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University Course Schedules


Examples of Course Options for First-Year marine science graduate students at UT-Austin

BIO 320   CELL BIOLOGY           FALL
BIO 326R   GENERAL MICROBIOLOGY:MICROBIAL CELL STRUCTURE & GENETICS FALL
BIO 344   MOLECULAR BIOLOGY         SPRING
BIO 370   EVOLUTION           SPRING
BIO 380R   ADVANCED READINGS IN BIOLOGICAL   SCIENCE     FALL
BIO 383K   7-SMNR IN PHYSIOL AND BEHAVIOR       SPRING
BIO 383K   7-SMNR IN PHYSIOL AND BEHAVIOR       FALL
BIO 383K   STUDIES IN ANIMAL SEXUALITY       SPRING
BIO 384C   INTRO TO ECOL/EVOL/BEHAVIOR I       FALL
BIO 384D   INTRO TO ECOL/EVOL/BEHAVIOR II         SPRING
BIO 384K   ADVANCED TOPICS IN MICROBIAL ECOLOGY         FALL
BIO 384K   CONSERVATION BIOLOGY         SPRING
BIO 384K   LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY     FALL
BIO 384K   PHYLOGEN PERSP ECOL/EVOL/BEHAV     FALL
BIO 384L   ISSUES IN POPULATION BIOLOGY       FALL
BIO 386   TOPICS IN CONSERVATION BIOLOGY       FALL
BIO 388M   PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY         FALL
BIO 390C   FUNDAMENTALS OF EVOLUTION             FALL
BIO 390D   FNDMNTLS INTG ANIMAL BEHAV             FALL
BIO 393   BIOFUELS             SPRING
BIO 395M   ADVANCED MICROBIOLOGY         SPRING
C E 394K   3-GEOG INFO SYS IN WATER RES       FALL
CH 369   FUNDAMENTALS OF BIOCHEMISTRY       SPRING
CH 391L   BIOINFORMATICS           SPRING
CRP 383   ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND LAW       SPRING
EER 396   ENERGY LAW           FALL
GEO 381G   GEOMICROBIOLOGY         FALL
GEO 382S   PHYSICAL HYDROLOGY         FALL
GEO 391   PALEOCLIMATOLOGY         FALL
GEO 391   FUNDAMENTALS/APPLIC OF ICP-MS       FALL
GEO 388H   ENVIRONMENTAL ISOTOPE GEOCHEM       SPRING
GEO 388L   ISOTOPE GEOLOGY           FALL
GRG 396T   SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELING       SPRING
MOL 395J   GENES/GENOMES/GENE EXPRESSN           FALL
M E 397   LASERS AND OPTICS           SPRING
PHR 384K   FUNDAMENTALS OF TOXICOLOGY       FALL
PHR 390N   BIOCHEM AND MOLEC TOXICOLOGY       SPRING
PSY 384K   ADV STATS: EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN       SPRING
PSY 394T   REGRESSION ANALYSIS         FALL
SDS 380C   STATISTICAL METHODS  I                               FALL
SDS 383C   STATISTICAL MODELING I             FALL
SDS 384   4-REGRESSION ANALYSIS             FALL

CORE COURSES

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MNS 481C. Marine Ecosystem Dynamics (Chris Biggs / Ken Dunton)
Taught Every Fall

Interactions between organisms and the physical processes that regulate productivity and distribution of marine life in oceanic and coastal ecosystems. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and either consent of instructor or the following: six semester hours of coursework in biological sciences chosen from Biology 311C, 311D, and the equivalent; and Chemistry 301 and 302, or the equivalent.

MNS 482C. Marine Biogeochemistry (Zhanfei Liu)
Taught Every Fall

Study of chemical, biological, geological, and physical processes that influence cycling of bioactive elements in marine waters and sediments. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and either consent of instructor or the following: Physical Science 303 and 304, or the equivalent; Chemistry 301, 302, 310M (or 610A), and 310N (or 610B), or the equivalent; and six semester hours of coursework in biological sciences chosen from Biology 311C, 311D, and the equivalent.

MNS 483C. Adaptations to the Marine Environment (Lee Fuiman / Peter Thomas)
Taught Every Spring

The physiological basis for organismal and population-level responses to marine environments. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and either consent of instructor or the following: six semester hours of coursework in biological sciences chosen from Biology 311C, 311D, and the equivalent; and Chemistry 301 and 302, or the equivalent.

MNS 191. Seminar in Marine Science: Scientific Communication - Chris Biggs
Taught Every Spring

Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – Taught virtually.
Recent advances in the marine sciences, discussed by students, faculty and staff members, and guest lecturers. Topics to be announced. Must be taken twice to fulfill degree requirements.

ADVANCED COURSES

(All advanced courses are taught on an alternating year schedule)

*The Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of Marine Science will periodically add or delete advanced courses from this list depending upon program needs and faculty workloads. Students are required to enroll in a minimum of six hours of MNS advanced courses and are encouraged to communicate with their thesis advisor in the selection of advanced courses. Course Title and Description are updated the semester prior to their listing for the fall or spring semester.

 

Fall Semester (Odd Years)
MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Genomics in Ocean Sciences - Brett Baker

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Populations and Fisheries - Lee Fuiman

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Wetland Landscape Ecology/Remote Sensing - Jessica O'Connell

 

Spring Semester (Even Years)

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Trophic Ecology - Jordan Casey

MNS 293. Topics in Marine Science: Marine and Organic Geochemistry - Zhanfei Liu

MNS 382. Principles of Marine Science: Estuarine Ecology - Ken Dunton

 

Fall Semester (Even Years)

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Reproductive Physiology of Fish - Peter Thomas

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Aquatic Toxicology and Risk Assessment - Kristin Nielsen

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Coral Reef Ecosystems/Coral Reef Biology - Simon Brandl

 

Spring Semester (Odd Years)

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Environmental Physiology of Fishes - Andrew Esbaugh

MNS 193. Topic 7. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Botany - Ken Dunton

MNS 382. Marine Community Ecology - Jordan Casey

 

FALL 2022

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Coral Reef Ecosystems/Coral Reef Biology - Simon Brandl
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems but are threatened by a wide range of anthropogenic stressors. In this course, students will learn about the most important ecological concepts that underpin their understanding of coral reef ecosystems. Furthermore, by reading and discussing a variety of literature related to coral reefs, students will identify crucial questions we have yet to address and develop a broad comprehension of emerging research frontiers in coral reef biology. The course is based on reading primary literature and various discussion-based formats.

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Aquatic Toxicology and Risk Assessment - Kristin Nielsen
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

This class will explore theory and risk assessment methodologies used by scientists, regulatory agencies, and industry to evaluate the impacts of anthropogenic activities on aquatic and aquatic-dependent receptors, as well as human health.

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Reproductive Physiology of Fish - Peter Thomas

Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Environmental and endocrine control of reproduction in teleost fishes including the role of hypothalamus/pituitary/gonadal axis, neuroendocrine pathways, genomic and nongenomic steroid actions, ovarian cycle, and gamete physiology.

 

SPRING 2023

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Environmental Physiology of Fishes - Andrew Esbaugh
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Fishes are the most diverse vertebrate group on the planet and live in a variety of different environments. Furthermore, many fish species can transition between very different environments. This class will explore the mechanistic physiology associated with survival in different aquatic habitats and the role of physiology in understanding the impacts of environmental degradation on fish survival and performance. Specific subjects may include the thermodynamics of water and ion balance, pH balance, and respiratory physiology as well as phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental change.

MNS 193. Topic 7. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Botany - Ken Dunton
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – Taught face-to-face. Not video-linked.

Marine Botany will introduce students to the marine vegetation of the major coastal biomes of the world, including but not limited to seagrasses, marshes, mangroves, and seaweeds. The purpose of this class is to provide graduate-level inquiry-based exploration on topics including ecology, diversity, natural history, reproduction, photosynthetic strategies, and biotic responses to a warming climate. Field trips will broaden students understanding of the ecology of these systems with respect to habitat, biotic interactions, community structure, and biotic linkages to consumers. The course format consists of seven meetings that include a background lecture followed by field trips to specific vegetation assemblages. Each student is expected to lead one discussion based on assigned readings from the primary literature and write a final paper on a selected topic. The course uses a thematic approach and is divided into two major parts: a section that concentrates on plant photophysiology and ecology and a section on vegetation assemblages. Students will gain a wonderful appreciation and understanding of the diversity of marine plants and their unique strategies of growth, photosynthesis, and reproduction from readings, class discussions, guest lectures, and field trips.

MNS 382. Marine Community Ecology - Jordan Casey
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

This course aims to provide students with a holistic understanding of the assembly and functioning of marine communities. Students will learn about existing and emerging theories and concepts in community ecology and gain insight into traditional and modern techniques to study marine communities, from visual censuses to molecular approaches. The course includes quantitative training and practical components using the statistical software R, designed to foster an understanding of basic statistical concepts in community ecology and their thoughtful implementation.

 

FALL 2023

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Genomics in Ocean Sciences - Brett Baker
Held from the Austin main campus. Offered by video link.

This course will focus on how recent innovations in omic sequencing (DNA and RNA) have revolutionized our understanding of the biogeochemistry and ecology of marine life. It will involve reading and discussing a breadth of publications on topics; including methods, reviews, and environmentally focused studies.

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Populations and Fisheries - Lee Fuiman
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Many marine scientists are charged with the task of applying the principles of population biology toward the management of exploited populations of marine organisms in an effort to balance the needs for harvest (commercial or recreational) against sustainability. In this course, students will read and discuss important publications dealing with the principles of marine population biology, including topics such as age and growth, mortality, recruitment stock identification, connectivity, and the contributions of early life stages to population biology.

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Remote Sensing Field Methods - Jessica O'Connell
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

The course will educate students on the subject of field remote sensing of coastal habitats. Considerable emphasis will be placed on research methods and procedures, including systematic approaches to data collection, field spectroscopy by means of sensors with high spectral resolution, and subsequent analyses of acquired data. Students will design and implement their own independent field remote sensing projects and analyze their data in R. Final grades will be derived from a presentation of project results to the class. Students should have prior experience coding in R before taking this course. If you want more practice, try the R programming lessons available online from Software Carpentry (https://software-carpentry.org/lessons/).

 

SPRING 2024

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Trophic Ecology - Jordan Casey
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

This course focuses on trophic interactions in marine communities. It will provide an overview of seminal publications in trophic ecology and explore analytical techniques used to track ingestion and nutrient exchange among marine organisms, including behavioral observations, cutting-edge molecular techniques, and statistical modeling. Students will present and lead discussions on notable, recent publications. As a final project, they will write a proposal involving trophic ecology in their study system of interest.

MNS 193. Topic 7. Topics in Marine Science: Marine Organic Chemistry - Zhanfei Liu
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Marine Organic Geochemistry is the study of the transformations of organic matter from its origins in biological organisms through its preservation in marine environments. This course will introduce you to the field of marine organic geochemistry and its applications to understanding the sources and fates of organic matter in the water column of marine systems as well as that deposited in modern and ancient sediments. The course will be a combination of lectures and discussions.

MNS 382. Estuarine Ecology - Ken Dunton
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. Taught face-to-face. Not video-linked.

This class is offered during the May Term (part of the Spring Semester). Class meets the entire month of May and is co-listed with the undergraduate course, Estuarine Ecology, MNS 352C. The course content includes the general ecological principles of estuarine environments in Texas, including physiography hydrography, and plant and animal community structure and productivity. There is a substantial field component that includes two or three major field trips.  The course also includes two flags, for inquiry and writing. Graduate students are expected to write a major research paper, present a lecture to the class on a marine ecological topic of their choosing, and lead field expeditions.

 

FALL 2024

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Coral Reef Ecosystems/Coral Reef Biology - Simon Brandl
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems but are threatened by a wide range of anthropogenic stressors. In this course, students will learn about the most important ecological concepts that underpin their understanding of coral reef ecosystems. Furthermore, by reading and discussing a variety of literature related to coral reefs, students will identify crucial questions we have yet to address and develop a broad comprehension of emerging research frontiers in coral reef biology. The course is based on reading primary literature and various discussion-based formats. 

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Aquatic Toxicology and Risk Assessment - Kristin Nielsen
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

This class will explore theory and risk assessment methodologies used by scientists, regulatory agencies, and industry to evaluate the impacts of anthropogenic activities on aquatic and aquatic-dependent receptors, as well as human health.

MNS 193. Topics in Marine Science: Reproductive Physiology of Fish - Peter Thomas

Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Environmental and endocrine control of reproduction in teleost fishes including the role of hypothalamus/pituitary/gonadal axis, neuroendocrine pathways, genomic and nongenomic steroid actions, ovarian cycle, and gamete physiology.