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.)

May Session 2023

Course Credits Instructor Schedule
Biology and Conservation of Marine Turtles (2) UG/G Wibbels M-F (9A-4P)
Coral Reef Biology and Ecology (March 1-May 19, 2023) (4) UG/G Hoadley M-F (9A-4P)
Dolphins and Whales (2) UG Lewis M-F (9A-4P)
Shark and Ray Biology (2) UG/G Drymon M-F (9A-4P)

First Session 2023

Course Credits Instructor Schedule
Coastal Birds (2) UG/G Woodrey Th/F (9A-4P)
Coastal Wetlands Ecology (4) UG/G Steinmuller W (1P-4P) TH/F (9A - 12P); Lab TH/F (1P - 4P)
Experimental Plankton Biology (4) UG/G Moss Lecture: W(1P-4P), TH/F (9A-12P); Lab: TH/F (1P-4P)
Hurricanes of the Gulf Coast (2) UG/G Bregy Lecture & Lab: M/T (9A - 4P)
Intro to Oceanography (4) UG/G Krause W (1p-4p) TH/F (9A-12P); Lab TH/F (1P-4P)
Marine Biology (4) UG/G Layton M/T/W (9A-12P); Lab: M/T (1P-4P)
Marine Botany (4) UG/G Henning M/T/W (9A-12P); Lab M/T (1P-4P)
Marine Geology (4) UG/G Elliot M/T/W (9A-12P); Lab M/T (1P - 4P)
Marine Mammals (4) UG/G Lewis M/T/W (9A - 12P); Lab M/T (1P - 4P)
Marine Restoration Ecology (2) UG/G Temple Lecture & Lab: M/T (9A-4P)
Marine Vertebrate Zoology (4) UG/G Albins W (1P-4P), TH/F (9A-12P); Lab TH/F (1P-4P)

Second Session 2023

Course Credits Instructor Schedule
Biotic Response to Sea Level Change (online only) (2) UG Wofford Lecture & Lab: M/T (9A - 4P)
Environmental Applications of GIS (online only) (2) UG/G Fleming Lecture and Lab: M/T (9A-4P)
Intro to Neurobiology (July 17-August 4) 3 (UG/G) Strang et al. M-Sat (9A-5P)
Marine Aquaculture (2) UG/G Stoeckel Lecture and Lab (9A - 4P)
Marine Behavioral Ecology (4) UG/G Gier W (1P-4P) TH/F (9A-12P), Lab TH/F (1P-4P)
Marine Biology (4) UG/G Titus M/T/W (9A-12P), Lab M/T (1P-4P)
Marine Biology (Hybrid) (4) UG/G Gannon W (1P-4P), TH/F (9A-12P), Lab TH/F (1P-4P)
Marine Conservation Biology (4) UG/G Henning M/T/W (9A-12P); Lab M/T (1P-4P)
Marine Ecology (4) UG/G Dorgan W (1P-4P) TH/F (9A-12P); Lab TH/F (1P-4P)
Marine Invertebrate Zoology (4) UG/G Carmichael M/T/W (9A - 12P); Lab M/T (1P - 4P)
Marine Mammal Health (2) UG TBD Th/F (9A-4P)
Marine Vertebrate Zoology (4) UG/G Baker W (1P-4P), TH/F (9A-12P); Lab TH/F (1P-4P)

Biotic Response to Sea Level Change (online only)

This course is an overview of sea-level change over geologic time with an emphasis on mechanisms of change, evidence of past sea-level changes, and the impact of expected sea-level changes on the marine biosphere. Topics include: global climate change and eustasy, tectonically-forced sea-level change, epeiric seas, transgression and regression sedimentology, coastal geomorphology, and marine and coastal habitat change.

Field studies emphasize local evidence for sea-level change, habitat shift and reorganization, and human response to changing sea levels, such as community displacement, shoreline stabilization, and beach-fill nourishment. This course is designed for undergraduate and graduate students in the physical and biological marine sciences.

