Environmental Science

M.S. in Marine Environmental Sciences

This master's degree program results from the need to educate professionals beyond the bachelor's degree in a synthesis of diverse disciplines, each of which views the marine environment in disparate ways. It is important to differentiate the Marine Environmental Sciences M.S. Program from the Coastal Zone Management M.S. Program. The MEVS is a more broadly based degree without the in-depth management emphasis of CZMT. The MEVS is not designed as an intermediate degree for the Ph.D., although some MEVS graduates will be well prepared for, and may later apply to, a Ph.D. program either at the Oceanographic Center or elsewhere.

Students who complete the MEVS Program typically directly enter, or re-enter, the work force. Graduates can find employment in environmentally oriented agencies/organizations and the program is of value for prospective or actual employees of government and industry seeking to advance careers in marine-related areas. Because of this diversity, applicants with any undergraduate major will be considered for admission. However, a science major is most useful.

Learning Outcomes

Expected learning outcomes are:

Delivery System

On campus graduate classes typically meet one evening per week in a three hour session. Exceptions are field courses which may entail several days of intensive study. On-line courses meet periodically at the convenience of faculty and students  

Degree Tracts

There are two tracts for completing an M.S. degree.

Capstone

All entering M.S. students are accepted in the Capstone (also called Capstone track). Students take a minimum 13 regular courses in their selected degree for 39 credits.   Students must take Capstone Review Paper courses totaling a minimum of 6 credits (which involve submitting and defending a capstone review paper.  This is typically done at or near the completion of formal coursework.  The Capstone review paper is a scholarly review, based upon a comprehensive literature search, review, and synthesis of the chosen topic. Carrying out a Capstone review paper takes place with guidance from a major professor. Typically, Capstone students find a major professor by approaching faculty in the student's area of interest. Students will be assigned a Capstone advisor if they have difficulty in identifying a major professor. Prior to beginning a Capstone review paper and registering for Capstone Review Paper credits, the student must write a proposal which must be approved by the student's major professor, committee (define how committee is formed), and the Associate Dean of Academic Programs, and be submitted to the Director of Academic Support and Administration in the Program Office.

Thesis Optional Track

Some students desire the thesis track.  The thesis track requires an extra step.  A thesis is an original contribution to knowledge resulting from the systematic study of a significant problem or issue. A thesis track requires a minimum of 10 regular courses for 30 credits.  In addition, a minimum of 9 Thesis credits is required. To be allowed entry into the Thesis track the student must secure agreement from a faculty member to be the student's major professor. There must be adequate funding to carry out the proposed research.  Students are not provided with a thesis advisor. Prior to beginning thesis research and registering for thesis credits, the student must write a proposal which must be approved by the student's major professor, committee, and the the Associate Dean of Academic Programs, and be submitted to the Director of Academic Support and Administration in the Program Office. The Thesis option is typically a longer duration track and number of credit hours than the Capstone track.

For further details, students are referred to section 3.8 of this catalog and to the online guidelines for the capstone or thesis track found on the Oceanographic Center Student Information page

M.S. Credit Hour Requirements

The default Capstone track requires a minimum of 45 credits. This includes five 3-credit core classes, eight 3-credit specialty courses and a minimum of two 3-credit Capstone Review Paper courses (consisting of an extended literature review of an approved subject). Once a student starts registering for capstone course credits, they cannot stop registering for credits until the capstone is completed and defended. It is expected the Capstone review paper can be completed within two terms or less.  The completed Capstone review paper is presented in an open defense that includes the student's advisory committee.
The Thesis option track requires a minimum of 39 credits. This includes five 3-credit core classes, five 3-credit specialty courses, and at least nine credits of master's thesis research. The number of thesis research credits above the minimum is dependent upon the length of time needed to complete the thesis research, which may be more than the typical minimum three terms. The final thesis is formally defended in an open defense that includes the student's advisory committee.

