Earth Sciences

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Earth Sciences is designed specifically as a second major for students in the College of Education and Human Services interested in teaching earth science in high schools. The program is tailored to meet the earth science related objectives of high school education majors and to facilitate the timely completion of their dual requirements in the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This program is not designed to prepare students for further study in science disciplines at the graduate or professional level.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum for this major focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of the marine sciences by offering classes that give students a strong background in the earth science as well as in the sub-field of earth sciences that each student selects from the concentrations available. Students take introductory classes in chemistry, physics, biology, geosciences and the marine sciences, followed by more in-depth course work focused on the concentration selected.

Honors Program in Earth Sciences

Graduation with honors in Earth Sciences is awarded in recognition of majors who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in the Honors Program is by invitation of the faculty of the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences (GEMS). Eligibility requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses required for the major and the satisfactory completion of a three- or four-credit independent research and study course. In addition, an honors candidate must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.

Degree Offered

  • B.A. in Earth Sciences 

Contact

Kathleen M. Browne, Ph.D.
GEMS Chairperson
609-896-5408
Science and Technology Center 324C
browne@rider.edu

Program Website: GEMS
Associated Department: Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences (GEMS)

Related Programs 

Earth Sciences Major Requirements

(28-30 Foundation course credits and 22-24 Concentration course credits)

Foundation Courses 

Select one Concentration below:

Geology Concentration

Environmental Concentration

Marine Concentration


Foundation Courses

(28 - 30 credits)

CLAS General Education Curriculum
Required Foundation Courses
ENV 200Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences4
ENV 220Weather and Climate Change3
GEO 100Earth Systems Science3
or GEO 113 Environmental Geology
GEO 102Earth Materials and Processes Lab1
MAR 120Oceanography3
MAR 121Introductory Oceanography Lab1
PHY 180Astronomy3
Field experience (select one of the following:)3-4
Environmental Field Methods and Data Analysis
Introduction to Field Marine Science
The Learning and Teaching of Marine Science
Approved Geology Field Camp
Additional Required Science Courses
CHE 120Principles of Chemistry3
CHE 121Principles of Chemistry Lab1
Select one of the following:3-4
Algebra and Trigonometry
OR any MTH course at the 200 level or above
Total Credits28-30

Geology Concentration

(22-24 credits)

Elective Courses: Select six; at least four must contain a lab section22-24
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Elements of Mineralogy
Petrology and Petrography
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Structural Geology
Soil and Surficial Processes
Hydrology and Water Resources
Marine Life through Time

Environmental Concentration

(22-24 credits)

Required courses:
ENV 100Introduction to Environmental Sciences4
BIO 116Principles of Biology II4
BIO 350General Ecology4
Elective Courses: Select three; at least one course with a lab section10-12
Principles of Environmental Toxicology
Environmental Biogeochemistry
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Soil and Surficial Processes
Hydrology and Water Resources
Chemical Oceanography
Plankton Ecology
Marine Ecology
Physical Oceanography
Total Credits22-24

Marine Concentration

(22-24 credits)

Required Courses:
BIO 115Principles of Biology I4
or BIO 116 Principles of Biology II
BIO 272
272L
Intro to Marine Biology
and Marine Biology Laboratory
4
Elective Courses: Select four; at least two courses with a lab section; at least three courses at the 300-400 level14-16
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Marine Life through Time
Marine Vertebrates
Chemical Oceanography
Marine Processes and Environments: Seminar
Plankton Ecology
Marine Ecology
Physical Oceanography
Total Credits22-24