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Environmental Applications of GIS (online only)

Prerequisites: statistics or equivalent course in mathematics

This course consists of learning applied mapping and analysis with GIS and will leverage other geospatial techniques including remote sensing, geovisualization, and spatial analysis with particular emphasis on environmental applications. Students will use the knowledge acquired from readings, guided activities, and instructor demonstrations to apply GIS data including vector and raster spatial data, imagery, maps, and surface models in examinations of contemporary coastal and marine science issues. Students will be exposed to working with spatial information regarding human and natural hazards and disasters, land use and land cover, coastal monitoring, and other relevant data types. Some lecture is required, but this course will emphasize
a “hands-on” approach to learning GIS through practical assignments and projects in a computer lab and in the field. Industry-leading ArcGIS software will be used along with exposure to online and open-source technology. This course is asynchronous.

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Intro to Neurobiology (July 17-August 4)

Prerequisites: Introductory Biology.

Students will be introduced to the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of marine invertebrates and vertebrates. The following aspects of neurobiology will be covered in lectures and laboratory exercises: neurons and glia; passive properties of neurons; resting potentials; action potentials; synaptic transmission; neurotransmitters and receptors; sensory transduction; muscle innervation and contraction; sensorimotor integration; and neurophysiological bases of behavior. In addition, students will use computer simulations that allow a more in-depth exploration of cellular neurobiology than is possible in standard laboratory classes. Students will be introduced to aspects of molecular biology and its applications to neuroscience. This
class will include evening and Saturday sessions. 

The following are recommended but not required: general chemistry and general physics; or permission of the instructor.

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Marine Aquaculture

Prerequisites: General Biology required; Ichthyology, Limnology, and Invertebrate Zoology suggested, but not required.

This course will introduce students to techniques in live animal culture with an emphasis on basic principles that can be applied to the culture of any organism for research, display, or commercial profit. Topics discussed will include water chemistry, filtration, production techniques, reproduction, and nutrition. This course is also designed to assist students with problem-solving and communication skills. 

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Marine Behavioral Ecology

Prerequisites: Introductory course that covers zoology (either vertebrate or invertebrate).

The course examines how animal behavior is influenced by and interacts with its environment, and the ecological and evolutionary significance of these behaviors in a marine setting. Students will learn principles of behavioral ecology as they relate to marine animals, become familiar with techniques for observing animal behavior and conducting behavioral experiments, and be introduced to methods for collecting and analyzing behavioral data. Snorkeling gear required.

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Marine Biology

Prerequisites: General Biology

A general survey of marine plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, the communities they form, and the physical and chemical factors that influence them. Field trips include marsh, seagrass, and dune habitats. Sampling from research vessels and laboratory exercises will serve to introduce students to the diversity of marine habitats and organisms. Organisms will be identified using dichotomous keys. There will be overnight field trips. Snorkeling gear will be needed. 

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Marine Biology (Hybrid)

Prerequisites: General Biology

A general survey of marine plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, the communities they form, and the physical and chemical factors that influence them. Field trips include marsh, seagrass, and dune habitats. Sampling from research vessels and laboratory exercises will serve to introduce students to the diversity of marine habitats and organisms. Organisms will be identified using dichotomous keys. There will be overnight field trips. Snorkeling gear will be needed.

This is a five-week asynchronous Marine Biology course with an additional week in person at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab for field and lab activities (July 31 through August 4). The online portion of the course is asynchronous and does not have specific meeting times, however assignments and activities are due on a weekly basis. Students are expected to complete work within the specific week it is assigned. Students must attend the in-person field and lab portion of the course, which starts July 31 and ends August 4.

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Marine Conservation Biology

Prerequisites: An introductory class in either marine or general ecology.

This advanced course is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. This course will explore the major threats to marine biodiversity as well as the pros and cons of the potential solutions to these threats. Students will participate in class discussions on current topics in marine conservation biology and will critically evaluate marine conservation primary literature as well as the viewpoints of the various entities involved in marine conservation issues. In addition, students will participate in field trips that support topics covered in lectures and will demonstrate the application of current principles in marine conservation. 

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Marine Ecology

Prerequisites: General Biology.

