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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2007-2008

 

MARINE SCIENCES (MAS)
 
MAS 511 Marine Analytical Methods 3 cr
This course will provide an introduction to the analytical methods most commonly used in marine sciences: spectrometry, fluorometry, colorimetry, gas and liquid chromatography and the use of radio-isotopes. The course will consist of lectures covering the theory of each method and laboratory exercises in their use. Throughout, there will be a focus on the quality of the data being collected, as derived from quantitative assessments of accuracy, precision and repeatability; and propagation of errors. Students will be assessed on problem-sets based on data collected in the labs and on a research project using instruments and techniques of their choice.
 
MAS 512 Chlorophyll Fluorescence Techniques 2 cr
This course will provide an introduction to the scope and application of fluorescence techniques based on excitation of and emission from the ubiquitous plant pigment chlorophyll a. These include fluorometric determination of chlorophyll concentration in vitro; the use of active, single-wavelength fluorometry to assess temporal and spatial variability of chlorophyll a and microalgal biomass in natural assemblages; the use of multiple-wavelength excitation and/or hyperspectral emission to determine taxonomic distributions in vivo; and the use of modulated (pulse-amplitude modulated and fast repetition rate) fluorometry to investigate photosynthetic efficiency and model productivity.
 
MAS 520 Marine Resource Management 2 cr
Designed to acquaint graduate students concerned with management of marine resources; development of legislation, evolution of policy, legal processes, impacts on human resources. The emphasis will be placed on living resources. Prerequisites: Admission to Graduate School.
 
MAS 521 Marine Conservation Biology 2 cr
The intent of this course is to develop the student's understanding of conservation biology, by building upon the foundations provided in introductory marine ecology class. Assigned readings will be selected from the widest possible range of topics in marine conservation. In some cases, readings will come from disciplines outside the marine sciences. Students will be required to develop a topical term paper and give a short presentation to their class on their chosen topic.
 
MAS 530 Marine Microbial Ecology 3 cr
A general survey of the types of micro-organisms found in the marine environment. Emphasis will be on the interaction of microorganisms with each other and with their environment. In particular, the role of microorganisms in carbon cycling and biogeochemical processes will be stressed. Readings from current literature will expose students to the latest techniques and research.
 
MAS 531 Physiological Ecology of Marine Microalgae 3 cr
Microalgae are a fundamental component of marine ecosystems, whether as freely-dispersed plankton, sediment-associated microphytobenthos, epiphytes growing over submerged aquatic vegetation, or as coralline endosybionts. This course will cover the acclimative responses to variations in the availability of light, nutrients and temperature; and the stress responses that are engendered when variability in theses environmental factors exceeds the organisms' acclimative capacity. The course will emphasize the commonality of these processes across taxa as well as considering taxon-specific responses that allow different groups to exploit their niches. The course will also cover methods such as molecular biology, active fluorescence and remote sensing that can be used to investigate population dynamics and growth over a range of spatial and temporal scales.
 
MAS 540 Sediment Biogeochemistry 3 cr
To provide students with an in depth knowledge of sediment biogeochemical processes and the implications thereof on nutrient cycles, plant production and animal distribution. Emphasis will be on early diagenesis in coastal sub-tidal and wetland sediment systems. Prerequisite: Chemical Oceanography or permission of instructor. Fee.
 
MAS 548 Marine Biogeochemical Processes 2 cr
The course will examine the interaction between biological, chemical and geological processes in the marine environment. This will be done by first reviewing the cycling of several of the major elements (e.g. carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, and iron) in the sea, and then examining how these cycles differ between various marine ecosystems (e.g. open ocean surface waters, estuaries, coral reefs, seagrass systems and tidal marshes). The focus will be on developing an understanding of how biogeochemical processes serve to regulate ecosystem function in these various habitats. Prerequisite: Organic chemistry, geology, and marine ecology.
 
MAS 550 Fisheries Techniques 3 cr
Students are exposed to a detailed, semi-quantitative introduction to current biological and technological methodologies for studying fishes and aquatic habitats, with emphasis on study design and integration across sub-disciplines. Prerequisites: Ichthyology (or Marine Vertebrate Zoology) or an introductory course in Fisheries. Introductory Statistical Methods would be valuable but not required.
 
