Courses

All students in the School of Marine Science begin with the core curriculum in Marine Sciences. Successful completion of the core curriculum ensures that students achieve a broad understanding of the essential processes that define oceanic, coastal, and estuarine environments. Students are expected to build upon this foundation by pursuing specialized and advanced courses tailored to the needs of their individual research projects. Upper-level lecture and seminar courses related to the student's area of specialization are selected in consultation with the student's advisor and committee.

Courses relevant to the Department of Aquatic Health Sciences disciplines include:

MSCI 501E - Fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology and Pathobiology. Fall (2) W. Vogelbein 
This course emphasizes ongoing and emerging environmental concerns in the Chesapeake Bay and world ocean. Lectures will address basic concepts and mechanisms of contaminant chemistry and toxicology, infectious and noninfectious diseases in aquatic organisms. Case histories will be used to illustrate sources, fate and effects of anthropogenic chemical contaminants, and the important role of environmental change on disease in marine and estuarine ecosystems. [top]


MSCI 504 - Fundamentals of Statistical Methods and Data Analysis. Spring (4) M. Newman 
In this course, students are introduced to the fundamental statistical methods commonly used for analysis of biological and ecological data. Topics include describing data, probability distributions, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, elementary experimental design, analysis of variance, and regression and correlation. The introductory aspects of categorical data analysis and multivariate techniques will also be covered. Course content will be integrated with a weekly laboratory session using the statistical computing language R. [top]


MSCI 515B - Aquatic Health Sciences Departmental Seminar. Fall and Spring (1) Staff Graded Pass/Fail 
The departmental seminar course offers a multidisciplinary review of significant areas of marine science. Guest speakers will present a variety of views, and course participants will organize and present talks related to the seminar theme. Students may repeat seminar registration as required by their respective departments; however, only two (2) credits will be applicable to an SMS degree. [top]


MSCI 530 - Microbial Processes in a Changing Coastal Environment. Fall (2) I. Anderson, K. Reece
The course will address current topics and societal concerns in coastal and estuarine systems including microbial responses to eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, nutrient enrichment, and roles of bivalve-dominated systems, marshes, seagrasses, groundwater, and photic sediments on microbial nutrient cycling. Cross-listed with BIOL 404 and MSCI 404. [top]


MSCI 559 - Parasitology. Spring, odd years (3) J. Shields 
Recommended:Invertebrate Zoology or comparable course. This course covers the biology and ecology of protozoan, helminth and crustacean parasites. Focus is on parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Emphasis is placed on life cycles, pathology, control methods and ecological impacts of parasitic infections. Three lecture and three laboratory hours. Cross-listed with Bio 404 and BIOL 504. [top]


MSCI 560 - Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology. Spring (3) M. Newman. Prerequisite(s): Basic Ecology 
This course is an introduction to ecotoxicology, the science of contaminants in the biosphere and their effects on constituents of the biosphere, including humans. The course provides a general survey of environmental toxicology and risk assessment from an ecological vantage. Cross-listed with BIOL 404. [top]


MSCI 562 - Environmental Pollution. Fall (2-3) R. Hale 
This course will introduce students to processes impacting aquatic environments. Emphasis will be on pollution by man-made chemicals and metals. Additional topics include consequences of excessive nutrients, habitat modification and introduction of exotic or elimination of native species.  Students have the option to register for 2 credit hours (lecture only) or 3 credit hours (lecture with an in-class student presentation). [top]


MSCI 563 - Environmental Chemistry. Spring (3) M. Unger 
The fundamental physical, chemical and biological processes controlling the fate of major classes of aquatic contaminants are covered in this course. Topics such as photolysis, biodegradation, sorption and redox chemistry are examined to elucidate the mechanisms controlling chemical degradation and transport. Case studies are used to show how these basic research principals can be integrated and applied to solve real word environmental problems. [top]


MSCI 565 - Principles of Pathobiology. Spring (3) W. Vogelbein, R. Carnegie, A. Wargo 
This course focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogenesis in important emerging diseases in the medical, veterinary, and aquacultural fields. Students will learn how current molecular and cellular techniques are being applied to the resolution of a variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases. Mammalian models provide a foundation for application to the diseases of fish and shellfish. [top]


MSCI 566 - Diseases of Marine Organisms. Fall, odd years (4) A. Wargo, J. Shields 
This course includes identification, life histories, pathology, and control of important infectious disease agents of fish and shellfish including viruses, bacteria, protists, helminths and arthropods. Also covered will be general principles of disease in the marine and estuarine environment. Three lecture and three laboratory hours. [top]


MSCI 583 - Molecular Genetic Data Analysis, Bioinformatics. Spring, even years (3) K. Reece, J. McDowell 
This is a lecture and largely computer-based laboratory course covering the principles and practice of analyzing and interpreting population genetic, phylogenetic and genetic mapping datasets. Molecular data sets including sequences and genotypic profiles will be generated on agarose gels or the automated sequencers/ gel scanners. Data will be exported and processed for analysis by the appropriate suite of computer software programs. Software to be utilized include DNA sequence analysis, genotyping, population genetic, sequence alignment, phylogenetic, and mapping programs. Phylogenetic programs will include those based on genetic distance, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Population genetics programs include those such as GenePop to perform standard population genetic statistical analyses, Arlequin for doing AMOVAs, and STRUCTURE for doing assignment testing. [top]


MSCI 638 - Fish Histology and Histo-pathology. Spring, even years (4) W. Vogelbein 
The course is a detailed examination of the normal microscopic structure and function of tissues and organs in fishes and the morphological and functional changes that occur in tissues during disease. Infectious and non-infectious diseases, including pathological changes elicited by chemical toxicants and environmental factors will be evaluated. Lab will consist of in-depth training in routine methods of paraffin histology and histochemistry. (Three lecture and three laboratory hours. Restricted to 6 students.) [top]


MSCI 640 - Quantitative Ecotoxicology. Spring (4) M. Newman 
This course covers essential ecotoxicology principles and quantitative methods for the analysis of ecotoxicological data. Laboratory exercises will include method applications with PC-based software. Emphasis will be placed on the scientific and statistical soundness of techniques. [top]


MSCI 641 - Identifying, Quantifying and Communicating Environmental Risk. Fall (3) M. Newman 
Methods for identifying harmful agents, quantifying any associated risk, and communicating that risk will be covered in this course, with an emphasis on practical, quantitative techniques. The basic NRC framework and methods for environmental risk assessment are presented for comparative, retrospective, and predictive assessments. The course explores logical and quantitative methods for identifying hazards in the presence of high uncertainty, working in teams to effectively assess risk, and communicating risk to stakeholders. Bayesian inference and estimation will be emphasized with additional theory and quantitative methods drawn from cognitive psychology, epidemiology, innovation diffusion theory and group decision theory. [top]


MSCI 642 - Practical Environmental Statistics. Spring, even years (3) M. NewmanPrerequisite(s): Instructor’s consent 
This course explores practical statistics for sampling, measuring, and making sound inferences from environmental data. The course is intentionally a broad survey of methods applicable to physical, chemical and biological studies, drawing examples from each of these areas. It will blend lectures, student-directed exploration of concepts, and computer-based examples. Exercises will be done with the SAS statistical software package and other more specialized shareware. Eight general themes will be addressed: quantitative measurement, basic measurement quality control/outlier detection, variance structure, applications of regression analysis, sample size estimation, establishing field sampling or laboratory experiment designs, quantifying belief, and Monte Carlo/Bootstrap methods. [top]

MSCI 673 - Marine Molecular Genetics. 
Spring, odd years (3) J. Graves, K. Reece, J. McDowell. Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate Genetics or permission of instructor 
Students will study the evolutionary processes responsible for the intra- and interspecific genetic relationships of marine organisms, with an emphasis on the application of current molecular methodologies. 3 hrs. Lecture. [top]

MSCI 674 - Marine Molecular Genetics Laboratory. 
Spring, odd years (2) J. McDowell, K. Reece. Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate Genetics or permission of instructor 
Students will elucidate intra- and interspecific genetic relationships by employing a variety of molecular techniques for the analysis of proteins and nucleic acids (5 hrs. of laboratory). [top]