Courses Offered by the Department
Current and Recent Class Schedules
Seminar course to introduce new GES majors to the research interests of GES faculty and the
research facilities available within SOEST. Restricted to GES majors. CR/NC only. Fall only.
Scientific approach to evaluating human-caused environmental challenges and their potential solutions. Open to non-majors. A-F only. Spring only.
Structure, formation, and features of ocean basins: seawater
properties, and distributions; currents; waves; tides;
characteristics of marine organisms; marine ecological principles;
man and the sea. Field trip required.
Experiments, computer exercises and field trips demonstrating the geological, physical, chemical and biological principles of earth
and ocean sciences. A-F only. Co-requisite OCN 201.
Global environmental change problems such as carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, acid rain, chlorofluorocarbons and the ozone layer, global deforestation and the effect on climate, etc. Pre: one environmentally oriented science course; or consent.
(Cross-listed with MET 310)
Instructor: David Ho
Co-Instructor: Kevin Weng
Laboratory course to supplement OCN 310. Quantitative aspects of
global environmental change will be addressed through
problem-solving and computer modeling. A-F only. Pre: MATH
242, PHYS 170, PHYS 170 L, CHEM 161/161L, and OCN/MET/OEST 310; or consent. Fall only. (Cross-listed as MET 310L
and OEST 310L)
Mathematical methods of geologic and geophysical science. Emphasis on
application to earth-science problems using linear algebra, vector
calculus, ordinary differential equations, and numerical solutions.
Pre: MATH 242 or consent. (Cross-listed as GG 312)
Introduction to philosophy of science for those with some background in the natural sciences. Special emphasis on issues
arising from the construction and use of models. Pre: any course 200 or above in PHIL or any course 200 or above with either DB or DP
designation, or consent. Alt. years: spring. (Cross-listed as PHIL 315)
320 Aquatic Pollution (3)
Pollution of freshwater and marine systems by human activities. Causes, consequences, and correctives. Pre: OCN 201 or consent.
Instructor Eric DeCarlo
Instructor James Cowen (PDF)
Hard mineral and petroleum origins, exploration and
exploitation. Renewable and non-renewable resources distribution.
Political and scientific constraints. Pre: OCN 201, ORE 202; or consent (Cross-listed as ORE 330).
Marine fisheries, aquaculture, and law of the sea. Principles of
management of renewable resources. Political and scientific
constraints and limitations.
Combined lecture, discussion, and laboratory course on Global Earth System databases and satellite instrumentation, including
computer laboratory. A-F only. Pre: OCN 310, 310L and MATH 244; or consent.
395 Undergraduate Internship (V)
Experiential approach to earth science; students serve as interns to field professionals; responsibilities include supervised field work. Open to Undergraduate SOEST majors only. Repeatable once. Credit/no credit only. Pre: Junior/ Senior standing and consent.
399 Directed Reading (V)
Directed reading in earth system science, oceanography, or environmental science. A-F or CR/NC grading option. Pre: consent.
Relationship of biogeochemical cycles in the atmosphere,
lithosphere, and biosphere to global chemical cycles and planetary
climatic conditions. GES degree foundation and capstone course. A-F only. Pre:
OCN 201, OCN/MET/OEST 310/310L, BIOL 172/172L, CHEM 162/162L,
GG 101/101L, MATH 241, MATH 243 & 252A, MATH 373
(or ECON 321), MET 200, PHYS 170/170L, and PHYS
272/272L; or consent. Fall only.
Marine functional genomics, biodiversity of marine natural habitats, marine microbial communities and their ecological functions, interactions of marine microbes and their host, climate change and marine biodiversity, marine biotechnology. A-F only. Pre: OCN 201 or MICR 130, or consent. Spring only. (Cross-listed as MBBE 405).
Sediments, structure, geophysics, geochemistry, and history of ocean basins and margins. Pre: GG 200 or 302; or consent (Cross-listed as
430 Introduction to Deep-Sea Biology (3)
Biology and ecology of deep-sea organisms and communities. Topics including bentho-pelagic coupling, depth zonation, energetics, diversity, adaptations, hydrothermal vents, seamounts, abyssal plains, deep-sea resource extraction and global climate change. A-F only. Pre: OCN 201 and BIOL 265, or consent. (Alt. years)
435 Climate Change and Urbanization (3)
How are cities impacted by, and impacting climate change? How do urbanization, alteration of atmospheric processes, and extreme weather events affect urban systems and populations? These topics will be addressed in this course. Pre: OCN 363 or consent. Fall only.
444 Plate Tectonics (3) (2 Lecture, 1 3-hour Lab)
Quantitative geometrical analysis techniques of plate tectonics theory; instantaneous and finite rotation poles; triple-junction
analysis; plate boundary stresses. Pre: GG 200 or consent.
