The Ruppin Academic Center School of Marine Sciences was established in 1997 as "The Israel Marine College", under the academic patronage of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Until 2003, B.Sc. degrees in Marine Sciences were awarded to graduates of the college by the Hebrew University.
The Israel Marine College was founded by Mr. Rani Idan (the current mayor of Emek Hefer), Prof. Dan Wolf (deceased) (former Vice President of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology), Prof. Micha Spira (a professor of neurobiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Ms. Dafna Pargament (Administrative Director of the School Marine Sciences until 2007). An association made up of senior academic and military experts on marine issues helped to raise funds and guide the objectives of the Israel Marine College. In 2003, The Israel Marine College joined Ruppin Academic College and became the Center's third school, along with the School of Social Sciences and Management and the School of Engineering. The name was changed to "The School of Marine Sciences" and the school became part of a public college, funded by Israel's Council for Higher Education through its Planning and Budgeting Committee.
The School of Marine Sciences trains its students in fields related to the sea, the marine environment and marine technology. The B.Sc. degree awarded to graduates is comparable to the B.Sc. awarded by all the universities and colleges in Israel and overseas and it is recognized accordingly. The B.Sc. in Marine Sciences awarded by Ruppin is the only one of its kind in Israel.
The School's location on the shore at Michmoret, the teaching and research equipment - including laboratories with flowing sea water, marine agriculture laboratories, sophisticated molecular biology research laboratories, an advanced unit for raising and preparing transgenic fish and a sophisticated research ship* that is permanently available to the School - encourage fruitful research collaboration with universities and research institutes in Israel and abroad. A number of studies regarding the sea, water, the marine environment and marine biotechnology are being carried out within the School, both in cooperation with the universities and as the School of Marine Sciences and the universities' independent research projects.
The School's faculty consists of 11 professors from Israeli research universities, The Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute and the University of Maryland Institute for Marine Biotechnology, as well as 30 senior lecturers from the School of Marine Sciences, research universities and research institutes in Israel.
Graduates of the School of Marine Sciences continue on to higher degrees at universities in Israel and abroad. Some have completed or are currently in the process of obtaining their graduate and doctoral degrees. Other graduates have entered various areas of the water management system in Israel and elsewhere, while others are employed in hospitals and other non-marine related economic ventures.
According to the School of Marine Sciences' five-year-plan, a division for undergraduate studies in "Marine Biotechnology" will open this year, a graduate program in "The Sea as a Resource" will be opened next year and a program for undergraduate studies in "Life Sciences" and a graduate program in "Ecology and the Mediterranean Sea Environment" will open by the end of the five year period.
* We thank the Eco Ocean organization for Marine Research and Education in Israel, for generously donating the use of its research vessel "Mediterranean Explorer", since 2004.