MAS 551 Quantitative Methods in Fisheries and Ecology 3 cr
Ecological and fisheries research has progressed beyond qualitative inference and is continuing to adapt more quantitative methods. A diversity of modeling and experimental approaches exists for ecologists and fisheries scientists. This course is designed to familiarize the students with the most commonly used quantitative approaches. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
 
MAS 555 Fisheries Oceanography 2 cr
Students examine the relationship between fish life history, recruitment dynamics and harvest potential, and local-, meso- and global scale oceanographic processes. Students are exposed to the evolution in thinking on the role of interaction between biology and physics relative to fish and fisheries. This "readings" type course, by design, is geared toward student participation at an advanced and interactive level.
 
MAS 570 Ocean Variability and Global Change 2 cr
This course will examine large scale, spatial and temporal variability in the Earth/ ocean system as evidenced by present-day and paleo records. Variability such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation will be covered. It will critically evaluate the evidence for and the consequences of modern global change as it pertains to the marine environment. Emphasis will be placed on potential changes in climate, biogeochemical cycles, hydrologic cycles, eutrophication/species diversity, and UV light fluxes. Prerequisites: Permission of one of the instructors.
 
MAS 571 Marine Hydrodynamics/ Biomechanics 4 cr
To present an introduction to the importance of small scale fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and solid mechanics to marine science and to present techniques for measurement of important parameters. Prerequisite: Upper-Division/Graduate standing in Biology or Marine Sciences.
 
MAS 572 Estuarine Hydrodynamics 3 cr
This course will address physical processes in estuarine environments. With physical processes in estuaries occurring in various timescales, discussions will proceed in terms of three different time scales: turbulent, tidal, and residual time scales. Emphasis will be placed on mass transport by physical transport process (water movement). Prerequisite: Physical Oceanography or permission of the instructor.
 
MAS 573 Oceanography of the Gulf of Mexico 3 cr
This course provides a survey of the physics, chemistry, biology, geology and meteorology of the continental margins and deep ocean regions in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
 
MAS 575 Marine Ecology 4 cr
The course covers general ecological principles and how they apply to marine ecosystems. Both open ocean and nearshore waters are considered. Specific topics covered include: adaptations of marine organisms for life in the intertidal vs. subtitle zones; different modes of feeding and reproduction in marine organisms; and the importance of predation, competition, adult/larval interactions and dispersal mechanisms. The second half of the course is devoted to discussion of specific habitats including: coral reefs, mangrove swamps, kelp forests, and hydrothermal vents. Prerequisite: General Biology, Marine Biology, or Oceanography.
 
MAS 576 Benthic Ecology 2 cr
This course covers the evolutionary history and the ecology of marine benthic communities from the earliest fossils to present. The importance of scale and of proper study design will be considered. Other topics include: predation, competition, adult/larval interactions and dispersal mechanisms. There will be discussion of productivity, and materials cycling in benthic systems. Special topics of students' suggestions conclude the course. Prerequisite: Marine Ecology/or General Ecology.
 
MAS 579 Coastal Ecosystem Dynamics 2 cr
Coastal Ecosystem Dynamics will allow students to investigate the basic principles of ecosystem structure and function. The course is divided into 2 parts: an instructional phase for learning basics of ecosystem modeling, and a student-led investigation of the structure and function of a variety of coastal ecosystems. This approach will give the student a set of quantitative tools for modeling ecosystems. Also, students will learn to evaluate differences and similarities of energy and nutrient processing in disparate ecosystems. There will be one 2-hr class meeting each week during which students will learn to use the ecological modeling software packages "Ecopath" and "Ecosim". During the initial period, students will "dissect" published models (obtained from the internet) as a mechanism to understand the utility of ecosystem modeling as well as the basics of this particular software. The second half of the course will be devoted to student-constructed ecosystem models. The models will be constructed from data and pathway descriptions in Alongi's 'Coastal Ecosystem Processes' (CPR Press). A synthesis of these models will be constructed and placed on the WWW.
 
