by Nadja Hohenadl Marine Science student at SAMS UHI.

2019 SAMS UHI Marine Science student at the 5th International Conference on Marine Mammal protected areas
SAMS UHI Marine Science student Nadja at the 5th International Conference on Marine Mammal protected areas in Greece 2019

To understand the whale, you have to understand the environment it swims in” Marie Porter, SAMS UHI, Lecturer of Fundamentals in Physics, H1.

I have been asked so many times what exactly it is that I am studying. I usually have to explain that it is about more than marine biology, which focuses on life in the ocean. I tell them that there is so much more to the marine world than fish and whales. How does the ocean sustain the life within? How do ocean and climate work together to make Earth an inhabited planet? And of course, how come the exploration of the sea is behind the exploration of space, when the sea is right here on our own planet?

Understanding nature as a whole

In the first year at SAMS UHI you learn all the basics about the natural sciences you need for the course, that´s physics, maths, chemistry, geology, and biology. This is to get you warmed up and ready for what is coming. In the following years you dive deeper in to these subjects with a focus on the oceans. Let’s just say, “Eureka” moments await you!

Connectivity – science over biology

Do you think biology could exist without physics or chemistry?

All these different sciences have a scale to themselves. Chemistry is concerning the molecules you can see under a microscope, compared to the global physical forces keeping our planet orbiting the sun. Biology is a whole other story, because it really is a combination of both. See, you yourself are breathing in and out because there is a change from O2 to CO2 molecules in your lungs. It creates an imbalance between the air in your lungs vs. the air around you, and physical forces are making you release the CO2 – basically, you breathe out.
Biology is difficult to study without the other aspects. In one way or another, any process on this planet only happens because of all the impacts nature has on it. Wherever life may carry you after your time at the #universityonthebeach, you’ll find organisms and landscapes that are a very different environment to the Scottish rigid coastline on our doorstep. It’s been said that SAMS UHI teaches you more than just knowledge, it teaches you to be a scientist. And after SAMS UHI I guarantee you, wherever you go on our beautiful planet your time here will help you to understand what is going on.

Start your Marine Science journey at SAMS UHI. Find out more about our BSc Marine Science programme.

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