Undergraduate and Graduate courses are offered on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab campus to students attending one of 22 schools in the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium. The DISL will accept applications until the first day of class. However, students are encouraged to apply by the priority registration date, because classes will fill early. For help, speak with your campus liaison officer. A list can be found here.

Students enrolled in an out-of-state college or university may receive credit by arrangement between their institution and the DISL. 

Please contact the DISL University Programs Registrar, Regina Kollegger (251) 861-2141, ext 7526, or by email at rkollegger@disl.edu for assistance with these procedures.

Register for Spring 2023 Courses

Fall 2022

Course Credits Instructor Schedule
Biological Oceanography 4 (G) Krause M, W (1:25 - 3:20)
Coastal Processes 3 (G) Dzwonkowski M/W (12:05-1:30 p.m.)
Geological Oceanography 4 (G) Reese M,W (12:05-1:30)
Marine Conservation Biology 3 (G) Carmichael Th (12:30-3:30 p.m.)
Oceanographic Experience 1-3 (G) Krause TBD-Field Experience

Spring 2023

Course Credits Instructor Schedule
Applications of Tech Methods 3 (G) Dorgan Wed (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
Chemical Oceanography 4 (G) Lehrter T,Th (12:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.)
Field & Lab Measurements 3 (UG) Dorgan Wed 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Field & Lab Measurements Lab 1 (UG) Dorgan Wed (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Marine Ecology with Lab 4 (UG) Smee Tue/Thu (9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Lab Tue (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Marine Geology 3 (UG) Kiel Reese Tue/Thur (10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)
Marine Geology Lab 1 (UG) Kiel Reese Thu (1 p.m.-4 p.m.)
Marine Operations and Research 3 (UG) Krause Mon (9 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Oceanographic Experience 1-3 (G) Krause TBD-Field Experience
Physical Oceanography 4 (G) Dzwonkowski M,W (10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.)
Quantitative Methods in Fisheries and Ecology 3 (G) Baker Tue/Th (11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)
Seminar 1 (G) Dorgan M (9 a.m.)

Applications of Tech Methods

Technological literacy is becoming increasingly important in marine science. This project-based course will introduce students to tools and techniques for developing ocean instrumentation. Students will design and implement technology-based projects. MAS 590 is available to Masters students, MAS 690 is available to Ph.D. students.

This course will provide an introduction to different methods of sensing the ocean, including building and testing simple sensors, e.g., temperature and light, using Arduino microcontrollers and software, use of instruments to collect high-resolution data, and some background on how technology has led to key advances in marine science. The course will be primarily project-based, with students learning basic skills through small projects then developing a larger project with application to education, public outreach, or a specific research question.

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Chemical Oceanography

Prerequisites: Admission to graduate program in Marine Science.

An in-depth examination of the chemistry of seawater and its relationship with biological, geological and physical processes in the oceans. Coverage of seawater composition, buffering capacity, redox potential, and photochemistry will form the basis for an in-depth analysis of the dynamic equilibria of gases, organic materials, nutrients and trace elements in the sea.

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Field & Lab Measurements

Marine Science is an observational and analytical field that requires quality measurements to support scientific investigations and to answer scientific questions. Therefore, it is imperative that the marine science student thinks in terms of the observational, analytical, and data requirements when designing an experiment. This includes consideration of the instrumentation (type, calibration, response, applications, and limitations), sampling theory (sample interval, duration, statistical confidence), data systems (microprocessors, data compression, conditional sampling, and data storage), data analysis and presentation of the results (that meet the scientific, management, observational goals). Classroom lectures will be supplemented with hands on field exercises, and the student will be assigned problem sets, case studies, and related material to augment their understanding.

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Field & Lab Measurements Lab

Marine Science is an observational and analytical field that requires quality measurements to support scientific investigations and to answer scientific questions. Therefore, it is imperative that the marine science student thinks in terms of the observational, analytical, and data requirements when designing an experiment. This includes consideration of the instrumentation (type, calibration, response, applications, and limitations), sampling theory (sample interval, duration, statistical confidence), data systems (microprocessors, data compression, conditional sampling, and data storage), data analysis and presentation of the results (that meet the scientific, management, observational goals). Classroom lectures will be supplemented with hands on field exercises, and the student will be assigned problem sets, case studies, and related material to augment their understanding.

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Marine Ecology with Lab

This advanced course is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. The class will study marine organisms as they interact with each other and their environment, and examine ecological theories and the experimental basis of our current knowledge. The laboratory will consist of field trips to a wide variety of marine habitats and field problems which will be examined by student teams in small groups. Habitats selected for emphasis include coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass meadows, the rocky intertidal and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Snorkeling gear will be needed.

