The privileged geographical location of the city of Rio Grande, on the margins of the channel that connects the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the estuary of Patos Lagoon, led to the establishment of an important maritime port as early as the 18th century, and later awakened attention to the importance of studies related to the marine environment. The first step that led to the development of Marine Sciences in this region was the creation of the Rio Grande Society for Oceanographic Studies on March 20, 1953, by a group of enthusiasts, among whom the prominent malacologist Prof. Eliezer de Carvalho Rios stands out. In a building lent by the City Hall, located at the city's main square, this Society installed the Oceanographic Museum, where research was developed and an exhibition was set up for visitors, contributing to spark the local population's interest in marine sciences. In 1973, the Center of Marine Sciences was created at FURG, highlighting the implementation of the Atlantic Oceanographic Base in April 1978, which concentrated research in its six centers: Biological Oceanography, Geological Oceanography, Physical-Chemical Oceanography, Fisheries Evaluation and Technology of Fish as a Food Resource. In 1977 the centers were extinguished during the University Reform and departments were created, leading to the incorporation of the Atlantic Oceanographic Base to the Oceanography Department. After thirty years, in 2008, the departments were extinguished and Institutes were created. In this current structure, the Institute of Oceanography (IO-FURG) brings together the researchers and students of four graduate and two undergraduate programs in Marine Sciences: besides the Graduate Program in Biological Oceanography (GPBO), the Graduate Program in Coastal Management (GPCM), Aquaculture (GPA) and Physical, Chemical and Geological Oceanography (GPFCGO).
FURG, realizing the potential of its geographical insertion and the integrating capacity of this condition for the various knowledge areas, instituted as its Philosophy and Policy, approved by the University Council in 1987 (Resolution 14/87), its natural inclination for the study of the Coastal Ecosystem, seeking to reach and improve the understanding of the inter-relationships between the organisms that constitute it, including humans, and the environment. Since then, FURG's actions focused on the marine and coastal environment have been present in all its undergraduate and graduate courses.
Graduate Program in Biological Oceanography
The Master's program in Biological Oceanography was created in 1978, with the approval of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Of 42/78-SE / CNPG). It was the first Postgraduate course of the University, and its constant evolution led to the creation of the Doctorate program in Biological Oceanography in 1992, supported by the Scientific and Technological Development Support Program (PADCT), in which CAPES managed the formation of human resources.
Throughout its 38 years of existence, the Postgraduate Program in Biological Oceanography (PPGOB) at FURG has evolved continuously towards maximum excellence in its academic and scientific activities. PPGOB is internationally recognized today as one of the outstanding programs in its research field in Brazil. The Program focuses on the main areas of Biological Oceanography such as Fisheries Oceanography; Marine Biotechnology and Applied Oceanography; Pollution, Modeling and Environmental Management; and Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Marine and Estuarine Organisms, using both rigorous experimental field and laboratory studies, as well as theoretical approaches. Applied research has been directed towards biological conservation. The Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Biological Oceanography have received the score "6" from CAPES, of a maximum of “7”. By the end of 2019, a total of 145 Doctoral e 379 Master’s students had earned a degree from PPGOB, among which 33 (7%) were international students who found at FURG the opportunity for their academic and scientific development.
The PPGOB has contributed over time with the formation of highly qualified human resources and with research that has subsidized public policies for ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of the country's marine resources. The activities developed in the PPGOB are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations in 2015, which can be found at this link https://nacoesunidas.org/pos2015/agenda2030/
The main objectives of the Postgraduate Program in Biological Oceanography (PPGOB) are to provide in-depth knowledge in the field of biological oceanography and to prepare human resources for scientific research, higher education and the non-academic job market.
Specifically, the PPGOB aims to
(a) broaden and disseminate knowledge about the biological oceanography of the marine and coastal environments of Brazil and their interrelationships with the global ocean;
b) To supply specialized and high level labor for the growing national market of professionals connected to the marine sciences, also helping the decision makers in themes connected to the sea;
c) To form professionals of high academic-scientific capacity, enabling and qualifying the marine sciences in the country and, in this way, to propitiate the insertion of Brazil, with quality, in the international forums of the area;
d) to promote scientific and applied integration among professionals linked to marine sciences at FURG, Brazil and the international community; and
e) contribute to regional, national and international development and integration by seeking partners in other educational institutions for the Integration of Marine Sciences.
Graduates of our graduate program are qualified to investigate the ecological relationships between biotic and abiotic components of coastal and marine environments and to work in applied areas such as fisheries oceanography, marine pollution, ecological modeling, environmental management, marine biotechnology, and biodiversity conservation. The environments and ecological systems in which our graduates work are very diverse and range from estuaries, coastal waters, and the deep sea of the southwest Atlantic Ocean to the entire Brazilian Exclusive Economic Zone, tropical oceanic islands, and the Antarctic region.
Currently the coordination of the PPGOB is composed by professors Dr. Erik Muxagata (coordinator) and Dr. Luciano Dalla Rosa (deputy coordinator). The coordinating committee is composed of professors Dr. Alexandre Miranda Garcia, Dr. Luíz Felipe Cestari Dumont, Dr. Maíra Carneiro Proietti, Dr. Erik Muxagata, Dr. Luciano Dalla Rosa, and the students Letícia Cazarin Baldoni and Gabriel Canani Sampaio. The program's secretary is Mrs. Vera Santos de Oliveira. See here the entire composition of the committees (selection, promotion and qualification) of the PPGOB.