MAS 580 Marine Biogeography and Paleoecology 3 cr
This graduate level course will give students a broad overview of the time course of evolutionary changes in the structure and function of marine ecosystems, and will consider the interacting roles of both historical and current factors as they influence the distribution and abundance of marine organisms. Lectures will be mixed with discussions of assigned readings from the primary literature to stimulate critical thinking about various topics. Prerequisite: An introductory ecology or marine ecology course.
 
MAS 581 Advanced Marine Ecology 2 cr
This course will improve students' understanding of ecological processes by building upon the foundations provided in an introductory ecology class. Emphasis will be placed on the mechanisms that control the distribution of marine plants and animals at scales ranging from individual organism to the ecosystem. Assigned readings from the scientific literature will cover the entire range of marine habitats and will reflect classical-to-recent thinking on the major concepts and problems in ecological theory. Quantitative laboratory exercises will train students in the design and statistical analysis of marine ecological studies.
 
MAS 582 Marine Larval Ecology 2 cr
This course introduces the student to the breadth of scientific research involving larvae of marine animal populations. Though a small portion of the course will be devoted to a taxonomic survey of the larval forms of marine species, the vast majority of the course will be process-oriented, often cutting across boundaries between biology, physics and chemistry. The scope of the course will include nutrition and feeding, dispersal and recruitment, bio-energetics, behavior, and biophysical coupling. This course is reading intensive focusing on both historical and topical articles from the primary literature. Prerequisites: Biological Oceanography or Advanced Ecology.
 
MAS 583 Field Marine Science I 2 cr
The Field Marine Science course will consist of an 11 day field exercise in representative coastal sites in Maine with emphasis on rocky intertidal, kelp bed and eelgrass habitats. Two faculty members will accompany the students, participate in the pre-trip readings and evaluate the product developed by each student. Prerequisite: Marine Biology.
 
MAS 584 Oceanographic Experience 3 cr
This course provides students with practical skills involved in oceanographic research. Skills may include hydrographic, hydroacoustic and organismic sampling, gear deployment and use of analytical instrumentation at sea. Students participate in one or more oceanographic cruises during a semester and carry out a defined project using research tools available on the ship. A final report on the project forms the major part of the course grade. Cruises are available only on an ad hoc basis so permission of instructor is required.
 
MAS 585 Marine Zooplankton 3 cr
This course familiarizes the student with the taxonomic breadth of estuarine and marine zooplankton ranging from protistans through all major phyla of metazoa. Though the focus of the course is on taxonomic familiarization, basic biology (including reproduction and feeding) of all major taxa represented in the plankton will be covered. Students will also learn basic and advanced field collection, laboratory and statistical techniques. Although not a prerequisite, it is useful for students to have a background in invertebrate zoology.
 
MAS 587 Seagrass Ecosystems Ecology 2 cr
A survey of current literature on topics related to the ecology of seagrass ecosystems. Students will read assigned papers to be analyzed in a faculty-lead discussion format. A final research paper will be prepared by each student. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.
 
MAS 588 Field Marine Science II 2 cr
The Field Marine Science course will consist of an 8-12 day field exercise in representative coastal sites. Faculty members with diverse interests will accompany the students, participate in pre-trip discussions and evaluate the product developed by each student. The course is designed to familiarize students with habitats and research conditions different from those they experience on the Northern Gulf Coast. Field trip locations are selected on the basis of faculty and student interest, economics, and availability of logistic support. Students pay their room and board costs for the field exercise. The course is primarily for graduate students, but advanced undergraduates may enroll with consent of instructor. Both MAS 588 and MAS 583 may be taken for credit when each is taught in a different environment. Prerequisite: Senior undergraduate or Graduate Status.
 
MAS 589 Marine Plankton 3 cr
The course familiarizes the student with the taxonomic breadth of phytoplankton, bacterioplankton and zooplankton in estuaries, coastal seas and open oceans. Though the focus of the course is on taxonomic familiarization, basic biology (including reproduction and feeding) of all major taxa represented in the plankton will be covered. Students will learn fundamental, as well as 'cutting-edge', field, laboratory and statistical techniques. Two hours of lectures each week will be accompanied by two hours of hands-on laboratory work. Prerequisite: Graduate status in one of the physical or biological sciences.
 