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 Invertebrate Zoology

Prerequisites: Introductory Biology or Zoology.

This course surveys the morphology, natural history, and evolutionary relationships of marine invertebrates. The course includes lectures, laboratory exercises, and extended field trips. Participation in overnight field trips is a part of this course. Snorkeling gear will be needed. 

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Marine Mammal Health

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th-year undergraduate- completion of Dolphins and Whales or Marine Mammals course; graduate student; or consent of the instructor.

The course will provide an overview of marine mammal stranding response, health assessments, and common diseases of bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and sea lions. Lectures will be focused on how marine mammals act as sentinels for ocean health, including the effects of oils spills, harmful algal blooms, and marine debris on marine mammals. This course requires participation in marine mammal necropsies, which includes hands-on dissection of carcasses, internal organs, blood, and can have foul smells. Due to the potential risk of zoonotic disease, you may not want to participate in necropsies if you are pregnant or immune-compromised.

Personal protective equipment will be available and is required. A field trip to an aquarium will provide the opportunity to see medical examinations of dolphins and sea lions, and participation in live and dead marine mammal stranding response will be available on a volunteer basis as opportunities present throughout the course.

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Marine Vertebrate Zoology

Prerequisites: Two semesters of General Biology (or equivalent) and accompanying labs.

A survey of marine fishes, reptiles, and mammals, with an in-depth comprehensive treatment of their systematics, zoogeography, and ecology. Field and laboratory work will stress the vertebrate fauna of the northern Gulf of Mexico and most of the course will be devoted to fishes. Students completing this course will: 1) have a basic understanding of the biology, ecology, physiology, and systematics of the various marine vertebrate taxa; 2) gain experience in field and lab identification of members of the various vertebrate taxa; and 3) gain experience in collecting various marine and island vertebrate taxa. 

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Coastal Birds

Prerequisites: Undergraduate Biology or Zoology.

This course highlights the diverse coastal birdlife of northern Gulf of Mexico. With a focus on the study of avian ecology in the field, this class will include a significant emphasis on the use of both sight and sound as means of field identification. A variety of habitats will be explored, including barrier island nesting grounds, the Mobile-Tensaw River basin, local marshes and other unique coastal habitats. Students will also be introduced to a variety of field ornithology techniques including bird-banding, survey techniques, and monitoring methodologies. Email questions to msw103@ra.msstate.edu.

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Coastal Wetlands Ecology

Prerequisites: General Biology and Botany or Zoology.

This course will focus on coastal and nearshore wetland areas, with an emphasis on the biogeochemical processes that occur within, and issues that threaten and protect these important resources. Wetlands not only provide critical habitat for many aquatic and semi-aquatic species, they are also important for primary productivity, the transformation of nutrients, pollutant removal, as well as providing protection from storm surges and floodwaters. Insight into wetland ecology requires an understanding of the unique interactions between biology, chemistry, and hydrology. 

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Experimental Plankton Biology

Requirements: A prior course in Organismal Biology or equivalent is highly desirable but not required.

This course examines the full diversity of microbial, phyto- and zooplankton in coastal to open ocean environments and will allow students to experimentally manipulate plankton. Students will learn the life cycles of planktonic organisms and will understand the diversity of plankton available within the Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound, and open coastal waters in the vicinity of the Dauphin Island Area.

Students will identify plankton and learn how to assay plankton populations using classic filtration, microscopy, and molecular methods. Students will become familiar with the seasonal drivers of planktonic populations. Students will become proficient with their understanding of the microbial loop, anthropogenic impacts on phyto- and zooplankton and the mechanisms and implications of explosive jellyfish blooms, the concept of ‘Jelly World’, invasive species, and HABs.

Students will experience diel migration in an offshore day and night excursions. Students will examine 1-2 ‘hot’ new research papers each week in a brief journal club-type session in which the topic will be critiqued by the group. This is an experimental course: All students will become familiar with the setup of an experiment and will work in groups of two to research an aspect of the biology of their favorite planktonic organism. Each student will keep a detailed notebook of collections (periodically reviewed) and their experiment, and additionally, will give a ten-minute classroom presentation or demonstration on his/her favorite planktonic organism.