(Cross-listed as GG 444). (Alt. years)
Theory and practice of aquaculture: reproduction, yield trials, management, economics, and business case studies of fish,
crustaceans, and molluscs. Field classes held at commercial farm and hatchery. Pre: ANSC 321 and ANSC 445; or BIOL 172/172L and CHEM 162/162L or higher. (Cross-listed as ANSC 450).
Combined lecture and discussion course examining biological and physical interactions in the oceans and their impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems. GES majors only. A-F only. Pre: 201, 201L, 310/310L, and PHYS 272/272L; or consent. (Alt. years)
Lecture/discussion to provide instruction and experience in oral and written presentation of scientific results and material. Registration limited to GES majors in their final semester. A-F only. Repeatable once. Pre: consent.
496 Topics in Global Environmental Science (V)
Lecture and discussion or seminar. Current topics in environmental science explored in detail. Typically offered by faculty in their specialties, or developed in response to student interest. Pre: consent.
499 Undergraduate Thesis (3)
Directed research course in which the student carries out a
scientific project of small to moderate scope with one or more
chosen advisors. The student must complete a document in the style
of a scientific journal article. Repeatable once. Pre: consent.
Introduction to properties of sea water, oceanographic instruments and methods, heat budget, general ocean circulation,
regional oceanography, waves, tides, sea level. Repeatable once. Pre:
MATH 242 (or concurrent), or consent.
Factors governing productivity, population dynamics,
distribution of organisms in major ecosystems of the ocean, emphasis on ecology of pelagic zone. Pre: consent.
Marine geological processes, ocean basin structure and tectonics, sedimentation. Pre: GG 101 or consent.
Chemical processes occurring in marine waters; why they occur and how they affect the oceanic environment. Pre: CHEM 171 or consent.
625 Aquatic Photosynthesis (3)
Biochemical and biophysical concepts of photosynthesis. Application and interpretation of ecological processes of photosynthesis in aquatic systems. Open to non-majors. A-F only. Spring only. Pre: consent.
Distribution, abundance and ecology of marine microplankton, including bacteria, algae and protozoans, with an emphasis on
metabolic rates and processes. Fall only. Pre: consent.
Ecology of pelagic animals including feeding, energetics, predation, and anti-predation tactics, life-history strategies,
vertical flux of materials, population dynamics, fisheries. Spring only. Pre: consent.
Processes controlling the structure and function of benthic communities, including organism-sediment-flow interactions, sediment
geochemistry, feeding strategies, recruitment, succession and population interactions. Pre: consent.
Molecular methods for studying marine functional ecology; emphasis on hands-on tools for ecological and biogeochemical processes of microbes; developing practical skills for research project in marine microbial ecology and biological oceanography. A-F only. Pre: 403, 626, 627 or 628, or consent. Fall only.
Biology and ecology of deep-sea organisms and communities. Topics including bentho-pelagic coupling, depth zonation, energetics, diversity, adaptations, hydrothermal vents, seamounts, abyssal plains, deep-sea resource extraction and global climate change. A-F only. Pre: consent. Fall only and once every other year.
Distribution, origin, processes of formation. Sulfides, oxides and placer minerals. Comparative studies of continental ore bodies.
Submarine rift subduction and abduction. Pre: one of OCN 622 or 623, GG 407, 430 or 603.
Current methods of analysis used in the ocean sciences, both in the field and in the laboratory. An ocean-going field trip provides students with hands-on training in sample collection and processing. The latter is followed by laboratory analysis of the collected samples throughout the remainder of the semester. Pre: BIOL 171, CHEM 161, & GG 101 or consent.
Application of stable and unstable isotope tracers in studying geochemical processes and their rates in the sea. Pre: CHEM 162,
MATH 241 or MATH 251A.
637 Aquatic Microbial Geochemistry (3)
The synergy between the biogeochemistry of element cycling and the microbial organisms involved, interfacing across disciplines from the perspective of a practical blend of aquatic chemistry, microbiology, biogeochemistry, and molecular biology. Pre: OCN 623 or consent.
Global view of the planet and how it functions as an integrated unit. Biogeochemical processes, dynamics, and cycles, and analysis of natural and human-induced environmental change. Chemical history of ocean-atmosphere-sediment system and co-evolution of the biota. Repeatable one time. Pre: BS in environmentally related science or one year of chemistry, physics, and calculus. (Cross-listed as GG 638).
Application of the scientific method; physical regimes in the ocean; ocean processes and observational strategies; resolution, sampling, array design and observing systems; models and data assimilation; major field programs; operational oceanography and climate prediction. [For more information, click here.] Pre: OCN 620 and consent.
