MS in Environmental and Ocean Sciences Program Overview

About Master of Science in Environmental and Ocean Sciences

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2017-2018, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on August 10, 2017. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

EOSC 500, EOSC 501, EOSC 511, EOSC 514, EOSC 515, EOSC 520, EOSC 531, EOSC 532, EOSC 533, EOSC 550, EOSC 551, EOSC 552, EOSC 561, EOSC 562, EOSC 565, EOSC 573, EOSC 574, EOSC 574L, EOSC 585, EOSC 587, EOSC 594, EOSC 595, EOSC 596, EOSC 597

EOSC 500 | CORE SEMINAR I

Units: 2 Repeatability: No

An introduction to the infrastructure of the Environmental and Ocean Sciences graduate program and to those critical skills useful in graduate studies. Students will be exposed to a range of research areas through a series of seminars presented by the Environmental and Ocean Sciences graduate faculty, affiliated university faculty in other departments and scientists from other institutions. Students also will choose a thesis committee chair and develop a written preliminary plan for their own research in pursuit of the master’s degree.

EOSC 501 | CORE SEMINAR II

Units: 2 Repeatability: No

During this seminar, students will learn how to develop questions that can be tested scientifically, design experiments that are amenable to statistical analysis and collect data that are interpretable. Students will write a formal thesis proposal, which includes a review of pertinent literature and present it orally to the assembled Environmental and Ocean Sciences faculty. They also will form their thesis committees. Successful completion of this seminar is a prerequisite for advancement to candidacy.

EOSC 511 | STATISTICS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course is intended to build on a basic understanding of statistical analysis gained at the undergraduate level. The course will review methods of hypothesis testing and the statistical tests most commonly used in environmental and ocean sciences. It will introduce multivariate techniques and modern nonparametric methods. The main emphasis will be experimental design and choosing the most appropriate methods of statistical analysis to answer specific questions. Students will learn how to use the statistical software package R and will have the opportunity to work with their own data, if applicable. Three hours per week.

EOSC 514 | INTRODUCTION TO MAPS AND SPATIAL DATA ANALYSIS

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

Use of maps as an analytical tool. Topics include: map reading; the use of maps as a medium for describing and analyzing various types of spatially-distributed data; stereoscopic interpretation and cartographic representation of landforms, vegetation, and land use. Laboratory exercises will use ArcGIS software. Two hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Fall semester.

EOSC 515 | GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

Theory and practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool for the display and manipulation of spatial data. Applications include: urban planning; land use classification; biomass analysis; crop monitoring; forest resource assessment and management; and disaster assessment, management, and recovery. Laboratory exercises will use ArcGIS software. Two hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Spring semester.

EOSC 520 | INTRODUCTION TO REMOTE SENSING

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

An introduction to remote sensing technology and its applications in earth science. This course will cover principles of remote sensing, aerial photography, photogrammetry, electronic multispectral imaging, and methods of digital image processing and analysis. Applications of remote sensing in marine and terrestrial environments and integration of remote sensing and geographic information systems also will be discussed. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week and some field trips. Requires at least one course in physical science, or consent of the instructor.

EOSC 531 | HUMAN IMPACTS ON THE COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

An interdisciplinary study of physical, chemical, and biological processes in the oceans with an emphasis on coastal environments. Topics include coastal oceanography, nutrient distribution and geochemical cycles, primary productivity, food webs and fisheries, and benthic habitats. This course examines the interactions between abiotic forces in the oceans and the organisms that live in a variety of habitats. Environmental issues will be connected to major scientific themes. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week.

EOSC 532 | MARINE COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

This course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of marine community ecology, provide students with field experiences so that they may become familiar with various ecological sampling designs and methods, and expose students to the diversity of coastal marine environments in the San Diego area. Students will read and discuss classic marine ecology papers, and conduct marine ecological studies in field and laboratory settings. Students will also be required to participate in a semester-long research project. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Spring semester.

EOSC 533 | PLANKTON ECOLOGY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

This course is a study of the fundamental processes in plankton ecology from the perspective of how individual plankton interact with each other and their environment. Throughout the course, students will gain intuition about life in the plankton by incorporating an understanding of both the biology of the organisms and their physical environment. In addition to lecture, the course includes lab activities, reading and discussing peer-reviewed scientific articles, and completing group and individual assignments.

EOSC 550 | GEOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

The origin and geologic history of the ocean basins, with a detailed investigation of the theory of plate tectonics, ocean sedimentation and paleoceanography. Examination of how geological processes affect physical, chemical and biological processes in the ocean will be emphasized. Students will present and discuss primary literature pertinent to the topics covered in the course. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. One cruise and one additional weekend field trip may be required. A course in introductory geology, with laboratory, is recommended.

EOSC 551 | BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

Biological oceanography is covered from an integrated, functional perspective. Unifying themes will be factors that affect marine ecosystems and the relationship between environmental characteristics and biological communities. Nearshore, open ocean and deep sea environments will be covered. Ecological, behavioral, physiological and biochemical adaptations of marine organisms also will be considered. Primary literature, scientific writing and experimental design will be emphasized. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. One cruise and additional fieldwork may be required. As well as one year of general biology, with laboratory.