Students will have short quizzes each week to help students stay up to date, a cumulative final test, and will be graded for attendance. A text is required (Johnson & Allen, Zooplankton of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press) and an optional recommended highly visual text (Sardet, Plankton, Univ. Chicago Press) is suggested. Scientific papers will be provided online for no additional cost; numerous additional identification manuals/links will be made available. 

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Hurricanes of the Gulf Coast

This is an introductory survey course on hurricanes with an emphasis on hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Topics include: 1) the hurricane problem along the Gulf Coast and a review of some of the infamous Gulf Coast hurricanes of the last 150 years; 2) Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf hurricane climatology; 3) the effects of El Niño and multi-decadal changes in the Atlantic circulation on hurricane frequency; 4) favorable/unfavorable environments for hurricane development and intensification; 5) hurricane features and structure; 6) hurricane movement and steering mechanisms; 7) coastal and inland effects from landfalling Gulf Coast hurricanes; and 8) Gulf hurricane forecasting (where will the storm go and how strong will it be at landfall). 

A half-day boat trip along much of the length of Dauphin Island is planned (weather permitting) during the last week of class to inspect the impact of recent hurricanes on this barrier island.

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Intro to Oceanography

Prerequisites: Basic Science Major

This hands-on course provides students an opportunity to learn about the physics, chemistry, geology, and biology of the ocean. Students will apply this knowledge firsthand by implementing sample collection strategies on board a research vessel during cruises on Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Through class discussion of recent oceanographic discoveries and core concepts, and learning user-friendly ocean data visualization software, this course will enable students to then interpret oceanographic data collected during their cruises and to create clear and concise presentations.

Typical data collected onboard the research vessel will include hydrographic (temperature, pH, salinity, inorganic nutrients, light intensity) and biological (phytoplankton, zooplankton) variables that are collectively processed and visualized. Students should have a laptop equipped with word processing and spreadsheet software.

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Marine Biology

Prerequisites: General Biology

A general survey of marine plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, the communities they form, and the physical and chemical factors that influence them. Field trips include marsh, seagrass, and dune habitats. Sampling from research vessels and laboratory exercises will serve to introduce students to the diversity of marine habitats and organisms. Organisms will be identified using dichotomous keys. There will be overnight field trips. Snorkeling gear will be needed. 

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Marine Botany

Prerequisites: General Biology

A general survey of marine algae (microscopic and macroscopic), as well as salt marsh vegetation, mangroves, seagrasses, and maritime forest communities. Lectures will emphasize identification, distribution, structure, ecology, and physiology. Overnight field and laboratory work is involved and may include wading and snorkeling. Snorkeling gear will be needed.

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Marine Geology

Prerequisites: Introductory Geology 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). Participation in overnight field trips is a part of this course. 

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Marine Mammals

Prerequisites: General Biology

This course will cover the evolutionary history, taxonomy/classification, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and conservation/management issues of marine mammals (cetaceans, pinnipeds, mustelids, sirenians, and the polar bear). In addition, research methods used to study marine mammals will be taught (including field and lab techniques).

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Marine Restoration Ecology

Prerequisites: One year of undergraduate introductory science (preferably including an ecology course) or consent of the instructor.

This course will provide an overview of the scientific and technical principles of marine habitat restoration. We will discuss the role of key ecological concepts in restoration, and the role of restoration in science and society. Students will identify structural and functional components of marine habitats and learn how to design restoration projects and monitoring plans that capture these key components of structure and function. Students will learn to recognize when adaptive management may be needed, and how to formulate strategies to correct or maintain the desired trajectory of restored habitats. Students will also be introduced to the interdisciplinary nature of restoration science, including social, ethical, political, and economic aspects. Lectures will be supplemented with primary literature reading assignments. Field trips will allow students to see local restoration sites and learn monitoring techniques used in various habitats (e.g., salt marsh, oyster reef, seagrass bed). This course is designed for undergraduate and graduate students. 

