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Winter Course Offerings

Winter 2018 Schedule

The winter semester is comprised of one 16 week term, and two 8 week terms. Standard full time status requires at least two courses per semester. The Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography program office reserves the right to cancel a course due to low registration. If canceled the students will have a choice of switching to a different course or receiving a full refund.

Course Schedule

Capstone, Thesis, Ph.D. Directed Study, Dissertation

M.S. students wishing to register for Capstone or Thesis Credits must have had their proposal accepted by the Oceanographic Campus Program Office. A student who has not had their proposal approved by the program office may have to register for a Directed Independent Study and must contact the Program Office (oconline@nova.edu) for the Course Reference Number (CRN) associated with their major advisor.

Once a proposal has been approved by the Chair of the Department, MS students sequentially register for and complete credits in each succeeding semester until the capstone/thesis is complete and has been successfully defended.  If a student fails to register for any given term without written approval by the Chair of the Department, that student will be withdrawn from the program.

Ph.D. students register for directed study credits if their proposal has not been approved.

To select the correct CRN, please choose your major and track.  Then select your major advisor.

Capstone, Thesis, Ph.D. Directed Study, Dissertation Schedule

Course Descriptions

Learn more about each course below.

Core Courses:

MSMS 5010/BCOR 5570 - Biostatistics:

This graduate course will introduce the most commonly used statistical tests and procedures to analyze biological and ecological data. The main objective is to prepare the students to identify the most correct statistics to analyze biological data, perform the statistical analysis in R and correctly interpret the results. Lectures will consist of short theoretical presentations followed by a lab where students will do guided exercises in R. Students will be required to do readings prior to the class on the theoretical basis of the theme of the week, and perform unguided exercises (homework) to cement knowledge.

MSMS 5020 Marine Ecosystems:

This class focuses on marine ecological processes and functions. It presents an overview of the basic concepts of marine ecology along with more detailed elements of the discipline including the diversity of marine ecosystems, trophic relationships, ecological roles, and nutrient cycling and biogeochemistry.

MSMS 5030 Marine Geology:

Marine Geology reviews key concepts of marine geology, as needed by marine biologists to understand the geomorphic setting they are working in and to provide a general-knowledge background. Since it is graduate-level, students are required to enhance frontal classroom teaching by the instructor through research papers and their presentation on specialized subjects directly related to the taught material. Course material reviews planetary evolution, types of sediments and rocks, the reason for the existence of oceans and continents and the spatio-temporal dynamics of marine sedimentary and igneous processes. Numerous case studies are used to illustrate concepts such a plate tectonics via island formation, and sedimentology via discussion of attractive sedimentary systems, such as coral reefs. Students will have a broad understanding of geological ocean dynamics and will be literate in present issues in the Earth Sciences.

Furthermore, since quantitative data analysis is a key skill required on the job-market, students will be introduced to the freeware statistical software R and will be exposed to the analysis of realistic geological datasets.

MSMS 5040 Marine Chemistry:

This course is an introduction to marine chemistry. It describes the properties, composition, and origin of seawater; the importance, distribution, relationships, and biogeochemical cycling of the major inorganic nutrients, dissolved gases, trace metals, and organic compounds. Salinity, temperature and density distributions will be explained. Carbonate parameters (pH, Alkalinity, TCO2 and pCO2) and how these are influenced by uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide by the ocean will be a key topic. Material is presented through lectures and three laboratory sessions which cover the principles and application of selected analytical techniques.

MSMS 5050 Physical Oceanography:

This course is intended to give students a view to how wind, radiation, gravity, friction, and the Earth's rotation determine the ocean's temperature and salinity patterns and currents. Some important process we will study include heat budget of the oceans, exchange of heat with the atmosphere and the role of the ocean in climate, surface mixed layer, waves in the ocean, geostrophy, Ekman transport, upwelling, Rossby waves, subtropical gyres, western and eastern boundary currents. Students will learn how to explain physical features of the ocean ranging from microscopic turbulence to global circulation.

MSMS 5060 Scientific Communication:

This professional development class is designed to broaden the graduate student’s career prospective and develop competencies in communication (written and oral), leadership/management abilities, and skills related to job acquisition.  This class will benefit students at any stage of their graduate career or pursuing any degree type (capstone, thesis, and dissertation).  

BCOR 5000 Graduate Seminar: 

This course will provide students with opportunity to prepare a professional presentation to a scientific audience. It will also include exposure to professional scientific presentations by experienced science faculty (NSU or external), visiting faculty or other advanced graduate students. The primary goal of this course is to prepare advanced biology students for effective scientific communication through preparing and presenting an oral seminar, and also listening to other public seminars. The course provides students the opportunity to attend and participate in a minimum of ten scientific research seminars per semester for credit, in order to critique and evaluate each on the basis of content and effectiveness.  A majority of the seminars will be biological, though attending other scientific disciplines will be credited and encouraged for attendance in order to widen experience. Students will discuss various approaches for preparing oral presentations. Assessment will be via the final oral presentation, weekly meetings with the professor and continuous online discussions with other class members.

BCOR 5580 Scientific Method and Experimental Design:

The main objective of this graduate course is to prepare students to plan and conduct an experiment in the laboratory or in the field following the scientific method. Lectures will consist of short theoretical presentations followed by group exercises/discussions that intend to build practical skills applying the scientific method and planning an experiment. Students will be presented with a real-life situations, and trained to find a novel and interesting research questions, determine the hypotheses that need to be tested to answer it, design experiments to test each hypothesis, and collect and organize data for posterior analysis.  Students will discuss and critique experimental designs used in published literature. 

Electives:

MSMS 6003 Deep Sea Biology:

The deep sea is the largest living space on the planet, with some of the most diverse, complex and extreme environments on the planet. This course will cover major topics in deep-sea biology, including depth zonation, energetics, adaptations, extreme environments, sensory biology, and anthropogenic threats. This course will provide you with a basic understanding of what we know (and don’t know) about deep-sea ecosystems, the methods used to study this environment and inhabitants, and it will create an opportunity to discuss major current questions and exciting new discoveries.

MSMS 6008 Biology of Sharks and Rays II:

Although the study of sharks generally lags behind studies on bony fishes and many other animals, our understanding of the biology of sharks and rays has improved tremendously over the past several decades.  There is tremendous diversity within sharks and rays and this diversity reflects the evolutionary history and range of lifestyles of these animals.  A combination of heavy fishing pressure on shark populations and their general vulnerability to overexploitation has led to serous declines in shark populations throughout the world.    We will survey the evolution and diversity of past and present sharks and rays and also examine distributions, environments inhabited, ecological roles, interactions within and among species, and review the life history characteristics of sharks and rays in relation to their occurrence and sustainability in fisheries with the overall goal of understanding the diversity of sharks and rays, their role in marine ecosystems and their interactions with humans (other than in terms of shark attack).  

MSMS 6021 Histology & Ultrastructure of Marine Organisms:

This intensive course will examine the fine and ultrastructure of marine organisms and range in focus from bacterial cells to fish tissue. Lectures and labs will be conducted to examine structure and function of tissue and cells of several marine groups. Light and electron microscopy in conjunction with molecular methods for study of bacterial cells such as FISH (Fluorescence In-situ hybridization) will be discussed. Additionally, the complementary nature of cell and tissue imaging using light and electron microscopy will be examined.  Fixed and embedded blocks of student research specimens will be supplied and students will section and stain their samples for examination in the light and/or electron microscope. Imaging and image capture methods including quantification of structural features using ImageJ will be conducted. Students will prepare their results for presentation and submit a term paper at the end of the semester. 

MSMS 6104 Human Factors:

This course presents the human and emotional aspects of conflict, and includes such topics as the influence of anger, gender, culture, forgiveness, and linguistics as well as important conflict analysis/resolution models. It focuses on the body of work that studies essential factors and the dimensions of the intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics that influence communication in dispute resolution, and enhance understanding, analyzing, and managing conflict. This course is pragmatic as well as theoretical, and presents communication and conflict resolution skills and models in a practice based approach.

MSMS 6203 Climate Change:

The purpose of this class is to provide students with an overview of climate change and how it is impacting the marine environment.  Students will be introduced to concepts such as the modern climate system, what climate change is, as well as evidence for it.  Students will be able to place recent climate change within the context of historical records.  Topics such as ocean acidification, sea level rise, coral bleaching, hurricanes, marine ecosystems and ocean circulation patterns will allow students to explore the role that climate change is having on the the oceans and coasts.  Discussion will include perspectives from the scientific and social side of this issue.

MSMS 6205/BMME 6001 Toxicology and Laboratory q-PCR:

The first week of the course will be training in the classical culture techniques for determination of fecal pollution in surface waters as is used in all water quality laboratories. This will involve membrane filtration for bacterial indicators and plaque formation for viral indicators.

During the second week newly developed real time PCR methods will be performed and evaluated. The use of q-PCR has been implemented in microbiology studies to quantify abundance and expression of taxonomic and functional gene markers that pose contamination threats to drinking, recreational, marine, and fresh waters. Its use allows viable results for the indication of microbial presence associated with human pollution that supersedes the abilities of culture based fecal coliform and enterococci studies. The use of PCR chemistries is a more advanced, precise and sensitive method for estimating microbial species in environments. Within PCR chemistries, q-PCR allows for expedient results coupled with greater accuracy to determine if human pollution is contaminating a water source and in what amounts quantitatively.

MSMS 6210 Scientific Method and Experimental Design:

The main objective of this graduate course is to prepare students to plan and conduct an experiment in the laboratory or in the field following the scientific method. Lectures will consist of short theoretical presentations followed by group exercises/discussions that intend to build practical skills applying the scientific method and planning an experiment. Students will be presented with a real-life situations, and trained to find a novel and interesting research questions, determine the hypotheses that need to be tested to answer it, design experiments to test each hypothesis, and collect and organize data for posterior analysis.  Students will discuss and critique experimental designs used in published literature. 

BMME 8050 Foundations of Programming, Data Structures, and Algorithms:

Concepts and foundations of computer science, including procedural and object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, and algorithm design, are introduced through programming in Python.

BMME 8053 Introduction to Bioinformatics:

The primary goal of this course is to introduce the student to the field of bioinformatics and the skills needed to manipulate datasets from biological studies. Computer exercises will include working in the UNIX/LINUX environment, interpretation of DNA sequence analyses, and gaining a familiarity with online bioinformatics resources. There will be an emphasis on hands on practice through the guidance of the instructor. 

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