Elective Courses

Students in a single degree are allowed to take up to two elective courses outside their degree orientation and have them count towards their final credit count.

For both the Capstone Review Paper and the Thesis degree tracks, once the proposal has been accepted, enrollment in the chosen track must continue until completion of the degree.

Joint M.S. Degrees

Also offered are Joint M.S. Degrees

The joint specialization M.S. degrees require a minimum of 57 course credits (19 courses) or 51 course credits (17 courses) (for Capstone review or Thesis respectively) including nine credits minimum thesis research or the six credits minimum for the capstone review paper. For the joint programs, students take approximately equal numbers of courses within each of the two specialties. The final thesis is formally defended in an open defense that includes the student's committee.

Core Courses

Course Numbers: OCOR-5603

Description

This is a basic course on the practical applications of descriptive and inferential statistics. Emphasis will be on the presentation of statistical theory, and the methodology of summarizing and analyzing biological data. It is designed for students who have never had a statistics course in college. (Students who have previously had statistics in college should plan on taking OCOR-5606: Biostatistics-II.) The use of software to facilitate computations will be presented. Specifically, statistical analysis utilizing Microsoft Excel® and PHStat2.5 for Excel® will be used in class. Measures of central tendency, dispersion, and variability testing will be discussed along with basic concepts of probability, continuous distributions, confidence intervals, one-sample and two-sample hypothesis testing.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the foundations of statistical thinking and analysis.
  2. Master basic statistical methods necessary to analyze sample data and make inferences about the population of interest.
  3. Learn to use appropriate statistical software packages to conduct basic statistical analyses.
  4. Learn to interpret results of basic statistical analyses.

Course Numbers: OCOR-5606, BCOR-5575

Description

This is an intermediate/advanced course in the practical applications of descriptive and inferential statistics with emphasis on advanced methods of analyzing biological data. Topics will include: analysis of variance (ANOVA); data transformations; linear regression and correlation; power analysis; goodness-of-fit tests; and non-parametric methods. Additional topics may include multiple and curvilinear regression techniques. Handouts of the overheads will be generated each week to help minimize the amount of writing on the board and note taking.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing OCOR-5605 (Marine Chemistry) are expected to:

  1. Further enhance the understanding of the foundations of statistical thinking and analysis.
  2. Use more advanced statistical methods to analyze sample data and make inferences about the population of interest.
  3. Increase the understanding of using appropriate statistical software packages to conduct statistical analyses.
  4. Learn to interpret results of more advanced statistical analyses.

Course Numbers: OCOR-5601

Description

This course covers basic ocean physics. Topics include: the physical properties of seawater, temperature and salinity structure of the oceans, major current patterns, waves and tides, influences of the wind, El Nino and tropical oceanography. The purpose of this course is to introduce marine science students to the spectrum of concepts of ocean physics and dynamics. It is a general course, intended for physicists as well as non-physicists. Through this course, students are expected to become familiar with the basic concepts of geostrophic balance, tracer advection, and wind-forcing of ocean currents. However, many topics are covered including: ocean surface waves, tsunami, planetary waves, Ekman balance, Sverdrup balance, Coriolis force, mixing, instrumentation, thermohaline circulation, and more.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students are expected to gain a basic level of comfort or familiarity with the basic terms and concepts of ocean physics and dynamics. Specifically, the terms geostrophy and Coriolis force, become familiar to, and have meaning for the students.
  2. Students are able to apply basic ideas of physical oceanography to their own specialization of marine science. For example, to understand the cycle of tides or the generation of surface waves when performing coral reef assessment dives.
  3. Students achieve an appreciation for the complications and unknowns of modern physical oceanographic research. A common example would be an appreciation for the fact that many details of regional ocean circulation and ocean state, such as SST cycle in Ft. Lauderdale harbor, are actually unknown.
  4. Students are introduced to the wide range of physical oceanographic topics and problems, and gain some appreciation of the progress in the field.