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Marine Vertebrate Zoology

Prerequisites: Two semesters of General Biology (or equivalent) and accompanying labs.

A survey of marine fishes, reptiles, and mammals, with an in-depth comprehensive treatment of their systematics, zoogeography, and ecology. Field and laboratory work will stress the vertebrate fauna of the northern Gulf of Mexico and most of the course will be devoted to fishes. Students completing this course will: 1) have a basic understanding of the biology, ecology, physiology, and systematics of the various marine vertebrate taxa; 2) gain experience in field and lab identification of members of the various vertebrate taxa; and 3) gain experience in collecting various marine and island vertebrate taxa.

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Biology and Conservation of Marine Turtles

Prerequisites: Introductory course in Biology

This introductory course will provide an overview of the biology and conservation of marine turtles. Topics to be covered include the identification, distribution, nesting behavior, migratory behavior, feeding ecology, population biology and genetics, developmental habitats, temperature-dependent sex determination, paleontology and conservation of marine turtles. Students will obtain a detailed knowledge of sea turtle biology; gain an understanding of why many sea turtle species have become endangered; and how proper management has allowed some populations to recover. The course will culminate with an overnight, multi-day field trip to sea turtle nesting beaches and foraging grounds in the southeastern U.S. The class will
also visit sea turtle research and rehabilitation facilities. The overnight field trip will provide students with the opportunity to observe loggerhead, green, and leatherback turtles in their natural habitats.

*Special fees apply and will be determined based on enrollment (approximately $625.00, meals not included). A trip deposit (1/2) will be due on March 06, 2021, with the remaining portion due on April 29, 2021. The fee is nonrefundable unless the class is canceled. 

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Coral Reef Biology and Ecology (March 1-May 19, 2023)

Prerequisites: 2 semesters of general biology or equivalent required, general ecology course recommended.

(4-credit hrs total) 2-credit hours for self-paced online section + 2-credit hours for field course. 

This course will explore the ecology and evolution of coral reef communities, with a view to understanding what is happening on reefs today. This 4-credit course will begin with self-paced online course lectures and activities that will be available by April 1st. The online portion can be taken alone but is required for participation in the field component.

In May, the class will travel to San Salvador in the Bahamas and stay at the Gerace Research Center (www.geraceresearchcentre.com) where we will have access to numerous coral reef and
seagrass/mangrove systems to explore and conduct short experimental projects. The field component of this course will expose students to field research techniques and specialized tools for assessing coral health and biology. Overall, we will cover energy flow across reefs, biogeochemical cycling important for continual reef development, microbial Interactions that govern the flow of carbon and nitrogen through coral reefs, and current threats from climate change.

Both the online and field course technically end on May 20, 2023 but it is encouraged that students complete the majority of the online course prior to the start of the field component. There is no assigned textbook and most readings will be research articles posted prior to the lecture.

*Special fees apply and will be determined by the number of participants in the course (approximately $1400.00 + travel expenses). Round-trip flights from Miami to San Salvador are available through Bahamas Air (approx $500 round trip). To reduce travel costs, interested students can travel with us to and from Miami (departing from DISL via van). A trip deposit (1/2 – excluding travel) is due on March 17, 2023, with the remaining portion due on April 28, 2023.

The fee is nonrefundable unless the class is canceled.

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Dolphins and Whales

Prerequisites: General Biology

This class will be an introduction to the biology of cetaceans (toothed and baleen whales). Topics covered will include evolution, taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, genetics, behavior, and conservation-related to species within this Order. Lab exercises will introduce current methods used in cetacean research.
 

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Shark and Ray Biology

Prerequisites: One course in general/organismal biology (or equivalent).

This course will provide an introduction to the biology of sharks and rays, with special emphasis on regional shark fauna and field techniques. Topics to be covered include chondrichthyan origin, systematics, sensory biology, locomotion, food consumption, osmoregulation, reproductive biology, life history, ecology, fisheries and conservation. Lectures will be supplemented with discussions of papers from the primary literature to familiarize students with current research. In addition, longline and gillnet sampling will provide students with firsthand knowledge of field techniques and local shark identification. 

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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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