Academic Plan of Study

The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Rider students who do not declare a major during their freshman year; who change their major; or those who transfer to Rider may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation.  Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Fall SemesterCredits
CMP 120 Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric 1 3
MAR 120 Oceanography 3
MAR 121 Introductory Oceanography Lab 1
MTH 105 Algebra and Trigonometry 1 4
PHY 180 Astronomy 3
NCT 010 Freshman Seminar 0
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
CMP 125 Seminar in Writing and Research 3
GEO 100 Earth Systems Science 3
GEO 102 Earth Materials and Processes Lab 1
Social Perspectives 3
Foreign Language 3
ENV 220
Weather and Climate Change 3
or Principles of Biology II
or Principles of Biology II Lab
3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Year 2
Fall Semester
CHE 120
CHE 121
Principles of Chemistry
and Principles of Chemistry Lab
4
HIS 150 World History to 1500 3
Foreign Language 3
ENV 200 Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences 4
ENV 200L Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences Lab 0
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
One Major Concentration Requirement or Elective 3 3-4
HIS 151 World History Since 1500 3
Social Perspectives 3
Philosophical Perspectives 3
Aesthetic Perspectives: Literature 3
 Semester Credit Hours15-16
Year 3
Fall Semester
ENV 340 Environmental Field Methods and Data Analysis (Or other Major Concentration Requirement or elective) 3
One Major Concentration Requirement or Elective 3 4
Two Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours13
Spring Semester
Two Major Concentration Requirements or Electives 3 6-8
3 Elective Courses 2 9
 Semester Credit Hours15-17
Summer Semester
MAR 380
The Learning and Teaching of Marine Science (or approved Geology Field Course from another institution) 4
or Introduction to Field Marine Science
4
 Semester Credit Hours4
Year 4
Fall Semester
Two Major Concentration Requirements or Elective 3 6-8
Two - Three Elective Courses 2 6-9
 Semester Credit Hours12-17
Spring Semester
Two or Three Elective Courses 2 6-9
One to Two Major Concentration Requirements or Electives if needed 3 6-8
 Semester Credit Hours12-17
 Total Credit Hours for Graduation115-128

Note: Natural and Physical Science core requirements are included in the major.

Courses and Descriptions

ENV 100 Introduction to Environmental Sciences 4 Credits

Examines how ecosystems function, with emphasis on the interactions between biological organisms and their physical environment, and the chemical processes that govern these interactions. The impact of human populations on natural ecosystems is investigated in detail using case studies from history and current events. The laboratory provides for hands-on experiences and/or short field trips to local sites for a better understanding of many of the concepts discussed. Weekday and weekend field trips may be required. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. CLAS general education areas addressed: DP, SP, GP.

Corequisite(s): ENV 100L.

ENV 100L Introduction to Environmental Sciences Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): ENV 100.

ENV 110 Future of Natural Resources 3 Credits

In this course, students are introduced to topics in the natural sciences through studies of human exploitation of selected natural resources (e.g. water, fisheries, mineral resources, energy, etc.). The course work includes a study of the scientific process and how it can contribute to solutions to contemporary issues. Topics covered will include factors that influence real-world decisions to manage natural resources more sustainably (e.g. political, economic, ethical factors). During the three hours of class meetings each week, lecture and exercises will be integrated. Field trips will be required. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

ENV 200 Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences 4 Credits

This course introduces important statistical concepts, their application, and the usage of computer technology relevant to biological, environmental, geological, and marine problems. Students will learn various graphical and statistical techniques and how to execute them on personal computers. The curriculum emphasizes the integrated nature of these techniques and their importance to meaningful data evaluation and representation. Laboratory exercises are designed to emphasize useful solutions to problems found in many scientific disciplines using computer-based methodologies. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week.

Corequisite(s): ENV 200L.

ENV 200L Statistical and Computer Applications in the Natural Sciences Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): ENV 200.

ENV 205 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 Credits

This course introduces the computer-based concepts and skills of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It covers the basic GIS concepts, such as map characteristics and projections, spatial data models and analysis, and relational databases. It explores data sources, data quality, and metadata, as well as implementation and management of specific GIS projects. Hands-on experience with ArcGIS software is provided through a series of student exercises completed throughout the semester. Students will also be taught how to process both vector and raster data using ArcGIS software. The course is relevant for students from numerous disciplines in the natural sciences, social sciences, and business, which require the analysis and graphical representation of spatial data. Three hours of lecture per week. Note: This course is cross-listed as GLS 205. Students may not receive credit for both ENV 205 and GLS 205.