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Marine Geology

Requirements: Participation in overnight field trips is a part of this course.

Prerequisites: Introductory geology, statistics recommended

A study of the geology of the ocean basins, with special emphasis on the continental shelves, their sediments and the sedimentary processes at work there with emphasis on the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Field trips will be taken to study beach processes and sediments in Mobile Bay and offshore. Students will be introduced to the following: technical writing; conducting a research project; working as a team member; data management; concepts of marine geology; critical thinking; principles of science (hypothesis testing).

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Marine Geology Lab

A study of the geology of the ocean basins, with special emphasis on the continental shelves, their sediments and the sedimentary processes at work there with emphasis on the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Field trips will be taken to study beach processes and sediments in Mobile Bay and offshore. Students will be introduced to the following: technical writing; conducting a research project; working as a team member; data management; concepts of marine geology; critical thinking; principles of science (hypothesis testing). Participation in overnight field trips is a part of this course.

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Marine Operations and Research

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Oceanographic Experience

Requirements: Cruises are available only on an ad hoc basis so permission of instructor is required. This course is 1 - 3 credits based on the instructor.

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.

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Physical Oceanography

Requirements: Admission to the graduate program in Marine Sciences.

Physical properties and circulation of the worlds 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.

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Quantitative Methods in Fisheries and Ecology

Ecological and fisheries research has progressed beyond qJ1aJitative inference and is continJ1ing to adopt more quantitative methods. A diversity of modeling and experimental approaches exists for ecologists and fisheries scientists. This course 1s designed to familiarize the students with the most commonly used quantitative approaches.

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Seminar

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 in pursuit of the research degree, students will learn to critically review the approaches, analyses, and interpretations of scientific research with the tutelage of the faculty. This seminar will link the inter-disciplinary components of the students and faculty in a stimulating and interactive manner.

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Biological Oceanography

Prerequisites: Graduate student status in one of the physical or biological sciences departments. Special considerations to other students may be granted with the instructor's and the student's departmental chairperson.

Biological oceanography is an 'earth science' that focuses on patterns and processes that are of consequence to the interaction of organisms and the sea. Biological oceanography encompasses both pelagic and benthic environments, however, some specialized shallow marine environments are beyond the usual scope of oceanographic study (e.g., littoral zone and coral reefs). In this course, the student will be introduced to not only our current understanding of biological oceanographic processes, but to the historical perspective of how this understanding came to be. This will be accomplished through weekly reading assignments of the primary literature - discussion of these papers will be integrated into the lecture. Students will participate in basic experimental and descriptive biological oceanography - these exercises are intended to provide the student with some of the fundamental tools and procedures in use by biological oceanographers. These tools cut across other disciplines such as chemistry, physics and geology.

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Coastal Processes

Prerequisites: MAS 601 Minimum Grade of C. MAS 601 can be taken concurrently with this course.

The coastal ocean has a physical regime that is distinct from that of the open ocean. This physical regime contributes to disproportionally high levels of ecological productivity associated with these areas. Because of the often close coupling of physical and biogeochemical processes in the costal ocean, the solutions to the problem facing these ecosystems typically require interdisciplinary perspectives. The objective of the course is to introduce the main physical processes and fisheries in the coastal ocean. The course will provide an overview of the physics operating in the coastal ocean and link the physical forcings to biogeochemical processes and ecosystem function. The course will cover topics from shelf break-open ocean interactions to the fundamental processes operation in estuarine environments. The end goal is for graduate students to acquire a fundamental understanding of the physical mechanisms driving the circulation and the associated hydrographic properties in the coastal ocean and how those physical phenomena link to biogeochemical processes.

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Geological Oceanography

Geological oceanography or "marine geology" is a broad subject dealing with components of mineralogy, sedimentology, geophysics, and plate tectonics. 

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Marine Conservation Biology

Prerequisites: Introductory class in either marine or general ecology or permission of the instructor.

Marine Conservation Biology will develop student's understanding of conservation biology in marine habitats. Lectures and assigned or student-selected readings will cover the widest possible range of current topics in marine conservation biology. Regular field trips will supplement and exemplify lecture topics. Each class will include an introductory lecture that presents an overview of basic ecological concepts and historical perspective for the assigned readings, followed by discussion. Students will lead discussion of student selected papers and write a topical term paper.

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Oceanographic Experience

Requirements: Cruises are available only on an ad hoc basis so permission of instructor is required. This course is 1 - 3 credits based on the instructor.

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.

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