Graduate Course Descriptions

The following directory lists the graduate courses which the University expects to offer, although the University in no way guarantees that all such courses will be offered in any given academic year, and reserves the right to alter the list if conditions warrant. Click on the links below for a list of courses in that subject area. You may then click “View Classes” to see scheduled classes for individual courses.

5010. Biological Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Antipre MARN 4010

Grading Basis: Graded

Structure and function of marine food webs, from primary producers to top trophic levels; interaction of marine organisms with the environment; energy and mass flow in food webs; elemental cycling; coupling between pelagic and benthic environments.

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5012. Marine Invertebrate Biology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Comparative examination of major adaptations and functional responses of marine invertebrates to biotic and abiotic factors in the marine environment. Field trips required.

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5014. Marine Phytoplankton Ecology and Physiology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

The physiology of marine phytoplankton, environmental factors affecting their growth and photosynthesis in the ocean, the oceanographic processes responsible for the temporal and spatial distributions of phytoplankton biomass and production, and current topics in phytoplankton research.

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5015. Molecular Approach to Biological Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Principles and technology in nucleic acid purification and manipulation, DNA fingerprinting, gene cloning and sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, and detection of gene expression (mRNA and protein). Application examples in marine ecological studies.

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5016. Marine Zooplankton

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: EEB 2244 or EEB 2245 or MARN 5010 (RG371).

Grading Basis: Graded

Bioenergetics, life history, population and community ecology of zooplankton, and role of zooplankton in aquatic biogeochemical cycles.

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5017. Plankton Ecology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Ecology of planktonic organisms (bacteria, protista and metazoa). The evolutionary ecology concept, methods of research, special features of aquatic habitats; adaptations to aquatic environments; population biology; predation, competition, life histories, community structure, and role of plankton in ecosystem metabolism.

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5018. Ecology of Fishes

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

General concepts in fish ecology such as distribution, feeding, bioenergetics, growth, larval fish ecology, biotic interactions, life history evolution and other contemporary research topics.

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5030. Chemical Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Composition, origin and solution chemistry of seawater and the marine biogeochemical cycles of salts, elements and gases. Distributions and transfer in the marine environment through chemical equilibria, rates, redox, partitioning, ocean circulation, biological cycles and crustal exchanges.

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5031. Aqueous Geochemistry

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application of chemical theory (thermodynamic equilibrium approaches and kinetics) to understanding the geochemistry of the Earth's aqueous systems, with a focus on the ocean and coastal ecosystems.

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5032. Coastal Pollution and Bioremediation

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Overview of processes and compounds leading to pollution in the nearshore marine environment. The impact of pollution on the marine foodweb and its response is emphasized. Alleviation of pollution through metabolism of organisms, including bacteria, seagrasses and salt marshes.

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5033. Marine and Atmospheric Processes of Global Change

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Fundamentals of marine and atmospheric processes in global biogeochemistry. Evaluation of atmospheric, biological and chemical processes that contribute to global change.

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5036. Advanced Chemical Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Major global biogeochemical cycles of the major elements, nutrients, gases, organic matter, and trace elements and the impact of climate change and ocean acidification. Biogeochemical cycling of toxic trace metals, and transfer of substances at the air and sediment interfaces.

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5050. Geological Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Concepts in geological oceanography, including the role of plate tectonics in the control of the Earth and ocean system, fundamentals of biosphere-geosphere interaction over geologic timescales, and the reconstruction of past climates using marine sediment archives.

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5060. Dynamic Physical Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Global energy balance. General circulation in the oceans and atmosphere. Thermodynamics and stability. Fundamental fluid mechanics. Surface gravity waves. Geophysical fluid mechanics. Tides and other long waves. Theories of global circulation.

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5061. Advanced Dynamical Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: MARN 5060 (RG373).

Grading Basis: Graded

Ocean thermodynamics; dynamics of rotating; homogeneous fluids; ocean circulation; western boundary currents; the thermocline, oceanic fronts.

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5064. Air-Sea Interaction

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: MARN 5060 (RG373).