ENV 220 Weather and Climate Change 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the concepts of weather and climate change. These concepts frame a continuum from short-term or daily changes in the atmosphere (meteorology) to those changes averaged over much longer periods of time (climatology). Students will learn the fundamentals of weather forecasting, the causes of natural variation in the Earth’s climate, and the impact of human actions on the Earth’s climate. Connections will be drawn to other current issues in the Earth system, including land use change, biodiversity, and pollution. Three hours of lecture per week.

Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 or permission of instructor.

ENV 290 Directed Research and Study in Environmental Sciences 1-4 Credits

Provides an opportunity for freshman and sophomore students to gain hands-on research experience in the environmental sciences. This is an individual program of study and each student will work with a selected faculty member on a topic of mutual interest. The course consists of a combination of project meetings, supervised research, and guided readings. The focus will be on formulating research questions, designing and conducting experiments, collecting the necessary data, reviewing the scientific literature as it relates to each student’s research topic in weekly meetings with the instructor, and communicating the findings by writing a final project report.

ENV 340 Environmental Field Methods and Data Analysis 3 Credits

This course will provide students with practical experience in field methods and data analyses within the environmental sciences. The course will include advanced activities incorporating field-based exercises, GIS analyses, statistical analyses, and database management. Students will also complete an independent project focused on a relevant topic. Local field trips during lab and on weekends may be required.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 105, GEO 100, GEO 102, and ENV 100; or Permission of Instructor.

ENV 350 Principles of Environmental Toxicology 3 Credits

A comprehensive description of the important principles of toxicology, including the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of toxic substances. Target organs systems will be discussed as well as mechanisms of carcinogenesis and teratogenesis. Specific groups of toxins to be discussed include: pesticides, metals, radiation, solvents and vapors, and plant and animal toxins. Three hours of lecture per week.

Prerequisite(s): BCH 225 or CHE 211, BIO 115 or BIO 117.

ENV 375 Environmental Biogeochemistry 3 Credits

This course examines the biogeochemical interactions among various environmental components, including water, rock, soil, organisms, and atmosphere. Covered topics focus on the relation between the biosphere and changes in the Earth’s environment and atmosphere. The transfer of energy and nutrients within terrestrial ecosystems also is explored. Case studies from various examples will be used to understand ecosystem dynamics. Long-term environmental change and present-day ecosystem restoration activities are examined in the context of biotic offsets and land-use planning. The biogeochemical cycles of some environmentally sensitive compounds and elements in natural systems, such pesticides, mercury, and lead, also may be examined. Three hours of lecture per week.

Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 or GEO 113, CHE 120, CHE 121, CHE 122, CHE 123.

ENV 480 Senior Thesis 3 Credits

A senior thesis is optional for environmental science majors. However, a senior thesis is required for eligibility to graduate with honors in environmental science. The topic for investigation will be chosen by the student in consultation with the faculty of the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences. The student must initiate consideration of a proposal to the Department. The proposal must contain a discussion of the proposed project and a timetable to be followed in the study. A departmental committee consisting of a major and minor advisor will evaluate the written paper submitted at the conclusion of the study. An oral presentation before the department at the conclusion of the semester in which the study is completed is required. Proposals must be submitted in final form no later than the end of the ninth week of the semester prior to the semester in which the study is undertaken.

Prerequisite(s): senior standing in the geosciences major and permission of instructor.

ENV 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Immerses the student in field or laboratory research. The student learns to organize material, use the literature, make precise measurements, and obtain reproducible data. If possible, the student will publish the results or present them at a scientific meeting.

