Coastal Marine Field Station staff work within the University of Waikato School of Science, teaching undergraduate papers towards the Bachelor of Science degree and supervising students working on postgraduate research.

Studying in the Bay offers a fantastic and unique opportunity to engage with mātauranga Māori and explore relationships in science and Te Ao Māori, with papers, courses, and culture to immerse in, and opportunity to engage in co-development working alongside iwi to enhance our understanding of the natural environment.

In addition to our extensive facilities at the field station and the golden beaches and sunshine hours of the Bay of Plenty, the region offers an array of research opportunities for prospective students, all based in or near a coastal city with a bustling port. Aquatic systems from large lakes, geothermal pools, and rivers and streams to coastal estuaries, mangroves, ocean space, off-shore islands and rocky reef systems, marine reserves, and a live island volcano (Whakaari/White Island) with shallow water CO2 seeps are available for field experimentation, providing ample opportunities for broad range of research. Our experienced technical staff provide hands-on assistance with research and field work in all these systems.


Students with University Entrance (UE) can study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Aquaculture, Environmental Sciences, or Marine Science, or opt for a double major, and complete all three years of their studies at the Tauranga campus. Papers in mātauranga Māori provide an enriched study pathway providing students with basic cultural understanding (tikanga, , interconnectedness of iwi, hapū, whānau), as well as skills in effective intercultural communication, awareness of Māori science, perspectives on topical issues, and worldview. The new BSc degree with majors in Environmental Science and Aquaculture is also now available for students enrolling to study in Tauranga.

We also offer a pathway into Year 3 of the Bachelor of Science, Aquaculture and Ecology and Biodiversity majors to students who have completed the NZ Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6) at Te Pūkenga, Tauranga. Admission is dependent on completing the diploma with at least a B grade average.


A growing number of students are taking up opportunities to further their study by conducting research in a wide range of fields in the Bay of Plenty coastal marine environment at Masters and PhD level.

The increase in research activity following the Rena incident has created significant opportunities for students to be involved in crucial research that will influence science at a global level.

Many postgraduate students are based at the Coastal Marine Field Station, or at the University’s Tauranga city campus, others work at the University’s Hamilton campus and spend time in Tauranga doing field work.

Students looking to join us here at the Coastal Marine Field Station are welcome to reach out either through contacting us or by reaching out to an academic who’s work interests or inspires.

Prospective postgraduate students should also explore our study options and the papers offered across campus/s at the School of Science.

Summer Research Scholarships

Learning opportunities are available for students wanting to be involved in highly relevant hands-on research around the Bay of Plenty every year through the University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarships. Come and play in the Bay for a summer.

Contact us

Coastal Marine Field Station
58 Cross Road, Sulphur Point, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand.