MARINE SCIENCE (MASC)
Students will examine evidence that human activity has caused global warming, investigate scientists' ability to predict climate change, and discuss the political and social dimensions of global climate change.
Modern theories of changing weather, severe weather events, oceanic hazards, interactions between the oceans and atmosphere, and changes that are linked to human activity.
What explains the "pull of the poles"? This seminar combines a modern survey of polar oceanography with historical views of early polar explorations, as reported by the explorers themselves.
This course provides an opportunity to explore changes in marine and closely linked terrestrial environments caused by the interactions of fascinating oceanographic processes. Introductory presentations and discussions will focus on published works of active marine scientists who combine disciplinary training with knowledge and skills from other fields.
Students will develop the conceptual framework necessary to understand waves of any kind, starting from laboratory observations. Honors version available.
This course explores the natural history of several inlets, impact of human intervention, and political/policy challenges faced; includes several group projects/presentations and a field trip to a coastal inlet.
This seminar focuses on some of the most extreme microorganisms on the planet, microorganisms that thrive without oxygen, under high temperatures (e.g., in pressurized water above the boiling point), and under chemical stress factors (high sulfide and heavy metal concentrations) that were once thought to be incompatible with life.
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
Introduction to marine sciences emphasizing physical, chemical, biological, and geological phenomenon in oceanic and coastal environments. Human use of, and impact on, marine resources. Science majors should take MASC 401. Students may not receive credit for both MASC 101 and MASC 401.
In this CURE course, students will research historical physical conditions and plankton abundance on a temperate reef on the NC coast and use the information to design a common garden experiment to test the effects of projected ocean warming and decrease food availability for heterotrophy on the calcification response of temperate corals. Students must also enroll in the MASC 101 lecture.
This course examines uncertainties in projecting future fossil fuel consumption and impact on global climate by quantifying how effectively alternative power-generation and energy-storage technologies can scale to meet needs in developing and developed nations, and by understanding past and present climates.
An undergraduate seminar course that is designed to be a participatory intellectual adventure on an advanced, emergent, and stimulating topic within a selected discipline in marine sciences.
Natural processes and human impacts on estuarine systems using the Neuse River estuary as a case study. Course includes one week of intensive field work based at the Institute of Marine Sciences. A student may not receive credit for this course after receiving credit for ENEC 222.
Required preparation, one introductory geology course numbered below GEOL 202, except first-year seminar. Introduction to coastal processes, including waves, tidal currents, tectonics, climate, and human activity, and their influence on barrier islands, beaches, dunes, marshes, and estuaries. Involves a field trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
An overview of the scientific basis for global warming, current and future impacts on society, options for mitigation and adaptation, and the role of politics and the media.
Case studies in environmental change, highlighting human and environmental dynamics in terrestrial and marine ecosystems on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Includes active-learning modules, group presentations, writing assignments.
This course presents an integrated view of our planet, how it evolved during the past, why it has changed (and continues to change), and what makes Earth a habitable planet.
An exploration of the large-scale evolution of coastal environments, including relevance of geologic setting, wave and sediment transport processes, the evolution of beach and barrier island morphology, and issues of coastal environmental management.
Gives students a foundation in population biology and the ecological processes that influence populations of economically important fish and shellfish. Students will gain practical quantitative skills including statistical analyses, model development, and data visualization. Familiarity with introductory statistics concepts is preferred but not necessary.
Special topics in marine sciences for undergraduate students.
Permission of a faculty research director. Directed readings with laboratory study on a selected topic.
Permission of the instructor. Directed readings on a selected topic.
Required preparation, major in a natural science or two courses in natural sciences. Studies origin of ocean basins, seawater chemistry and dynamics, biological communities, sedimentary record, and oceanographic history. Term paper. Students lacking science background should see MASC 101. Students may not receive credit for both MASC 101 and MASC 401.
Principles of geological and related Earth systems sciences are applied to analyses of environmental phenomena. The link between the lithosphere and other environmental compartments is explored through case studies of environmental issues. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
Principles of analysis of the ocean, coast, and estuarine environments and the processes that control these environments are applied to the analysis of environmental phenomena. Case studies of environmental issues. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
This course explores principles and strategies for studying environmental phenomena, and presents methods for developing explanatory and predictive models of environmental systems, e.g., predator-prey, estuaries, greenhouse gases, and ecosystem material cycles.
What are the linkages between rivers and global change? This course examines the hydrological, geological and biogeochemical processes that control material flux from land to the oceans via rivers.
Study of wetland ecosystems with particular emphasis on hydrological functioning, the transition from terrestrial to aquatic systems, wetlands as filtration systems, and exchange between wetlands and other environments.