ENV 491 Internship in Environmental Sciences 1-4 Credits

A supervised work experience in an approved organization where qualified students gain real-world knowledge and utilize their academic training in a professional environment. Placements may be in private, public, non-profit, or governmental organizations. These can include consulting firms, regulatory agencies, advocacy groups, and educational or research institutions. Normally, 50 hours of internship per credit is required. A mutually agreed upon method of evaluation will be formalized prior to the approval of the internship by the sponsoring faculty and could include a term paper or project report and a poster presentation.

Prerequisite(s): 2.5 GPA and permission of instructor.

GEO 100 Earth Systems Science 3 Credits

Investigates the major global processes that occur on Earth. These processes can be grouped into four major systems: atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and cosmosphere. Each system interacts with and affects the other systems creating, in a sense, a single Earth process. With this approach, the student will view the Earth as a whole, and understand that the many seemingly separate components that make up this planet are, in fact, a set of interacting processes, that operate in cycles through time, within a single global system. Three hours of lecture per week. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

GEO 102 Earth Materials and Processes Lab 1 Credits

This lab course introduces students to the origin, identification, and significance of geologic materials, processes, and landforms. Hands-on experiences with mineral and rock specimens, topographic and geologic maps, and GPS and other data collection techniques are emphasized, along with field trip and in-lab observations, measurements, and interpretations. One three-hour lab per week.

Prerequisite(s): concurrent enrollment in, or prior completion of, GEO 100 or GEO 113 is required.

GEO 102SP Earth Materials and Processes Lab 1 Credits

This lab course introduces students to the origin, identification, and significance of geologic materials, processes, and landforms. Hands-on experiences with mineral and rock specimens, topographic and geologic maps, and GPS and other data collection techniques are emphasized, along with field trip and in-lab observations, measurements, and interpretations. One three-hour lab per week. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

Prerequisite(s): concurrent enrollment in, or prior completion of, GEO 100 or GEO 113 is required.

GEO 113 Environmental Geology 3 Credits

Examines the fundamental premise that “society exists by geologic consent subject to change without notice” by studying a number of important global geologic processes and cycles, and the hazards and/or resources they present to individuals, societies, and the natural environment. Topics discussed include earthquakes, volcanism, stream flooding, coastal erosion, global climate change, and global water, soil, mineral, and energy resources. Cost/benefit considerations, hazard mitigation concepts, economic and political ramifications, and interactions among the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere also are presented. The course is designed to give non-science majors a deeper appreciation and understanding of the basic scientific concepts involved, as well as individual and societal connections to the global geologic environment, leading to better, more informed business, political, policy, and personal decisions. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum. Note: This course is cross-listed as GLS 113. Students may not get credit for both GEO 113 and GLS 113.

GEO 168 Mesozoic Ruling Reptiles 3 Credits

This course provides an introduction to the vertebrate groups that dominated the land (Dinosaurs), the seas (Mosasaurs, Plesiosaurs, Pliosaurs, Tylosaurs, and Ichthyosaurs) and the skies (Pterosaurs, Pterdactyls) during the Mesozoic Era (65-250 million years ago). Students study the diversity of skeletal architectures and their reconstructed function and the often controversial, inferred anatomy, physiology, reproductive strategy, habit, and social behaviors of these animals that are different from mainstream reptiles, birds, and mammals. They also learn about the paleogeographical, and paleoclimatological conditions that facilitated the evolutionary rise to dominance and diversification of these vertebrate groups and the debated causes of their eventual extinction. These topics also serve to illustrate how the scientific approach works and how competing hypotheses are evaluated. Three hours of lecture per week. Weekend field trips may be required.. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

GEO 290 Directed Research and Study in Geosciences 1-4 Credits

Directed Research and Study in Geosciences will provide an opportunity for freshman and sophomore students to gain hands-on research experience in the geosciences. This is an individual program of study and each student will work with a selected faculty member on a topic of mutual interest. The course consists of a combination of project meetings, supervised research, and guided readings. The focus will be on formulating research questions, designing and conducting experiments, collecting the necessary data, reviewing the scientific literature as it relates to each student’s research topic in a weekly meetings with the instructor, and communicating the findings by writing a final project report.

