Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies
The Master of Science degree program in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies is taught and administered by College of Science faculty with expertise in the issues and problems facing coastal areas and wetlands both locally and globally. It was selected and developed to take educational advantage of the unique natural resources of the region and thus faculty and students become important intellectual resources for the region. The purpose of this degree program is to provide students with the tools and abilities to assess, comprehend, and synthesize a broad range of scientific information. This will, in turn, allow them to assume employment as professionals in the environmental field, to become stewards of the environment, and to also pursue further graduate study. The goals of the program are satisfied through coursework, teaching opportunities and either the completion of a thesis or an internship.
The Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies graduate program consists of 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of either thesis research or an internship. Courses are taught primarily by faculty members from two academic departments: biology and marine science. The coursework involves three core courses stressing coastal physical processes, ecology, and environmental policy. Various electives provide students with skills in conservation biology, geographic information systems, statistics, wetland delineation, geophysical surveying as well as the theoretical background in specific areas of organism biology and ecology.
Located near coastal marshes, swamps, a large unregulated river, barrier islands, and the ocean, the program offers exceptional opportunities for basic and applied research. Students pursue projects that contribute to the characterization, preservation or management of the coastal ecosystem and the organisms that thrive in this ecosystem. Research conducted by graduate students and their faculty mentors is typically presented to the public via seminars, conferences or publications. Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships are available on a competitive basis.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Identify and explain the biological, chemical, geological and physical processes influencing the coastal zone.
- Describe connections among the biological, chemical, geological and physical processes influencing the coastal zone.
- Describe how a coastal zone policy or regulation is influenced by scientific research in the coastal zone.
- Demonstrate proper research, writing and oral communication skills.