Skip to Main Content

Hale Alakaʻi is temporarily closed for electrical repairs. Read more for relocations and details.

The Marine Option Program (MOP) is a unique University of Hawai‘i (UH) system wide program available to any student enrolled at one of the 10 UH System campuses. Through MOP, students from any field of study can obtain a marine related focus within their own degree while earning a MOP Academic Subject Certificate (ASC)

MOP emphasizes experiential-based, cross-disciplinary education and provides opportunities to apply traditional coursework to practical hands-on skills through a marine related internship or research project.

The MOP ASC provides students with experiential education, research opportunities, networking, job opportunities, field trips, and the opportunity to pursue their passion for marine studies! Completion of the MOP ASC will enhance student success in obtaining employment in any occupation where enhanced ocean awareness is applicable, or for further study at a 4-year institution.

Students studying the reef and taking notes in ocean
Student measuring the reef and snorkeling

If you are interested in becoming a MOP student, please email the MOP Coordinator:

Mackenzie M. Manning, M.S.
Professor of Biology and Marine Biology 
Windward Community College
Hale ‘Imiloa 121

The Academic Subject Certificate

An Academic Subject Certificate (ASC) in MOP at WCC is a credential awarded to students who earn a minimum grade point ratio (GPR) of 2.0 in 12 credits of academic coursework.

This includes:

  • 4 credits of required coursework
  • 6 credits of marine related electives
  • 2 credits of independent study to facilitate a unique MOP skills project where students (with faculty guidance) design and conduct a personal marine or aquatic project related to their educational goals.
Student swimming near reef with clipboard


The mission of the Marine Option Program is to enrich the quality of life of its students and the community by increasing their ocean awareness, understanding, and appreciation through experiential marine-related education.


The history of MOP began back in 1970 with a vision of founding fathers Craven and Davidson. After over a year of coordinating and planning, UH Hilo began their first MOP program in 1972. Other projects and initiative take of including Hanauma Bay snorkeling tours initiated by UHM students, launching of the Blue-Water Marine Laboratory Program, the Sand Recovery Project, the implementation of the Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC) Internship Program and much more. Read more about the history of the MOP program.