GEO 304 Elements of Mineralogy 4 Credits

This course examines the physical properties, chemistry, atomic structure, crystallography, uses, and environmental impacts of important minerals found in the Earth’s lithosphere and biosphere. In addition, lab assignments and exercises emphasize crystal symmetry and chemistry; polarizing microscope, ICP, SEM, and x-ray analytical techniques; the graphical display and interpretation of compositional data; optical properties of isotropic and uniaxial minerals; and the identification of mineral hand specimens. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. At least one weekend field trip required. Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 or GEO 113, and GEO 102, and CHE 120, CHE 121 taken prior or concurrently; or permission of instructor.

Corequisite(s): GEO 304L.

GEO 304L Mineralogy Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): GEO 304.

GEO 305 Petrology and Petrography 4 Credits

The origin, evolution, and terrestrial distribution of igneous and metamorphic rocks are presented and detailed. Classroom lectures and discussions emphasize rock geochemistry, mineralogic variability, the constraints placed on petrogenetic models by physio-chemical studies of natural and synthetic systems, and the relation of the various rock types to current plate tectonic theory and other whole-earth processes. The laboratory emphasizes the continuing development of optical microscopy skills, the identification of rock texture and mineralogy in thin section and hand specimen, the optical determination of mineral composition, and the recognition of possible petrogenetic processes as recorded in the rocks themselves. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Two weekend field trips required. Prerequisite(s): GEO 304, and CHE 122 and CHE 123 or taken prior or concurrently; or permission of instructor.

Corequisite(s): GEO 305L.

GEO 305L Petrology and Petrography Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): GEO 305.

GEO 306 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 4 Credits

The principles of weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition of sediment are the focus of this course. Sediment characteristics are examined to identify the processes involved in transporting grains and the specific environment in which the grains were deposited. Students will learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret sedimentary data and how to interpret surface and subsurface stratigraphic data using various techniques, such as lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, and geophysical, correlations. Field trips will expose students to different sedimentary environments and provide opportunities for students to learn how to conduct fieldwork. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Weekend field trips may be required. Prerequisite(s): GEO 100.

Corequisite(s): GEO 306L.

GEO 306L Sedimentology and Stratigraphy Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): GEO 306.

GEO 310 Structural Geology 4 Credits

The origin, distinguishing characteristics, and geographic distribution of deformational structures of the Earth’s crust. In the laboratory, GPS, GIS, geologic maps, and three-dimensional problems are used in the study of typical surface and subsurface geologic problems. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Weekday and/or weekend field trips may be required. Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 or GEO 113, GEO 102.

Corequisite(s): GEO 310L.

GEO 310L Structural Geology Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): GEO 310.

GEO 350 Soil and Surficial Processes 4 Credits

This course examines the physical, chemical, hydrological, and biological aspects of soil and their relation to geomorphologic development. Specific topics include descriptions of soil texture and structures, soil classification, soil colloids, soil redox and pH, and their effect on vadose zone water chemistry. Soil genesis and erosion controls, microbiology/ecology, nutrient cycles, and modern soil pollution from sludge and pesticide applications, as well as domestic and industrial chemical spills, also are discussed. The lab portion of the course introduces the basic techniques of soil analysis, both physical and chemical, and field survey methods. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 or GEO 113, and GEO 102.

Corequisite(s): GEO 350L.

GEO 350L Soil and Surficial Processes Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): GEO 350.

GEO 407 Hydrology and Water Resources 4 Credits

This course introduces the principles that govern both surface water and groundwater flows that have applications to societal water needs. Surface water topics cover the basics of the hydrologic cycle, the processes of precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff, and infiltration, and various factors affecting water supply and water quality issues in a modern watershed. Groundwater topics examine the principles that govern flow through a porous medium and the basics of well hydraulics under different pumping conditions that community development requires. Laboratory exercises will give students hands-on experience with the delineation of watersheds, analysis of precipitation data, and flow contaminant transport modeling. The field portion of the laboratory includes runoff and stream discharge measurements, as well as hydraulic conductivity estimations from both slug and pumping tests. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 or GEO 113, GEO 102, and MTH 105.