Course Numbers: OCOR-5608

Description

This course is intended to give students a view to how wind, radiation, gravity, friction, and the Earth's rotation determine the ocean's temperature and salinity patterns and currents. Some important process we will study include heat budget of the oceans, exchange of heat with the atmosphere and the role of the ocean in climate, surface mixed layer, waves in the ocean, geostrophy, Ekman transport, Rossby waves. Students will learn how to explain physical features of the ocean ranging from small-scale turbulence to global circulation.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. calculate Coriolis parameter, Ekman boundary layer depth, and Brunt-Vaisala frequency
  2. explain intensification of the western boundary current
  3. identify costal upwelling areas on satellite images of sea surface temperature and color
  4. Identify different water masses and their sources from global distributions of temperature and salinity
  5. interpret tidal sea level record
  6. write a report on a Physical Oceanography topic.

Course Numbers: OCOR-5605

Description

A study of the properties, composition, and origin of seawater; the importance, distribution, relationships, and cycling of the major inorganic nutrients, dissolved gases, trace metals, and organic compounds; and the use of radiotracers for water mass dating.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing OCOR-5605 (Marine Chemistry) are expected to:

  1. Understand and apply the concepts of salinity and constancy of composition of the major seawater ions.
  2. Estimate the salinity of seawater by various physical and chemical methods.
  3. Compare and contrast the physical properties of seawater and fresh water.
  4. Determine dissolved oxygen concentrations in and rates of change in seawater, and properly evaluate the ecological meaning of the results.
  5. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the importance, major forms, distribution, measurement and cycling of inorganic forms of phosphate, nitrogen and silicate and trace elements in the sea.
  6. Understand, apply and interpret ratios of carbon, oxygen, phosphorus, nitrogen and silicate according to the Redfield ratios.
  7. Correctly determine the pH of seawater by electrochemical means, and interpret the meaning of pH fluctuations in biological or ecological terms.
  8. Calculate the concentrations and fluctuations of the major components of the CO2 system from pH/alkalinity data, and interpret the results in biological or ecological terms.
  9. Describe the general categories and importance of trace elements and dissolved organic matter and in the sea.

Course Numbers: OCOR-5602

Description

A study of the major plankton, nektonic, and benthic groups and associations, including their diversity, distribution, metabolism, production, trophic relationships, and ecological roles, with emphasis on coastal communities.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of biological and ecological characteristics of the major groups of marine phytoplankton, and assessment methodologies.
  2. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the biology and ecology of benthic marine plants and employ appropriate investigative methods.
  3. Apply knowledge of the functional aspects of photosynthesis and respiration to phytoplankton physiology and marine environmental assessment.
  4. Describe the roles and processes of bacteria in the marine environment.
  5. Describe the principal biological and ecological characteristics of the major groups of marine zooplankton and meroplanktonic larva.
  6. Describe biological and ecological characteristics of benthic animals, their ecological roles, feeding adaptations and growth rate determination.
  7. Understand and apply various models and associated statistics describing the growth of fishes.
  8. Understand the basic principles of fisheries management and discuss the associated problems and uncertainties.
  9. Compare and contrast the various reproductive modes and cost-benefit strategies of marine organisms and relate this to dispersal and larval strategies.
  10. Understand, compare and contrast functional aspects of food webs of major marine ecosystems, and interpret energy flow diagrams.
  11. Appreciate the strengths and limitations of ecosystem models.
  12. Demonstrate knowledge of the basics of population ecology and employ associated laboratory, field or statistical methods

Course Numbers: OCOR-5604

Description

A general overview of concepts of marine geology and the evolution of the oceans. Key concepts of plate tectonics, stratigraphy and historical geology form a framework for a holistic view of the ocean basins. This course serves as an entry to more advanced and specialized topics in marine sedimentology as taught at NSU.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will have a clear overview of how ocean basins form and change in time.
  2. They will understand the dynamics of the earth's crust and its importance for geomorphology and evolution.