MAS 590 Special Topics 1-4 cr
An in-depth tutorial exposure to specific areas in the marine sciences. Credit and title will be arranged to examine the subject matter in an area of current interest to one or a group of students. Specialized topics not currently listed in catalog course offerings. MAS 590 is available to M.S. students - MAS 690 is available to Ph.D. students. Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate School.
 
MAS 592 Seminar 1 cr
Students and faculty meet weekly in an interactive discussion of current literature in marine sciences. The focus will be on "state-of-the-art" theories and methodologies as they occur in the primary marine literature. Student presentation is required to receive credit. Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate Program in Marine Sciences.
 
MAS 594 Directed Studies 1-4 cr
Independent research, not related to the thesis, under direction of a member of the graduate faculty. May be used to learn new techniques or explore research questions of special interest. A maximum of 4 hours may be earned for this course toward the MS Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate Program in Marine Sciences.
 
MAS 599 Thesis 1-8 cr
Independent research by the student under the sponsorship of a member of the department. Progress reports of the work accomplished are required every six months. Prerequisite: Approved Committee.
 
MAS 601 Physical Oceanography 3 cr
Physical properties and circulation of the world oceans. Topics to be covered include: basic physical laws, properties of heat, water and salt budgets; waves; tides; large and small scale circulations; sea-level fluctuations; interactions of the sea with the atmosphere and land masses; light and acoustics. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program in Marine Sciences Biological Oceanography or equivalent.
 
MAS 602 Chemical Oceanography 3 cr
An in-depth examination of the chemistry of sea water and its relationship with biological, geological, and physical processes in the oceans. Coverage of sea water composition, buffering capacity, redox potential, and photochemistry will form the basis for an in-depth analysis of dynamic equilibria of gases, organic materials, nutrients, and trace elements in the sea. Critical evaluation of recent primary literature in chemistry oceanography will be used to illustrate state-of-the-art research approaches.
 
MAS 603 Geological Oceanography 3 cr
Geological Oceanography encompasses the historic and current consequences of both geophysical and classic geological processes. Included topics are tectonic theory and its development, sedimentary processes in coastal and oceanic provinces, stratigraphy, structural geology, micro-paleontology, erosion, diagenesis and the formation of hydrocarbons. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program is Marine Sciences.
 
MAS 604 Biological Oceanography 3 cr
A comprehensive survey of marine organisms and their interaction including pelagic and benthic communities of the oceans, coastal waters and estuaries. Primary formation of particulate material, feeding processes, kinetics of food webs, biogeochemical processes, patterns of distribution, ecology of biotic systems, human interactions and current concerns are topics to be covered. Prerequisites: Masters degree in one of the physical or biological sciences departments. Special considerations to other students may be granted with permission of the instructor and the student's departmental chair.
 
MAS 690 Special Topics 1-4 cr
An in-depth tutorial exposure to specific areas in the marine sciences. Credit and title will be arranged to examine the matter in an area of current interests to one or group of students. Specialized topics not currently listed in catalog course offerings. MAS 590 is available to master students - MAS 690 is available to Ph.D. Students. Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate School.
 
MAS 692 Seminar 1 cr
Students and faculty meet weekly in an interactive discussion of current literature in marine sciences. The focus will be on "state-of-the-art" theories and methodologies as they occur in the primary marine literature. Student presentation is required to receive credit. Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate Program in Marine Sciences.
 
MAS 694 Directed Studies 1-4 cr
Independent research, not related to the dissertation, under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty. May be used to learn new techniques or explore research questions of special interest. A maximum of 4 hours may be earned for this course toward the Ph.D. degree. Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate Program in Marine Sciences.
 
MAS 799 Dissertation Research 1-8 cr
Independent research by the student under the sponsorship of a member of the department. Progress reports of the work accomplished are required every six months. Prerequisite: Approved prospectus.
 
 

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