To ensure the sustainability of these natural resources and to mitigate negative impacts that could be associated with the rapid coastal developments.
Being geographically located in an arid region and surrounded by two of the most economically significant water bodies (the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf), the kingdom of Saudi Arabia realized the importance of these water bodies as secured sources of water, food and energy.
To ensure the sustainability of these natural resources and to mitigate negative impacts that could be associated with the rapid coastal developments, it was essential for the kingdom to have a national academic and research establishment that is specialized in marine sciences.
Therefore, after going through a departmental stage (1987-1981) and an institutional stage (1981-1984), the Faculty of Marine Sciences has been established at King Abdulaziz University in 1984. Since then, this faculty has been the only Saudi academic establishment that offers B.Sc. programs in the four marine science disciplines. Taking this into consideration and for academic quality assurance purposes, the faculty had these four B.Sc. programs academically accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) in 2014.
In addition to the B.Sc. programs, the faculty also offers post-graduate programs (i.e. M.Sc. and Ph.D.) in the four marine science disciplines.
Research wise, the faculty members have conducted outstanding research independently and in collaboration with local, regional and international research centers, institutions and organizations. The faculty has an advisory committee, including members representing the most relevant governmental and private establishments, to verify that the faculty’s learning and research outcomes are in agreement with the actual requirements of these and other establishments. Additionally, the faculty is going through the process of establishing the “Saudi Society for Marine Sciences” to provide related vocational and community services. Among the faculty vast resources are the R/V Al Azizi and the R/B Ulom Al Behar, that have been equipped with the most advanced navigational, scientific and hydrographic equipment.