* Either Biostatistics I or II will fulfill the Biostatistics core requirement.
+ Either Concepts of Physical Oceanography or Introduction to Physical Oceanography will fullfill the Physical Oceanography core requirement

Marine Environmental Science Courses

Course Numbers: MEVS 5400, CZMT-0960, OCMB-9800

Description

Archaeological Oceanography: Reefs and Wrecks will examine human interest in the tension of natural and cultural treasures. Students explore the dynamics of ocean systems, human systems, natural and artificial reefs. Legal, ethical and preservation considerations will be examined. Mapping, navigation through time and tools and technology through time will be featured as well as present day conservation of artifacts, archives and the nature of evidence. A self-selected student project will be a requirement. For the Oceanography major, the student project will focus on ocean science and/or engineering. For the Coastal Zone Management major, Certificate Program or Education Degree student, the focus for the student project can be from a broad range of relevant topics.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5100, CZMT-0790

Description

This course deals with various forms of environmental pollution as they affect both the land and maritime environment. Focus on the role of microorganisms as causes and indicators of toxicity. Sources, measurement, and control of pollution in marine and coastal environments are discussed.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understanding the nature of pollution and its possible sources.
  2. Become familiar with analytical techniques and interpretation of results.
  3. Understand the use of fecal pollution indicators.
  4. Recognizing the complex nature of Harmful Algal Blooms.
  5. Students will have exposure to learn about local environmental agencies and their ongoing monitoring programs.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5070, OCMB-6550, CZMT-0626

Description

The need exists to better understand the integrated biological-physical interactions in the marine ecosystem, particularly when studying the role of the oceans in climate change. This course is designed to study the impact of physical processes on marine ecology in small and large spatial scales. Emphasis is placed on the biology and how production at all trophic levels is impacted as a consequence of the physical environment.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn how the physical aspects of the ocean impacts the biological processes.
  2. The student will learn out to evaluate how the physical environments impacts biological samples.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5460, OCMB-7015

Description

The course explores the geological and sedimentological background of coral reef development. All different types of reef frameworks and non-frameworks found throughout earth history are discussed. Then, the evolution of life on earth with special reference to reef faunas is discussed in detail.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be capable of correctly identifying reef types and correctly using terminology as used by geomorphology and sedimentology when applied to reefs.
  2. They will have an understanding of organismic and structural evolution in reef systems throughout geological time.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5530, OCMB-7025

Description

The purpose of this seminar-style class is to provide a broad overview of coral reproduction, including both asexual and sexual modes. Active classroom discussion will be encouraged during and following the presentation of material by the professor. A formal presentation and discussion period on selected papers will be conducted during each class.

Topics include:

  • An historical perspective of coral reproduction research
  • Asexual reproduction
    • Vegetative reproduction
    • Intra- and extra-tentacular budding
    • Fragmentation
  • Sexual Reproduction
    • Gonochorism
    • Hermaphroditism
    • Gonad development
  • Spawning and Brooding
  • Larval development and dispersion
  • Larval settlement and coral recruitment

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the main contributors to coral reproduction research
  2. Analyze and critique literature from professional publications.
  3. Describe the different modes of coral reproduction.
  4. Describe how patterns of coral distribution are determined by their reproductive ecology.
  5. Explain the effects of natural and anthropogenic impacts to corals reproduction.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5022, OCMB-7005

Description

The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the general biology and ecology of scleractinian corals and coral associated organisms in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Active classroom discussion will be encouraged during and following the presentation of material by the professor. A formal discussion period on selected papers will be conducted during each class. Topics will include larval dispersion, asexual and sexual reproduction, biogeography, zooxanthellae endosymbiosis, upwelling, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and anthropogenic threats.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  1. Describe the local and regional biogeographical distributions of Eastern Pacific corals and coral reefs.
  2. List the scleractinian fauna of the Eastern Pacific.
  3. Compare the environmental conditions of the Eastern Pacific with those of the Indo-West Pacific and Caribbean.
  4. Explain special physiological adaptations necessary for coral survival in the Eastern Pacific.
  5. Discuss the importance of dispersal mechanisms and reproductive mode to coral colonization and persistence in the Eastern Pacific.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5500, OCMB-6370