Permission of the instructor is required. Readings and discussions about processes in traditional "Blue Carbon" environments (marshes, sea grass beds, and mangroves) and an exploration of carbon burial in other coastal ecosystems such as floodplains and oyster reefs.
Survey of the ecological processes that structure marine communities in a range of coastal habitats. Course emphasizes experimental approaches to addressing basic and applied problems in marine systems.
This course introduces students to the physiological, morphological, and behavioral factors employed by marine organisms to cope with their physical environment. Emphasis will be placed on the response of marine organisms to environmental factors such as seawater temperature, light, water salinity, ocean acidification, etc.
Recommended preparation, BIOL 201 or 475. A survey of plants and animals that live in the sea: characteristics of marine habitats, organisms, and the ecosystems will be emphasized. Marine environment, the organisms involved, and the ecological systems that sustain them.
Restricted to junior or senior science majors or graduate students, with permission of the instructor. Seminar class focuses on the primary research literature. Physiology of marine microorganisms, microbial diversity and ecology of the marine environment, biogeochemical processes catalyzed by marine microorganisms.
Permission of the instructor. For junior and senior science majors or graduate students. Biology of marine photosynthetic protists and cyanobacteria. Phytoplankton evolution, biodiversity, structure, function, biogeochemical cycles and genomics. Harmful algal blooms, commercial products, and climate change. Three lecture/practical session hours per week.
See BIOL 475 for description.
Course material covers host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions found in marine ecosystems, including beneficial and parasitic relationships among viruses, microbes, marine animals, and humans. Limited to upper-level undergraduate science majors and graduate students.
Permission of the instructor. For junior and senior science majors and graduate students. Active learning class focused on sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of microbial genomes to identify their ecological function. Topics include sequencing technologies, genome assembly and analysis, command line, bioinformatic tools, and genes mediating microbial physiology and metabolism in natural ecosystems.
A field-intensive study of the ecology of marine organisms and their interactions with their environment, including commercially important organisms. Laboratory/recitation/field work is included and contributes two credit hours to the course.
Principles of chemistry, biology, and geology are applied to analysis of the fate and transport of materials in environmental systems, with an emphasis on those materials that form the most significant cycles. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
Required preparation, one introductory geology course. Introduction to the application of chemical principles to geological problems. Topics include thermodynamics, kinetics, and isotope geochemistry. Previously offered as GEOL 512/MASC 553.
Principles and applications of fluid dynamics to flows of air and water in the natural environment. Conservation of momentum, mass, and energy applied to lakes, rivers, estuaries, and the coastal ocean. Dimensional analysis and scaling emphasized to promote problem-solving skills.
For graduate students; undergraduate students should take ENEC 222 or have permission of the instructor. Introduction to estuarine environments: geomorphology, physical circulation, nutrient loading, primary and secondary production, carbon and nitrogen cycling, benthic processes and sedimentation. Considers human impacts on coastal systems, emphasizing North Carolina estuaries.
A cohesive examination of the human impacts on biological processes in estuarine ecosystems. Laboratory/recitation/field work is included and contributes two credit hours to the course. Taught at off-campus field station.
Recommended preparation, one introductory geology course. An integration of barrier island plant and animal ecology within the context of physical processes and geomorphological change. Emphasis on management and impact of human interference with natural processes.
A rigorous combination of field work, lab work, and colorful, original contemporary writing on the natural world will help tell the story of our many, evolving North Carolina coasts. Combining marine science and the creative literary arts, this immersive course will explore issues of change over many eras. This combination of social, cultural, and scientific observation will lead to imaginatively constructed, well-written non-fiction reportage about one of North America's most productive, compelling, and challenging regions.
Mathematical modeling of dynamic systems, linear and nonlinear. The fundamental budget equation. Case studies in modeling transport, biogeochemical processes, population dynamics. Analytical and numerical techniques; chaos theory; fractal geometry.
Required preparation, four GEOL courses or permission of the instructor. Focus is on applying GIS concepts and techniques to mining and petroleum geology, resource assessment, hydrogeology, coastal and marine geology, physical oceanography, engineering geology, and a geologic perspective on land use. Three lecture and two laboratory hours a week.
Directed readings, laboratory, and/or field study of marine science topics not covered in scheduled courses.
For graduate students; undergraduates need permission of the instructor. Investigates formation of the oceans, plate tectonics, carbonate reefs and platforms, sediment transport from the land to deep-sea fans, glacial-marine geology, marine records of changes in sea level and climate, and the evolution of barrier islands, estuaries, and deltas. Mandatory weekend field trip to the Southern Outer Banks.
For graduate students; undergraduates need permission of the instructor. Marine ecosystem processes pertaining to the structure, function, and ecological interactions of biological communities; management of biological resources; taxonomy and natural history of pelagic and benthic marine organisms. Three lecture and one recitation hours per week. Two mandatory weekend fieldtrips.