Corequisite(s): GEO 407L.

GEO 407L Hydrology and Water Resources Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): GEO 407.

GEO 480 Senior Thesis 3 Credits

A senior thesis is optional for geosciences majors. However, a senior thesis is required for eligibility to graduate with honors in geosciences. The topic for investigation will be chosen by the student in consultation with the faculty of the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences. The student must initiate consideration of a proposal to the Department. The proposal must contain a discussion of the proposed project and a timetable to be followed in the study. A departmental committee consisting of a major and minor advisor will evaluate the written paper submitted at the conclusion of the study or other approved venue. An oral presentation before the department at the conclusion of the semester in which the study is completed is required. Proposals must be submitted in final form no later than the end of the ninth week of the semester prior to the semester in which the study is undertaken.

Prerequisite(s): senior standing in the geosciences major and permission of instructor.

GEO 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Immerses the student in field or laboratory research. The student learns to organize material, use the literature, make precise measurements, and obtain reproducible data. If possible, the student will publish the results or present them at a scientific meeting.

GEO 491 Internship in Geosciences 1-4 Credits

A supervised work experience in an approved organization where qualified students gain real-world knowledge and utilize their academic training in a professional environment. Placements may be in private, public, non-profit, or governmental organizations. These can include consulting firms, regulatory agencies, advocacy groups, and educational or research institutions. Normally, 50 hours of internship per credit is required. A mutually agreed upon method of evaluation will be formalized prior to the approval of the internship by the sponsoring faculty and could include a term paper or project report and a poster presentation.

Prerequisite(s): 2.5 GPA and permission of instructor.

MAR 120 Oceanography 3 Credits

In this course, students will investigate the geological, chemical, physical, and biological processes that shape the ocean. Emphasis will be placed on how these processes interact with each other and with human populations. These interactions influence important global phenomena that impact all our lives, including weather and climate, the distribution of marine organisms and other natural resources, and coastal processes. Understanding these phenomena will enable students to make more informed decisions and contribute to serious global marine issues. Students will learn through a combination of hands-on exercises designed to foster a deeper understanding of the scientific content as well as the scientific process, practical experiences with real data, readings, and some lectures. CLAS general education areas addressed: DP & GP.

MAR 121 Introductory Oceanography Lab 1 Credits

This lab course introduces students to the fundamental aspects of geological, chemical, physical and biological oceanography. Students learn through inquiry-based, hands-on exercises and activities using actual data collected in the lab and in the field. Independent projects and local field trips during lab and on weekends may be required. One three-hour lab per week. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

Corequisite(s): MAR 120 or GLS 120 or as prerequisite(s).

MAR 210 Marine Life through Time 4 Credits

Survey of the important developments in marine life over the last three billion years from the Pre-Cambrian evolution of one-celled organisms, through the Cambrian explosion of complex marine invertebrate life and subsequent diversification of backboned organisms in the Ordovician time, to the colonization of marginal marine and freshwater habitats in the Silurian-Devonian geological periods, and ultimately to extinctions during global crises of the late Devonian, Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous, and Pleistocene time intervals. The emphasis is on evolutionary adaptive breakthroughs within each phylum, particularly the significant morphological and anatomical innovations, and the subsequent radiation of these higher taxa into new habitats and niches through geologic time. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week.

Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 & GEO 102; or GEO 113 & GEO 102 (can be signed in to take 102 with 113); or BIO 115; or BIO 116; or permission of instructor.

MAR 210L Marine Life through Time Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course. Corequisite(s): MAR 210.

Prerequisite(s): GEO 100 & GEO 102; or GEO 113 & GEO 102 (can be signed in to take 102 with 113); or BIO 115; or BIO 116; or permission of instructor.