Description

This course will provide a thorough coverage of the techniques used to study marine mammals, including population assessment, behavior, predator-prey and ecological methodologies, as the latest statistical approaches to data analysis. The course will consist of lectures and a 6-day field trip to the Bahamas aboard the R/V Bellows, a research vessel operated by the Florida Institute of Oceanography. The primary purpose of the cruise will be to provide training in a variety of methodologies used in studies of marine mammals, including visual surveys, small-boat surveys, hydrographic measurements and plankton tows. The lab fee for the course will be $500.00.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the major modern methods used to assess marine mammal populations (status and trend) and their associated statistical analysis.
  2. Describe the major modern techniques for studying marine mammal behavior, trophic dynamics and ecological relationships.
  3. Demonstrate correct and safe methods for conducting visual marine mammal surveys, plankton tows, and CTD casts.
  4. Explain the field recognition cues used to detect and identify the species of marine mammals seen during the cruise, e.g. beaked whales (Family Ziphiidae) and pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (Genus Kogia).

Course Numbers: MEVS-5023, OCMB-6100, CZMT-0639, BMME-6000

Description

This course provides hands-on training with the latest techniques in geographic information systems and remote sensing. Course work includes lecture and hands on computer training. Areas covered (utilizing both ERDAS Imagine 8.3 and ESRI Arcview 3.0) include: GIS/remote sensing theory, image georeferencing and mosiacking, image enhancement and classification procedures, accuracy assessment procedures, importing GPS polygons, establishing database and multimedia hotlinks, importing tables, joining building queries, charting and map creation. Instruction will be centered on application of these techniques to actual environmental case studies.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The students will be taught the fundamentals of GIS, its potential as well as its limitations. Remote sensing is presented as an integral part of the GIS hierarchy and introduced using both marine and terrestrial examples.
  2. Through the course, the student will be installed with a broad and comprehensive understanding of remote Earth-observation, and will become familiar with the suite of sensors currently used for routine environmental monitoring.
  3. Participants will be directed towards recent literature in a variety of current topics so as to ensure that by the end of the course, all students will be aware of the current status of remote sensing and GIS technology.
  4. Not only will students be familiar with the many types of remote sensing imagery used for Earth observation, they will also have a grounding in the physics behind the imagery, so as to allow a critical evaluation of the technology as a real-world tool.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5060, OCMB-6350, CZMT-0694

Description

This course introduces basic fisheries science principles and techniques. Topics will include fisheries-related terminology and descriptions, basic age and growth techniques, fisheries population modeling and stock assessment concepts, and an introduction to marine fisheries management.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing this course will:

  1. Be familiar with basic fisheries science terminology and concepts;
  2. Understand basic age and growth sampling and analytical techniques, including histological preservation and preparation;
  3. Be able to identify parameters necessary for and complete basic stock assessment modeling problems;
  4. Understand fisheries data collection requirements and issues;
  5. Discuss basic fisheries management issues.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5107, OCMB 6315, CZMT-0685

Description

Globally, biodiversity is being dramatically altered by human activities. This is especially evident in the marine environment. Because many species remain undiscovered, and ecological roles of existing species are poorly understood, the magnitude of these changes is difficult to evaluate.