Graduate students only; undergraduates must have permission of the instructor. Overview of chemical processes in the ocean. Topics include physical chemistry of seawater, major element cycles, hydrothermal vents, geochemical tracers, air-sea gas exchange, particle transport, sedimentary processes, and marine organic geochemistry. Three lecture and two recitation hours per week.
For graduate students; undergraduates need permission of the instructor. Descriptive oceanography, large-scale wind-driven and thermohaline circulations, ocean dynamics, regional and nearshore/estuarine physical processes, waves, tides. Three lecture and one recitation hour per week.
Biogeochemical cycling explores interfaces of marine, aquatic, atmospheric, and geological sciences emphasizing processes controlling chemical distributions in sediments, fresh and salt water, the atmosphere, and fluxes among these reservoirs.
Recommended preparation, CHEM 261 or MASC 505, and one additional ENVR, GEOL, or MASC course above 400. Sources, transformations, and fate of natural organic matter in marine environments. Emphasis on interplay of chemical, biological, and physical processes that affect organic matter composition, distribution, and turnover.
The physical properties of fluids, kinematics, governing equations, viscous incompressible flow, vorticity dynamics, boundary layers, irrotational incompressible flow.
Three components: statistics and probability, time series analysis, and spatial data analysis. Harmonic analysis, nonparametric spectral estimation, filtering, objective analysis, empirical orthogonal functions.
Turbulence and transport in near-bottom boundary regions. Turbulence and mixing theory in boundary layers. Field deployment and recovery of turbulence measuring instruments. Data analysis from turbulence measurements.
Observed structure of the large-scale and mesoscale ocean circulation and its variability, based on modern observations. In-situ and remote sensing techniques, hydrographic structure, circulation patterns, ocean-atmosphere interactions.
Investigation of engineering equations for sediment transport in unidirectional flow, transport dynamics in coastal systems (waves and currents), and case studies from the literature for rivers through marine environments.
Discussion of methods and strategies for giving effective technical presentations. Topics will include seminar structure, use of visual aids, personal and professional presentation, and responding to questions.
Marine Sciences graduate students will prepare and present a seminar on an interdisciplinary topic from contemporary research in marine systems.
Focuses on biological-physical couplings that shape coastal environments (i.e. coastal 'ecomorphodynamics') and determine how these environments change with climate and land use. Environments include: barrier islands, open ocean coastlines, and tidal wetlands. Grading based on presentations, participation, and a research proposal.
Discussion of selected literature in the field of marine biology, ecology, and evolution.
Hands-on training, experience, and discussion of the application of molecular genetic tools to questions of ecology, evolution, systematics, and conservation.
An introduction to the theory and application of modeling biogeochemical processes in sediments. Diagenetic theory, numerical techniques, and examples of recently developed sediment models. Three lecture hours a week.
Momentum equations in a rotating reference frame, vorticity, potential vorticity, circulation, the shallow water model, Rossby and Kelvin waves, the Ekman layer. Three lecture hours a week.
Theories, models of large-scale dynamics of ocean circulation. Potential vorticity, quasi-geostrophy, instabilities.
Multi-disciplinary survey of circulation, sediment and biological processes operative in estuaries, on the shelf and at the shelf break.
Computational methods used in modeling oceanic circulation. Numerical solution of equations governing mass, momentum, and energy equations.
Physics of sub-mesoscale processes in the ocean. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics. Air-sea interaction. Mixing in the ocean boundary layer, convection, double diffusion. Near-inertial and high frequency internal waves. Three lecture hours a week.
Single, multistep methods for ODEs: stability regions, the root condition; stiff systems, backward difference formulas; two-point BVPs; stability theory; finite difference methods for linear advection diffusion equations.
Elliptic equation methods (finite differences, elements, integral equations); hyperbolic conservation law methods (Lax-Fiedrich, characteristics, entropy condition, shock tracking/capturing); spectral, pseudo-spectral methods; particle methods, fast summation, fast multipole/vortex methods.
Nondimensionalization and identification of leading order physical effects with respect to relevant scales and phenomena; derivation of classical models of fluid mechanics (lubrication, slender filament, thin films, Stokes flow); derivation of weakly nonlinear envelope equations. Fall.
Current models in science and technology: topics ranging from material science applications (e.g., flow of polymers and LCPs); geophysical applications (e.g., ocean circulation, quasi-geostrophic models, atmospheric vortices).
Experimental graduate level courses as offered by the Department.
Special topics courses in Marine Geology as offered by Department.
Special topics courses in Biological Oceanography as offered by Department.
Special topics courses in Physical Oceanography as offered by Department.
Special topics courses in Chemical Oceanography as offered by Department.
Special topics courses in Marine Sciences as offered by Department.