The increasing impact of global changes, combined with growing demand for marine resources, apply increased pressure on the marine and coastal environments. Covering about 70% of the planet, our oceans are the foundation for life on Earth. However, only a fraction of its potential and treasures have been explored. These raise the need for developing proactive responses on regional and global levels, based on a truly interdisciplinary understanding of the oceans and their surroundings. The task requires a new generation of experts with a wide view in marine sciences.
The Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences is a unique initiative on a global scale, applying an interdisciplinary approach with highly professional standards. The school has four complementary divisions: Department of Maritime Civilizations, Dr. Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences, Department of Marine Biology and Hatter Department of Marine Technologies. In addition, together with the Faculty of Law we offer a joint master's program in Maritime Law and Marine Natural Resources Law. An MBA program in Shipping and Ports Management is scheduled to be launched this year. Other marine and maritime research centers at the University of Haifa are: Wydra Institute of Shipping and Aviation Research, Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, Helmsley charitable Trust Mediterranean Sea Research Center and Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy Researches.
Each division specializes in a coherent set of disciplines, and together they cover the wide range of topics essential for understanding the complex marine systems. Located at its coast, the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences concentrates on studying the uniquely diverse Mediterranean Sea.
A relatively small enclosed sea, the Mediterranean is a puzzle of tectonic regimes – sources of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis; a basin rich with natural resources waiting for discovery and exploitation; a composite of oceanographic circumstances and biogenic habitats extremely sensitive to global changes; a cradle and meeting point of maritime civilizations throughout history; the center of habitation for 200 million people and a focus of attention for the entire world.
Combining easy accessibility to the Mediterranean with an enthusiastic and innovative scientific team and state-of-the-art technology, and working in cooperation with the well experienced Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute, The Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences is a cutting-edge research and education facility. In recent years, we have established necessary scientific infrastructure, including research laboratories in Shikmona and Sdot Yam, as well as unmanned autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles, which enable us to study the deep sea.
The School was chosen by the State of Israel to lead the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel (MERCI), a consortium of seven universities, a college and two governmental research institutes, working together under the leadership of the University of Haifa. MERCI addresses the array of scientific, technological, economic, security and environmental challenges and opportunities we are facing within the Mediterranean and along Israel's coastline.
Zvi Ben Avraham
Tel-Aviv University. Professor of Geophysics. Founding Director of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences University of Haifa