This course will discuss multiple aspects of marine biodiversity including: definition and importance of marine biodiversity to marine conservation issues; threats to marine biodiversity including non-indigenous species introductions; impediments to marine conservation; scientific constraints; developing tools and forums for conserving marine biodiversity, and evaluating existing marine biodiversity initiatives currently in place and planned. Management approaches such as marine protected areas, no-take or completely protected reserves, and special management areas will be discussed and evaluated.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing this course will:

  1. Understand the complex nature of the process that affect and control marine biodiversity
  2. Learn the history of biodiversity, both in a traditional sense and the post-modern synthesis now taking place
  3. Will be familiar with the major paradigms used to explain biogeographic pattern, and how emerging studies are calling into question long-held traditions and beliefs of what marine biodiversity is and how it is managed.
  4. Understand the power of hypothetico deductive methods, and how it is employed in pattern process models of biodiversity
  5. Identify threats to biodiversity and what mechanisms are emerging to address loss of biodiversity
  6. Gain understanding of the impact and rapid spread of non-indigenous marine species, methods of introduction and spread, and current control measures
  7. Gain knowledge of how major fisheries management programs relate to biodiversity loss and conservation
  8.  Have a detailed understanding of the global, basin, regional, and local threats to marine environments and be able to conceptualize research and management actions to prevent loss of diversity
  9. Understand major legislative and legal actions of governments and institutions that have been enacted to deal with threats to biodiversity.
  10. Measure the success/failure of current action strategies, such as Marine Protected Areas, by applying lessons learned and incorporation of emerging methods and data sources.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5530, OCMB-6340

Description

Topics include the systematics, ecology, behavior, and resource management of marine fishes, with emphasis on the inshore fishes of the tropical Atlantic.  A self-paced laboratory and some field work are integral to the course.

Learning Outcomes

The students will acquire a detailed understanding of

  1. Specific taxas of mammals and how they and their environments influence one another.
  2. Learning the various types of biological and oceanographic data related to a marine mammal to better understand how these organisms interact in their environment.
  3. Learn the different types of data collected directly from marine mammals and/or their environment will be processed and interpreted to help the students identify how to use data to answer ecological questions pertaining to marine mammals.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5135, OCMB-8036, BMME-5500

Description

The basis of organic evolution is the changes that take place at the genetic level, due to mutation and genomic changes. This course will delve into evolutionary principles, focusing specifically on the mechanisms and dynamics of change at the molecular level of DNA and proteins. Focus will be on the neutral theory of molecular evolution; genome wide changes; synonymous versus nonsynonymous mutations; detecting selection at the molecular level; reconstructing molecular phylogenies; phylogeography and natural history with molecules, and understanding current computational software used to analyze molecular changes.

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  1. Describe several lines of scientific evidence supporting molecular evolution
  2. Explain the theoretical basis of molecular evolution, microevolution, population genetics, Darwin's principle of natural selection, and Kimura's Neutral theory and the molecular clock.
  3. Compile and analyze molecular evolution and phylogenetics data
  4. Demonstrate the ability to integrate factual and conceptual information regarding evolution in examination essay questions
  5. Demonstrate ability to apply current software in molecular evolutionary analyses
  6. Discuss and evaluate current historical and philosophical controversies concerning molecular evolution.
  7. Organize complex data in a concise and logical manner for oral and/or written presentations

Course Numbers: MEVS-5470, OCMB-6230, BMME-5750

Description

Topics include the systematics, ecology, behavior, and resource management of marine fishes, with emphasis on the inshore fishes of the tropical Atlantic. A self-paced laboratory and some field work are integral to the course.

Learning Outcomes

Students will

  1. be knowledgeable on systematics, ecology, behavior of marine fishes.
  2. be knowledgeable on systematics, ecology, behavior of inland fishes.
  3. have a working knowledge of fisheries resource management.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5490, OCMB-5606