Grading Basis: Graded

Processes controlling the exchange of momentum, heat and mass across the air-sea interface. Topics include atmospheric and oceanic stratification, wind-wave-current interaction, wave breaking, bubble generation, heat budgets, flux parameterizations and instrumentation.

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5065. Physical Oceanography

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Overview of physical properties and dynamics influencing the oceans and coastal waters. Descriptions of global water property distributions, surface mixed layer, pycnocline, surface heat fluxes, and major ocean currents. Introduction to dynamics of ocean circulation, waves, tides, and coastal circulation.

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5066. River Influences on the Marine Environment

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: calculus and general physics. (RG 5316)

Grading Basis: Graded

Influences of rivers on estuaries, coastal and open ocean water properties, energy budgets and ecosystems including inputs of buoyant waters, sediments and pollutants and variability from storms, seasons, human alterations and climate change. Recommended preparation: calculus and general physics.

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5067. Synoptic Meteorology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Fundamental processes of atmospheric synoptic meteorology, including the governing equations of motion, atmospheric stability, quasi-geostrophic theory, extratropical cyclogenesis, and frontogenesis.

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5200. Oceanographic Data Analysis

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Programming, data input/output, and graphing with advanced scientific analysis software. Analysis of temporal and spatial patterns in oceanographic datasets using multivariate regression, harmonic analysis, Fourier and wavelet transforms, empirical orthogonal functions, and three-dimensional mapping.

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5500. Professional Development in Marine Sciences

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Survey of practical skills required for professional integration into the scientific community, including proposal writing, scientific and public presentations, manuscript preparation and publication, scientific peer review, resume building, and interview skills.

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5501. Marine Sciences Seminar

2.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Intensive reading, evaluation and critical discussion of current interdisciplinary topics presented at weekly departmental research seminars. May be repeated for credit.

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5812. Seminar in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have passed MARN 3812.

Grading Basis: Graded

Critical examination of state-of-the-art research, policy and regulatory frameworks of marine conservation biology and associated environmental, cultural, and socio-economic implications. Topics may include aquaculture, endangered species, strandings, biomedicine, ocean pollution, and marine protected areas. Research projects to be conducted at Mystic Aquarium.

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5830. Seminar in Oceanography

2.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Readings and discussions of current literature in oceanography. Topics vary each semester: Biological, Chemical, Physical, Geological. May be repeated for credit.

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5893. Research

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 15 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Field and laboratory research covering selected topics of marine sciences.

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5895. Independent Study

1.00 - 6.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

A reading course for pursuing specialized work in marine sciences. Open to undergraduate students with permission. Designate the field of special interest by use of the appropriate section symbol.

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5899. Independent Study

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 34 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Independent study under the direction of a faculty member.

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5995. Special Topics

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 34 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.

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6001. Mathematical Models in Marine Sciences

2.00 credits

Prerequisites: Nine graduate credits in MARN courses. (RG374)

Grading Basis: Graded

Examples of the formulation of quantitative models of marine systems with a review of some particularly useful mathematical methods (differential equations, operational methods, numerical solution techniques), emphasizing the computation of predictions.

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6002. Mathematical Models in Marine Sciences: Practicum

2.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Individual term projects relating to mathematical modeling in the marine sciences.

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6010. Advanced Biological Oceanography -- Pelagic Processes

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Pelagic communities, ecosystem structure and function, bioenergetic constraints, population dynamics, consequences of global climate and environmental change, and advances in the field driven by technological innovation.

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6011. Advanced Biological Oceanography - Benthic Processes

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: MARN 5010 or instructor consent.

Grading Basis: Graded

Physical and physiological constraints on the benthos, benthic-pelagic coupling, species interactions, community assembly and dynamics, and anthropogenic impacts.

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6031. Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: MARN 4030W or 5030 or instructor consent.

Grading Basis: Graded

Overview of important stable isotopic systems used to study biogeochemical cycling of bioactive elements. Focus will be on carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopic systems with an introduction to sulfur, silicic acid, and trace metals.

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6088. Variable Topics

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 34 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.

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