Environment of deposition and subsequent disgenesis of modern and ancient sediments. Petrogenesis of siliciclastic, carbonate and
orthochemical rocks. Sedimentology, sedimentary petrography and
geochemistry. Repeatable once. Pre: consent (Cross-listed as GG 641).
642 Elemental Composition Changes (3)
Changes in the chemical composition of meteorites, bulk Earth, Earth's mantle and crust, sedimentary rocks, hydrosphere and
biosphere, and underlying principles. Pre: consent. (Cross-listed as GG 642).
643 Topics in Marine Geochemistry (3)
Seminar on a broad topic; discussion and critique of research
papers. Repeatable once. Pre: OCN 623 or consent.
Geochemical thermodynamics and kinetics and their use in
interpreting the origin of sediments, sedimentary rocks, and natural
waters over a range of pressure-temperature conditions. Pre: CHEM
171, PHYS 152, MATH 242; or consent (Cross- listed as GG 644).
650 Mathematical Techniques for Oceanographers (5) (3 Lectures and 2 3-hour Labs)
Introduction to numerical methods, data analysis, error propagation, box models, linear and nonlinear least squares,
perturbation theory, numerical integration. Pre MATH 244 or MATH 253A.
Basic wave concepts and survey of ocean wave types; simple harmonic oscillator, free and forced modes of vibration, Green's function; general wave concepts: plane waves, phase propagation, standing waves, normal modes, energy conservation, group velocity, forcing; hydrodynamic equations for homogeneous ocean; gravity waves, dispersion, diffraction, refraction; rotation effects; boundary effects: reflection, basins, trapping; tides; vorticity conservation. Pre: MATH 402 or consent.
Baroclinic gravity waves, inertial waves, mid-latitude Rossby waves, topographic waves, equatorial waves. Pre: 660 or consent.
Introduction to classical hydrodynamics and continuum mechanics. Techniques for solution of Navier-Stokes equations on various scales
of oceanic motion; potential theory, dynamic modeling, and viscous and rotational processes. Pre: MATH 403 or consent.
Observations and theory of small-scale processes which couple the atmosphere and ocean boundary layers, including introduction
to turbulence theory and parameterization of turbulent fluxes. [For more information, click here.] Pre: MATH 402 and 403 (or their equivalent) and either OCN
620 or MET 600; or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as MET 665)
Lecture/seminar introduces physical oceanography and meteorology students to the state-of-the-art theories and observations of large-scale ocean-atmosphere interaction, as well as conveying the fundamental understanding that has been developed during the past 30 years. Emphasis will be on phenomena such as El Nino/Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and global climate change. Repeatable one time. [For more information, click here.] Pre: OCN 620 or MET 600; or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as MET 666)
Basic concepts and equations to describe large-scale ocean circulation; numerical models; boundary layers; models of wind
driven circulation of a homogenous ocean. Pre: OCN 620, 662 or consent.
Thermodynamics of stratified fluids; convection; mixing; models of the thermohaline circulation; the role of eddies in the
large-scale ocean circulation. Pre: OCN 667 or consent.
Study of the paleoceanographic and paleoclimate evolution of the Earth's oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere. Repeatable one time. Pre: consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as GG 674).
Combined lecture/discussion examining biological and physical interactions in the oceans and their impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems. A-F only. Pre: previous course in Marine Science, or consent. (Alt. years).
Introduction to modeling biological and physical oceanic processes by building a coupled model of the Pacific to investigate physical effects on biological production. Students will learn biological-physical dynamics, basic numerical methods, and Matlab programming. A-F only. Pre: OCN 620, 621, or consent. (Alt. years).
699 Directed Research (V)
Credit/no credit only. Pre: consent.
700 Thesis Research (V)
Research for master's thesis. Repeatable unlimited times.
750 Topics in Biological Oceanography (V)
Seminar. Literature and concepts in one of several active fields considered in detail. Repeatable up to 12 credits. Pre: consent.
Current courses under this category are:
760 Topics in Physical Oceanography (V)
Near-shore processes, advanced mathematical techniques, recent developments, etc. Typically given by visiting professors in their specialties, or in response to student interest. Specialized and topical courses in Physical Oceanography.
Current courses under this category are:
770 Seminar in Chemical Oceanography (1)
Current topics in Chemical Oceanography.
Oceanographic topics of current interest. Repeatable unlimited times.
791 Proposal Development (2)
Introduction to the organization and functioning of oceanography funding agencies, the peer-review process, and the design and
development of a research proposal. Repeatable once. CR/NC only. Pre: two of the following: 621, 626, 627 (or concurrent), or 628 (or
concurrent); or consent.
800 Dissertation Research (V)
Research for doctoral dissertation. Repeatable unlimited times.
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