Description

The plankton have traditionally been dealt with under two broad headings; the phytoplankton and zooplankton. While this categorization is useful, it does not adequately reflect current research on planktonic processes that place emphasis on the smaller members of the plankton community (i.e. single celled organisms). These are the bacteria (or picoplankton, 0.2 to 2.0 μm) and the grazing protozoa (many of which are termed nanoplankton, 2.0 to 20.0 μm). This course will focus on the bacterioplankton and grazing protozooplankton. The role of the larger phytoplankton and microzooplankton will also be considered. The course will summarize the planktonic environment of lakes, oceans and estuaries. It will present information on the major 'players' in the plankton so that their functional roles within aquatic ecosystems can be summarized.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will understand the physical and chemical parameters affecting the planktonic habitat
  2. The student will gain a new appreciation of how microorganisms influence the movement of carbon and nutrients through the planktonic environment
  3. The course will ensure that students use current literature when reviewing plankton ecology
  4. The student will learn to summarize and present a topical published article relevant to the course
  5. The student will learn to synthesize an array of complex information through the compilation of general essay topics

Course Numbers: OCMB-6323, CZMT-0688, MEVS-5250

Description

The course explores the theoretical framework of population and community ecology expressed in mathematical terms. Students learn to read formulae, graphs and to write their own code in Matlab that develops basic modeling and data evaluation/projection skills.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Increased quantitative understanding of population and community processes, understanding of the mathematical and logical tools used in theoretical ecology.
  2. Basic ability to model populations in Math lab.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5480, BCOR-5580, CZMT-0715, OCMB-8550

Description

This course provides a broad historical overview of biological sciences since Aristotle through Darwin with emphasis on both the experimental design of seminal studies as well as the evolving philosophical approaches to the acquisition of knowledge from methodological naturalism to critical rationalism, Karl Popper and the hypothetico-deductive model for scientific method.

Learning Outcomes

The student will:

  1. be familiar with the history of biological sciences including selected scientists and their famed experiments.
  2. be familiar with the history of the philosophical underpinnings of the current definitions of science and the scientific method.
  3. be able to use the hypothetico-deductive method in their own research and the student will understand both the strengths and shortcomings of this method.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5300, CZMT-0800, OCMB-8500, BMME-5565

Description

This course is designed to provide tools, resources, and approaches to improve a student’s ability to write in a scientifically precise and accurate manner and to interrelate complex conceptual issues in a coherent manner. The skills acquired while learning to write a grant proposal are very similar to the skills needed to write a project plan or scientific paper. Thus, by building grant-writing skills, general scientific writing skills are improved in equal measure.  This course is an intensive introduction of how to prepare, write, edit, and review a standard grant proposal. Proposal writing is essential in the competitive scientific job market, but it can be intimidating to the novice.

Learning Outcomes

Participants in this course will be expected to write a grant proposal in their field of interest as a class project. The following topic areas will be presented and developed:

  1. How to identify viable research topics
  2. How to assemble relevant information and data into an outline
  3. Identifying funding sources
  4. Writing abstracts and summaries
  5. Different writing styles for various audiences
  6. Targeting proposals to specific funding agencies
  7. Editing and reviewing for scientific content
  8. Improving both oral and written presentations

Course Numbers: MEVS-5450, OCMB-6500, CZMT-0910, BMME-5800

Description

Stable isotope ratios provide a natural way to follow and trace elemental cycling in a number of environments. This course will focus on the use CHNOS isotope distribution and cycling in different biomes. The information provided will cover migration and invasion, food webs, mixing, plants, animals, microbes, atmospheric gases; and the focus of the course will be more closely tailored to the needs of students. Students will process a limited number of individual project samples and learn to interpret the stable isotope data. Course evaluation will be based on participation, a project report and a research paper on the use and evolution of stable isotopes in an area of environmental science.

