Academic Course Catalogs

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Marine Science

Michel A. Boudrias, PhD, CHAIR
Elizabeth D. Baker Treloar, MS
Hugh I. Ellis, PhD
Sarah C. Gray, PhD
Ronald S. Kaufmann, PhD
Mary Sue Lowery, PhD
Bethany O’Shea, PhD
Nathalie B. Reyns, PhD
Steven P. Searcy, PhD
Drew M. Talley, PhD
Zhi-Yong Yin, PhD

The Marine Science Major

The marine science major, offered by the Department of Marine Science and Environmental Studies, is intended for students interested in the natural sciences as well as the marine world. It provides a rigorous curriculum that is intended to prepare students to go on to either graduate studies or directly into oceanographic work. A core of oceanography courses unifies the marine science major. In addition, the student elects a curriculum from a pathway in biology or earth systems. The student majoring in marine science is encouraged to select an advisor from his or her area of concentration as soon as possible. A list of advisors is available from the chair of the Department of Marine Science and Environmental Studies.

Preparation for the Major

35 units of lower-division courses are required: BIOL 190 and 221/221L, CHEM 151/151L and 152/152L, ENVI 110, MARS 220, MATH 150, and PHYS 136, 137. MATH 151 is recommended for students who anticipate going to graduate school.

Major Requirements

The major is made up of a core of marine science and environmental studies courses and a concentration of courses in a particular discipline (called the “pathway”).

The Marine Science Core

18 units of upper division courses in marine science are required.
MARS 427 Marine Environment (3)
MARS 450 Geological Oceanography (4)
MARS 451W Biological Oceanography (4)
(= BIOL 451W)
MARS 452 Marine Geochemistry (4)

Capstone Experience – at least two units of practical experience in MARS 496, 498, 499, or an equivalent course and MARS 495, Senior Seminar (1) for a total of three units.

Note: Practical experience units must be completed at least one semester before taking MARS 495.
A maximum of three units in addition to capstone requirements of MARS 496, 497, 498 and 499 may be used in any combination to satisfy course requirements of the major.

The Pathways

The pathways associated with this major are biology and earth systems. Each pathway offers a concentration of courses, providing depth in the particular pathway; the units differ slightly according to the specific pathway.

1. Biology Pathway (22-23 units)

Preparation for the pathway (11 units)

BIOL 225/225L Introducion to Cell Processes (4)
BIOL 300 Genetics (3)
CHEM 301/301L Organic Chemistry (4)

Upper-Division Electives (11-12 units)

Choose at least one course from each category; at least two courses with laboratory:
Ecology:
BIOL 460W Ecology (4)
MARS 464 Marine Community Ecology (4)
MARS 468 Marine Ecology (3)

Organismal Biology:
BIOL 342 Microbiology (4)
BIOL 350 Invertebrate Zoology (4)
MARS 462 Biology of Fishes (3)
MARS 465 Marine Mammals (3)

Physiology/Molecular Biology:
BIOL 376 Animal Development (4)
BIOL 382 Techniques in Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 477/477L Invertebrate Physiology (4)
BIOL 478W/478L Vertebrate Physiology (4)
BIOL 480/480L Cell Physiology (4)
Note: Certain courses offered abroad may satisfy upper division elective requirements.

Biology Pathway, Recommended Program of Study

2. Earth Systems Pathway (18-22 units)

Preparation for the pathway (10 units)

ENVI 314 Introduction to Maps and Spatial Data Analysis (3)
MATH 120 Introduction to Statistics (3)
MARS 474/474L History of the Earth and Climate (4)

Upper-Division Electives (8-12 units)

Choose at least one course from each category; at least two courses with laboratory:

Methods in Earth System Science:

ENVI 315 Geographic Information Systems (3)
ENVI 420 Introduction to Remote Sensing (4)

System Interactions:
ENVI 471 Near Shore Processes (3)
ENVI 485 Environmental Geology (4)
ENVI 487 Surface Water Hydrology (4)
MARS 473 Climatology (4)

Elective: BIOL 361 Ecological Communities of San Diego County (2)
CHEM 301/301L Organic Chemistry (4)
CHEM 355 Environmental Chemistry (3)
Upper-Division Elective in Marine Science or Environmental Studies (3-4)
Certain additional prerequisites are required for Upper-Division Core Courses.

Earth Systems Pathway, Recommended Program of  Study

Marine Science Minor

Because of the prerequisites and orientation of the courses in marine science, this minor is intended for students majoring in the natural sciences. A minimum of 19 units are required, eleven of which are Upper-Division Units, including:

Lower Division Preparation

MARS 220 Introduction to Physical Oceanography (4)
AND
ENVI 110 Introduction to Earth Systems (4)
Certain additional prerequisites are required for Upper-Division Core Courses.

Upper-Division Core

MARS 427 Marine Environment (3)
and take two of the following:
MARS 450 Geological Oceanography (4)
MARS 451W Biological Oceanography (4)
MARS 452 Marine Geochemistry (4)

Marine Science Courses (MARS)

MARS 101 Physical Aspects of the Ocean (3)
The chemistry and physics of sea water, its circulation and physical properties; tides; currents; waves; and shoreline processes will be studied. The topography and geology of the ocean basin and the distribution and nature of marine sediments will also be studied. This course will satisfy the core curriculum requirement for a physical science and, when a laboratory is offered as a part of the course, for a core curriculum laboratory course, but will not satisfy the requirements of the marine science major without the consent of the chair of marine science and environmental studies. Two lectures and one laboratory or field experience per week; may be taught without laboratory. Every semester.