EOSC 552 | MARINE GEOCHEMISTRY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

Why are the oceans salty? This course begins by tracing the path of material sources to the ocean reservoir; from river, groundwater, atmospheric and hydrothermal vent pathways. A significant emphasis is placed on chemical processes operating within the ocean reservoir, such as carbonate equilibrium, trace element distributions in sea water and particulate matter reactivity. The course concludes with an analysis of geochemical processes occurring within material sinks in the oceans, which are largely controlled by sediment redox and diagenetic processes. Three lectures and one laboratory per week.

EOSC 561 | INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

A survey of the invertebrate animals with emphasis on evolutionary relationships among the groups as expressed by their morphology and physiology. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory weekly.

EOSC 562 | BIOLOGY OF FISHES

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

This course examines the various aspects of ichthyology encompassing the anatomy, physiology, ecology, evolution, ethology, and natural history of fishes. Lab includes techniques of identification and a general survey of fish systematics and zoogeography.. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week.

EOSC 565 | MARINE MAMMALS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

An examination of the biology of whales, pinnipeds and other marine mammals. Topics will include general adaptations to a marine existence; systematics and biogeography; reproduction; diving physiology; communication and echolocation; feeding and migratory behavior; and marine mammal-human interactions. Some emphasis will be placed on species occurring in the North Pacific Ocean. Necropsies of a beach-stranded marine mammal may occur. Special projects will also be assigned. Three hours of lecture per week.

EOSC 573 | CLIMATOLOGY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

A course to cover principles of climatology and methods of climatic data analysis. The fundamentals of climatology, methods and technologies used in acquiring and analyzing cl imatic data, and current issues such as human-induced climatic changes will be discussed. This course will cover the Earth’s energy budget and temperature, moisture in the atmosphere and precipitation, winds and the general circulation, and climates in different regions of the world. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week.

EOSC 574 | HISTORY OF THE EARTH AND CLIMATE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Corequisites: EOSC 574L

A survey of the history of the earth system focusing on ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet dynamics and their interaction on past global climate change. Topics include geologic record of past climate cycles, causal mechanisms of past climate change, and the scientific basis of global warming. Three hours of lecture per week.

EOSC 574L | HISTORY OF THE EARTH AND CLIMATE LABORATORY

Units: 1 Repeatability: No

Corequisites: EOSC 574

A laboratory course designed to introduce students to methods and techniques used in historical geology and paleoclimatology including: a) identification of depositional environments; b) identification of invertebrate fossils and modes of fossilization; correlation and sequence stratigraphy; d) radiometric dating, and e) isotopic proxies of climate. The laboratory may include field trips. Lab must be taken with concurrent registration in MARS 574.

EOSC 585 | ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

This course focuses on the interaction between humans and the geologic environment. We will examine geologic processes responsible for forming a variety of Earth resources, such as ore deposits (e.g., copper minerals) and energy resources (e.g., fossil and nuclear fuels). Anthropogenic extraction, processing, and disposal of these resources, and their impact on the environment, will be investigated. Two Earth resources will be the subject of detailed study: groundwater and soils. An in-depth explanation of processes relating to both (e.g., groundwater flow, water quality, soil composition) will be developed, followed by an investigation of practices used in the monitoring and assessment of anthropogenic contamination of soil and groundwater. This course will help to prepare students for working in academia, government, or as an environmental consultant. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Some weekend field trips may be required.

EOSC 587 | SURFACE WATER HYDROLOGY

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

A course to cover principles of surface water hydrology and methods to solve hydrologic problems related to urbanization, soil and water conservation, and water resources management. The components of the hydrologic cycle and the concept of water balance will be discussed in detail. This course also will cover various methods of hydrologic computation, the basics of watershed modeling, applications of GIS in hydrology, and issues especially relevant to Southern California. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week and some field trips.

EOSC 594 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCEAN SCIENCES

Units: 2-4 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Topics of special interest or unique opportunity. Prerequisites may be listed for these offerings.

EOSC 595 | DIRECTED READINGS

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: No

Specific sets of readings tailored to address particular needs of a student. Generally, this course would be related to the research interests of a student and would be under the guidance of a member of the student’s thesis committee. Typically, a maximum of three units may be used toward the degree requirements without consent of the program director.

EOSC 596 | RESEARCH

Units: 0.5-7 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Research toward the master’s thesis. This research will be under the general supervision of a thesis advisor. No more than three units may be taken prior to candidacy. Pass/Fail only. A passing grade is contingent upon participation in the annual Graduate Student Colloquium during the same academic year.

EOSC 597 | THESIS

Units: 0.5-1 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Independent writing of the thesis with consultation of the major advisor. Master’s candidates must be enrolled in this course to turn in a thesis. It may be taken more than once, but only 1 unit will be counted toward the degree requirements.