MAR 290 Directed Research and Study in Marine Sciences 1-4 Credits

Provides an opportunity for freshman and sophomore students to gain hands-on research experience in the marine sciences. This is an individual program of study and each student will work with a selected faculty member on a topic of mutual interest. The course consists of a combination of project meetings, supervised research, and guided readings. The focus will be on formulating research questions, designing and conducting experiments, collecting the necessary data, reviewing the scientific literature as it relates to each student’s research topic in a weekly meetings with the instructor, and communicating the findings by writing a final project report.

MAR 300 Introduction to Field Marine Science 4 Credits

In this two-week field course, students will explore various topics in marine science through practical, hands-on, inquiry-based exercises and activities. The course will focus on the biological, geological, chemical, and physical processes that influence diverse marine flora and fauna found in selected marine environments, emphasizing shallow subtidal and intertidal environments such as coral reefs, sandy beaches, turtle grass beds, rocky intertidal pools, coastal wetlands, mangrove swamps, etc. Topics will be examined using field team exercises, a group mapping project, and individual research projects. Activities will help students develop their skills in research, use of field and laboratory equipment, computer analysis of data, and scientific writing, along with gaining content knowledge about the components and processes of environments studied. The course is taught at an appropriate marine field station at a U.S. or international location. Field portion of course is completed during the summer. Additional travel costs vary, depending on location.

Prerequisite(s): BIO 115 or 116 or any 200 or higher level lab science class; and MAR 120; and permission of instructor.

MAR 325 Marine Vertebrates 4 Credits

A survey of the biology of marine vertebrate animals, including fish (jawless fish, sharks, rays, and bony fish), reptiles (sea turtles and sea snakes), sea birds, and mammals (manatees, seals, and whales). The evolution, physiology, natural history, ecological relationships, and human interactions of these groups are emphasized. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Field trips may be required. Prerequisite(s): BIO 272 and BIO 272L.

Corequisite(s): MAR 325L.

MAR 325L Marine Vertebrates Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): MAR 325.

MAR 330 Chemical Oceanography 4 Credits

Introduction to the chemical aspects of the oceans and their influence on marine ecosystems and Earth processes. Emphasis is placed on chemical and physical properties of seawater, atmosphere-ocean interactions, biogeochemical cycles with marine components, production and destruction of marine organic matter, chemical ecology, and marine pollution. During the lab portion of this course, students gain hands-on experience in analyzing ocean water samples, experimental design, and interpreting marine chemical data. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Weekend field trips and independent projects may be required. Prerequisite(s): CHE 120, CHE 121, MAR 120, and MAR 121; or permission of instructor.

Corequisite(s): MAR 330L.

MAR 330L Chemical Oceanography Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): MAR 330.

MAR 340 Marine Processes and Environments: Seminar 3 Credits

This course is designed as a seminar course. Therefore, students will learn to lead class discussions, to analyze and critique peer-reviewed journal articles, and to enhance their presentation skills. Students will interpret graphical, spatial, and numerical data to support their positions. Content will emphasize the interactions among marine processes, biological features, and geologic landforms.

Prerequisite(s): MAR 120 or GEO 100; GEO 306.

MAR 360 Plankton Ecology 4 Credits

Examines the diversity, physiology, and ecology of marine phytoplankton and zooplankton. Students will survey the dominant plankton groups, their distribution, nutritional requirements, growth kinetics, and behavior. Planktonic predator/prey interactions and food web dynamics will be discussed. Students will also examine the interdisciplinary nature and role of plankton in biogeochemical cycles. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Weekend field trips may be required. Prerequisite(s): MAR 120 and MAR 121; or BIO 116.

Corequisite(s): MAR 360L.

MAR 360L Plankton Ecology Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): MAR 360.

