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Welcome to the Department of Marine Sciences

The Department of Marine Sciences offers thesis-based M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with specialization in the areas of Biological, Chemical, Geological and Physical Oceanography. The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 29 credit units of course work and 6 credit units in thesis. The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 60 credit units of course work and 12 credit units for the dissertation. DMS theses are publication ready documents including one or more peer reviewed articles according to the academic program.

Biological Oceanography

Biological oceanography seeks to understand the life histories and population dynamics of marine organisms and how they interact with their environment over space and time. Biological oceanographers in the department utilize a variety of techniques including SCUBA, shipboard samplers, acoustics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling to understand the oceans and their inhabitants. Research is focus on: marine physiology, botany, microbiology, ichtiology invertebrates, remote sensing, molecular biology, and fisheries.

Chemical Oceanography

Chemical oceanographers seek to understand the ways in which various elements are cycled within the oceans, and the reactions that these elements undergo. Ocean chemists improve our understanding of the basic conditions under which ocean life thrives in seawater, and help predict the effects of anthropogenic and natural climate change on ocean composition. Research is based on: eutrophication, primary productivity, water gases, ocean acidification, marine contamination, and biochemical cycles.

Geological Oceanography

Geological oceanography is the study of Earth beneath the oceans. A geological oceanographer studies the topography, structure, and geological processes of the ocean floor to discover how the Earth and oceans were formed and how ongoing processes may change them in the future. Geological oceanography is one of the broadest fields in the Earth Sciences and contains many subdisciplines, including geophysics and plate tectonics, petrology and sedimentation processes, and micropaleontology and stratigraphy. Geological oceanographers study many features of the oceans such as rises and ridges, trenches, seamounts, abyssal hills, the oceanic crust, sedimentation (clastic, chemical, and biological), erosional processes, and seismicity.

Physical Oceanography

Physical oceanography involves the study of water movement in the ocean. Energy is introduced to the ocean through wind and solar heating, and these combine with the rotation of the Earth and gravitational effects to drive ocean circulation, tides, and waves. Our physical oceanographers also investigate how the Earth's oceans are directly coupled with the atmosphere, from local weather patterns to the global climate system. The research is focus on coastal structures, atmospheric, ocean turbulences, remote sensing, geophysical dynamics, surface waves mechanics, coastal sediment transport, estuarine circulation and analytical and numerical models.


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