplankton culture; and other support facilities.
The facility also offers a classroom, office space for visiting researchers,
and conference room. Utilizing the naturally occurring salt wedge in the river, the facility has
a sea water system that has the capability of pumping 500 to 3000 gpm throughout the facility. A
486,000-gallon storage tank ensures a continuous supply of water of the appropriate salinity.
The facility also has a backup generator to ensure continuous electrical supply.
This is just the beginning of what the Center is capable of performing and
offering the scientific community. Visiting researchers are invited to consider using the Center
and its facilities for their next marine oriented project. Undergraduate, graduate, and
veterinary students are welcome to participate in a variety of educational and volunteer
opportunities available as part of ongoing programs at the Center.