Learning Outcomes

The students will acquire:

  1. A background and working knowledge of stable isotope ratios
  2. Learn how to identify how isotopes tracers can help solve environmental questions
  3.  Sample processing techniques, laboratory analysis and data interpretation for many types of biological material.
  4. Students will be able to identify how to appropriately use stable isotope ratios to answer ecological questions

Course Numbers: MEVS-5000, OCMB-6120, CZMT-0690

Description

Study of the ecology of tropical fish, including coastal, estuary, mangrove, and pelagic fish.  Current theories on distributions and abundance are discussed in addition to ecological theory.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5510, OCMB-6380, CZMT-0698

Description

This course is designed for the student with an intermediate level of experience with fisheries science (e.g., taken the Introduction to Marine Fisheries Science course). During the four-week course, students will examine the main structures of fisheries management and policy development at the federal level, including Fishery Management Plans and various regulatory mechanisms. The course will also provide background and current issues for the main legislation that governs U.S. fisheries management, from the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (and its subsequent reauthorizations) to the Endangered Species Protection Act (ESA) of 1966 and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972. The students will also be exposed to the development process of fisheries policy, including the roles of regulatory review and Congressional oversight.

Pre-Requisites: OCMB 6350, CZMT 0694, MEVS 5060, or Approval of the Instructor

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the main U.S. laws that govern federal marine fisheries management, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Management and Conservation Act/Sustainable Fisheries Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Protection Act.
  2. Explain the basic structure of U.S. federal fisheries management, including descriptions of a Fisheries Management Plan and a Regional Fishery Management Council, and how domestic fisheries management interacts with international (multi-lateral/regional) fisheries management organizations.
  3. Describe the general roles of non-NOAA federal agencies in fisheries management and enforcement, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the State Department.
  4. Describe some of the goal-setting and performance metrics used by NOAA to evaluate fisheries policy options and subsequent regulatory actions.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5025

Description

Directed study in aspects of coastal zone management. May also be used, under special circumstances, for completion of capstone/thesis proposal. Requires prior consultation with major professor.

Learning Outcomes

The student will learn detailed, scientific skills and knowledge through one-on-one tutorial based interaction with their supervising professor.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5028

Description

Research and thesis preparation. Requires prior consultation with major professor and submission of an approved thesis proposal.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn about hypothesis driven research.
  2. The student will learn scientific methods.
  3. The student will learn how to handle large databases (statistically).
  4. The student will learn scientific writing.
  5. The student will gain experience presenting complex data in public.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5039

Description

Research and thesis preparation. Requires prior consultation with major professor and submission of an approved thesis proposal.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn about hypothesis driven research.
  2. The student will learn scientific methods.
  3. The student will learn how to handle large databases (statistically).
  4. The student will learn scientific writing.
  5. The student will gain experience presenting complex data in public.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5038

Description

Research and thesis preparation. Requires prior consultation with major professor and submission of an approved thesis proposal.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn about hypothesis driven research.
  2. The student will learn scientific methods.
  3. The student will learn how to handle large databases (statistically).
  4. The student will learn scientific writing.
  5. The student will gain experience presenting complex data in public.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5026

Description

An extended literature review of a subject approved by the student’s advisory committee. The paper should demonstrate proficiency in library research, organization, and writing. Requires prior consultation with major professor and submission of an approved capstone proposal.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn how to research scientific topics using published information.
  2. The student will master the art of compiling a scientific review of a subject.
  3. The student will gain experience in scientific writing.
  4. The student will learn how to present a seminar.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5031

Description

An extended literature review of a subject approved by the student’s advisory committee. The paper should demonstrate proficiency in library research, organization, and writing. Requires prior consultation with major professor and submission of an approved capstone proposal.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn how to research scientific topics using published information.
  2. The student will master the art of compiling a scientific review of a subject.
  3. The student will gain experience in scientific writing.
  4. The student will learn how to present a seminar.

Course Numbers: MEVS-5027

Description

An extended literature review of a subject approved by the student’s advisory committee. The paper should demonstrate proficiency in library research, organization, and writing. Requires prior consultation with major professor and submission of an approved capstone proposal.

Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will learn how to research scientific topics using published information.
  2. The student will master the art of compiling a scientific review of a subject.
  3. The student will gain experience in scientific writing.
  4. The student will learn how to present a seminar.