MAR 380 The Learning and Teaching of Marine Science 4 Credits

This field-based course provides a practical experience in integrating marine science with pedagogical concepts. Students will use scientific methodology to explain marine ecosystems through specially designed, inquiry-based exercises. During these activities, students will address the process of applying college-level content to their own classroom settings, considering national and state standards. Hands-on, field-based exercises will provide experience with a diversity of marine habitats and the biological, geological, hydrological, and physical processes that influence them. Visited habitats can include rocky intertidal, salt marsh, tidal flat, beach and channel sand bars. As a result, students will develop field and laboratory skills in marine science and use them in designing materials for their own classroom use.

MAR 401 Marine Ecology 4 Credits

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to fundamental principles in ecology, as it relates to marine systems. Topics include the marine environment and its influence on the organisms living there; biodiversity and speciation; factors regulating population dynamics in marine systems; larval and fisheries ecology; species interactions such as predation, competition, and symbiosis; factors regulating productivity and energy flow in marine systems; and marine conservation. Hands-on laboratory exercises will provide students with the opportunity to design and conduct experiments related to marine ecology, and to collect, analyze, and interpret data from those experiments. Ecosystem modeling will also be introduced. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Weekend field trips may be introduced. Prerequisite(s): BIO 272, BIO 272L.

Corequisite(s): MAR 401L.

MAR 401L Marine Ecology Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): MAR 401.

MAR 410 Physical Oceanography 3 Credits

Introduction to the physical aspects and processes of the oceans and their influence on marine ecosystems and Earth processes. Topics include distribution of salinity and water temperature and their effect on water movement, the oceanic heat budget, atmospheric and oceanic interactions, ocean currents including surface and deep water circulation, waves, tides, and medium- to small-scale circulation features. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on how these physical processes affect the biology and chemistry of the ocean. Three hours of lecture per week. Weekend field trips may be required.

Prerequisite(s): MAR 120.

MAR 480 Senior Thesis 3 Credits

A senior thesis is optional for marine sciences majors. However, a senior thesis is required for eligibility to graduate with honors in marine sciences. The topic for investigation will be chosen by the student in consultation with the faculty of the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences. The student must initiate consideration of a proposal to the Department. The proposal must contain a discussion of the proposed project and a timetable to be followed in the study. A departmental committee consisting of a major and minor advisor will evaluate the written paper submitted at the conclusion of the study or other approved venue. An oral presentation before the department at the conclusion of the semester in which the study is completed is required. Proposals must be submitted in final form no later than the end of the ninth week of the semester prior to the semester in which the study is undertaken.

Prerequisite(s): senior standing in the marine sciences major and permission of department chair.

MAR 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Immerses the student in field or laboratory research. The student learns to organize material, use the literature, make precise measurements, and obtain reproducible data. If possible, the student will publish the results or present them at a scientific meeting.

MAR 491 Internship in Marine Sciences 1-4 Credits

A supervised work experience in an approved organization where qualified students gain real-world knowledge and utilize their academic training in a professional environment. Placements may be in private, public, non-profit, or governmental organizations. These can include consulting firms, regulatory agencies, advocacy groups, and educational or research institutions. Normally, 50 hours of internship per credit is required. A mutually agreed upon method of evaluation will be formalized prior to the approval of the internship by the sponsoring faculty and could include a term paper or project report and a poster presentation.

Prerequisite(s): 2.5 GPA and permission of instructor.

MAR 580 Independent Marine Science Field Study 4 Credits

This field-based course provides a practical experience in integrating marine science with pedagogical concepts. Students will use scientific methodology to explain marine ecosystems through specially designed, inquiry-based exercises. During these activities, students will address the process of applying college-level content to their own classroom settings, considering national and state standards. Hands-on, field-based exercises will provide experience with a diversity of marine habitats and the biological, geological, hydrological, and physical processes that influence them. Visited habitats can include rocky intertidal, salt marsh, tidal flat, beach and channel sand bars. As a result, students will develop field and laboratory skills in marine science and use them in designing materials for their own classroom use.