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Earth & Ocean Sciences
Earth and Ocean Sciences is a course of study in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences graduate program, a highly interdisciplinary, multi-campus graduate program in marine and environmental science. The program’s strength is drawn from the diverse expertise of its faculty affiliated with several USM institutions, as well as from government and non-government agencies, and affords students an unparalleled opportunity to combine the expertise of the best environmental scientists in the region to guide their program of study. Earth and Ocean Sciences is an interdisciplinary field incorporating fundamental and applied studies of the land-estuarine-ocean system. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the movement and transformation of materials and energy between mountain headwater and estuarine, coastal, and oceanic systems, including geomorphology and landscape dynamics, physical circulation and transport, chemical transformation, and biological reaction. This foundational area also includes elements of environmental chemistry, geochemistry, hydrology, and toxicology to help understand and predict the fate and effects of nutrients and contaminants in the environment. In Earth and Ocean Sciences, we use a wide variety of techniques and approaches, including observing platforms and numerical models to investigate processes in each sub-system, build connections across systems, understand processes at multiple spatial scales, and to foster interdisciplinary educational experiences for graduate students.
Review the other areas of study available through the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences graduate program.
Students will gain literacy in central theories and avenues of research in ecological systems, including the principles of production, natural selection and life history, population ecology, communities and ecosystems and land- and seascapes. Students will apply demonstrated mastery of the principle theories and ideas relating to ecological systems and prove their ability to express ideas in quantitative terms relating to ecological systems across systems and scales.
Environmental Molecular Science & Technology
Students will gain literacy and understanding of molecular biological processes, methods and approaches related to environmental systems including DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis, genomics and comparative and environmental genomics. Students will learn how molecular techniques have revolutionized ecology, conservation, and taxonomy, allowed the understanding of microbial communities and provided the opportunity to investigate the characteristics of plant and animal populations in non-invasive ways.
Environment & Society
In this foundation, students will obtain foundational knowledge of core theories and methods in the following domains of integrated social and environmental sciences: Coupled natural and human systems, cultural models of the environment, political ecology, participation and governance, ecological economics, and environmental ethics. Students will develop scholarship and practice in social science aspects of coupled natural human systems that includes critical thinking, written and verbal communication, and practice in interdisciplinary fieldwork to hone skills in data collection and analysis, consensus building, and stakeholder analysis.