MARS 220 Introduction to Physical Oceanography (4)
The chemistry and physics of sea water, its circulation and physical properties; air-sea interactions; tides; currents; waves; and shoreline processes. This course is intended for students majoring or minoring in marine science or minoring in environmental studies. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in CHEM 111 or 151/151L, or consent of instructor. Every semester.

MARS 294 SPECIAL TOPICS IN MARINE SCIENCE (2-4)
Topics of special interest and/or unique opportunity at the Lower-Division Level. Prerequisites: Dependent on topic or consent of the instructor.

MARS 427 MARINE ENVIRONMENT (3)
A study of how humans threaten the stability of our oceans. Topics include ocean-climate interactions, marine pollution, utilization of marine resources, and marine conservation. Students participate in at least one weekend community service project. Three hours of lecture per week. Fall semester. Prerequisites: ENVI 104/104L or ENVI 109 or ENVI 110 or MARS 220, and BIO 221/221L or ENVI 112 or ENVI 121 or consent of instructor.

MARS 450 GEOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY (4)
The origin and geologic history of the ocean basin, with a detailed investigation of the theory of plate tectonics, sedimentation processes in the oceans, and paleoceanography. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week; some weekend field trips may be required. Fall semester. Prerequisites: BIOL 221/221L, ENVI 110, MARS 220, and MATH 115.

MARS 451W BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY (4)
An integrated study of marine organisms and their environments, stressing ecological, behavioral, and physiological relationships. Near shore, deep sea, and open ocean environments will be covered. A weekend field trip may be required. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Fall semester. Prerequisites: BIOL 190, 221/221L, and 300. Cross-listed as BIOL 451W.

MARS 452 MARINE GEOCHEMISTRY (4)
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 in the ocean reservoir, such as trace metal and carbonate equilibrium concluding with an assessment of sediment redox chemistry and diagenesis. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Spring semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 152/152L, MARS 220, MATH 150, and PHYS 137 or 271.

MARS 462 BIOLOGY OF FISHES (4)
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. Prerequisite: BIOL 300 or equivalent. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week.

MARS 464 MARINE COMMUNITY ECOLOGY (4)
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. Prerequisites: BIOL 190, 221/221L, and 300.

MARS 468 MARINE ECOLOGY (3)
Discussions of the ecological relationships within the sea, including such topics as production, community structure, and biogeography. Communities discussed may range from the coast to the deep sea, and cover plankton, nekton, and benthic communities. Three hours per week consisting of lectures and seminars.

MARS 473 CLIMATOLOGY (4)
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 climatic 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. Prerequisites: ENVI 104/104L OR ENVI 110 OR ENVI 170 and MATH 120, or consent of instructor.

MARS 474 HISTORY OF THE EARTH AND CLIMATE (3)
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. Prerequisites: ENVI 110, or consent of instructor.

MARS 474L HISTORY OF THE EARTH AND CLIMATE LABORATORY (1)
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. Prerequisite: ENVI 110, MATH 115 or higher and concurrent registration in MARS 474, or consent of instructor

MARS 478 BOUNDARY LAYER FLOW (3)
The interactions between fluid dynamic processes in the oceans and the organisms that live in different habitats. The main objective is to provide a descriptive and conceptual understanding of boundary layer fluid dynamics at several scales from whole ocean basins to flow around organisms. Examples will illustrate physical aspects of fluid dynamics; biological fluid dynamics with an emphasis on feeding, locomotion, and dispersal; and geological and geochemical aspects of sediment-sea water interactions. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: PHYS 136 and 137, or consent of instructor.

MARS 493 METHODS IN MARINE SCIENCE (1-3)
Training and practice in the gathering, analysis, interpretation, and communication of marine scientific data. Designed to extend and integrate the sampling and analytical procedures of marine science. Selected instrumentation and techniques, field experience, and laboratory time will be emphasized. Shipboard experiences, weekend, or extended field trips may be required. Course may be repeated for credit only upon approval of the chair of marine science and environmental studies.

MARS 494 SPECIAL TOPICS IN MARINE SCIENCE (2-4)
Topics of special interest and/or unique opportunity. Prerequisites: Upper-Division standing and consent of instructor or chair of Marine Science and Environmental Studies; other prerequisites may apply.

MARS 495 SENIOR SEMINAR (1)
The techniques of seminar presentation will be studied by preparing and presenting individual seminars on topics of interest with emphasis from the student’s pathway. Enrollment for credit is limited to, and required of, all senior students majoring in marine science. Prerequisites: Completion of two units of MARS 496, 498, or an equivalent course. Every semester.

MARS 496 RESEARCH (1-3)
Students develop and/or assist in research projects in various fields of marine science under the supervision of a faculty member in Marine Science and Environmental Studies. Prerequisite: Approval of the faculty research supervisor is required. Every semester.

MARS 497 UNDERGRADUATE LABORATORY ASSISTANT (1)
Assist laboratory instructor in all aspects of a Marine Science laboratory. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Pass/fail only. Every semester.

MARS 498 INTERNSHIP (1-3)
Experience in the practical and experimental application of marine science. Students will be involved in projects conducted by agencies and institutions outside the university, such as state parks, government agencies, research facilities, or marine industries. Enrollment is arranged on an individual basis according to a student’s interest and background, and is dependent on positions available and faculty approval. The department internship coordinator should be consulted before beginning an internship. Taking one unit in two or more consecutive semesters is recommended, but variations can be arranged in advance with the instructor or the chair of Marine Science and Environmental Studies. A maximum of three internship units can be earned toward fulfillment of the requirements of the major. Pass/fail only. Every semester.

MARS 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-2)
Independent study designed for individual student needs. Prerequisite: consent of the chair of Marine Science and Environmental Studies. Every semester.