University Course Schedules


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, Every Fall - Buskey/Dunton

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, Every Fall - Hardison/Liu

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, Every Spring - Fuiman/Thomas

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.

ADVANCED COURSES

*The Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of Marine Science will periodically add or delete core courses from this list depending upon program needs. In addition, the Committee may tailor a student's core curriculum by substitution of other Marine Science courses for one or more of those listed if the listed courses are unavailable to the student for reasons beyond his/her control.

Fall 2016:

MNS 193. Principles of Marine Science: Fisheries Oceanography - Bryan Black
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Descriptive paragraph: Influences of climate forcing and human activity on fish populations and marine ecosystems.
 
MNS 193. Principles of Marine Science: Biogeography of Marine Microbes - Deana Erdner
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Descriptive paragraph: This course will explore microbial biogeography, from the scale of the population to the community. We will consider the processes that lead to spatial structure in marine microbes, including both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, in the plankton and sediments.
 
MNS 193. Principles of Marine Science: Reproductive Physiology of Fish - Peter Thomas
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Descriptive paragraph: 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 2017:

MNS 393. Topics in Marine Science, Topic 11:  Coastal Watersheds - Jim McClelland et al. 

This course fosters an integrated understanding of the science, law, and policy related to issues such as land use, water use, and climate change in coupled watershed-coastal ocean systems. The course is interdisciplinary and listed in both the Law School and the Department of Marine Science. There are three major course components: (1) topical lectures, (2) literature discussions, and (3) case studies. The literature discussions allow us to delve into specific topics in detail, whereas the case studies foster a system-level understanding of select sites around the country. Students work on the case studies in small, interdisciplinary groups. The case studies will be selected from distinct regions of the U.S. subject to different climate regimes, land/water use patterns, and oceanographic conditions. Factors influencing the quantity and quality of water exported from land and oceanographic characteristics that mediate the response of coastal ecosystems to changes in watershed export are emphasized. Law, management, planning, and policy initiatives related to issues of water quality, water quantity, and sustainability of coupled watershed-coastal ocean systems are also emphasized. Groups give a formal presentation on their case study findings near the end of the semester. Students also write independent papers or proposals focusing on specific research, mitigation, education efforts, or legal or regulatory changes needed to improve understanding and management of their case study systems. The last week of class focuses on cross-site comparisons and discussion of idealized management scenarios that draw from the most effective aspects of individual case studies. Classes are offered over a video link so that students at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas as well as Austin can participate. Two lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week for one semester. Taught every spring.

MNS 382. Marine Phytoplankton Diversity - Deana Erdner and Tracy Villareal
The taxonomy of the major phytoplankton groups, their physiology, and their role in marine ecosystems.
Cross-listed with MNS 357.

MNS 193. Phytoplankton and Oceanographic Processes– Tracy Villareal
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
This  course will focus on reading and exercises that explore the role of phytoplankton in carbon and nutrient flow in the ocean.  Particular emphasis will be placed on how oceanographic circulation affects regional distribution and properties of phytoplankton. 

MNS 191. Seminar in Marine Science - Brett Baker
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Recent advances in the marine sciences, discussed by students, faculty and staff members, and guest lecturers. Topics to be announced.
 
MNS 193. Topic 10 Principles of Marine Science: Zooplankton Ecology - Ed Buskey
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Why study marine zooplankton? True, they are small, weak swimmers, and difficult to see without a microscope, but they are an essential component in marine food webs and include larval forms for most marine invertebrates. Class topics may include: collecting and sampling zooplankton, physiology, feeding ecology, population biology, reproduction, behavior and sensory perception.
 
MNS 193. Topic 7 Principles of Marine Science: Marine Botany - Ken Dunton
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – 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 193. Principles of Marine Science: Environmental Physiology of Fishes - Andrew Esbaugh
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas - not video-linked
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.

Fall 2017:

MNS 193. Principles of Marine Science: Isotope Ecology - James McClelland
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
This one credit course focuses on stable isotope applications in ecosystem studies, including use of natural abundance stable isotope ratios and whole ecosystem isotope additions to study nutrient transport/transformation and food web relationships.  Additional topics are selected based on the specific interests of students enrolled in the course.  The course is structured around reading and discussion published works in the realm of Isotope Ecology.

MNS 193. Principles of Marine Science: Marine Populations and Fisheries – Lee Fuiman
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Many marine scientists are charged with the task of applying the principles of population biology toward 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 examine principles of marine population biology, including topics such as age and growth, mortality, recruitment, stock identification, and the contributions of early life stages.

MNS 193. Principles of Marine Science: Genomics in Marine Sciences - Brett Baker
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
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 topic; including methods, reviews, and environmentally focused studies. 

Spring 2018:

MNS 293. Principles of Marine Science:  Meta-Analysis In Marine Ecology - Brad Erisman and Lauren Yeager
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Meta-analysis is a powerful statistical tool for estimating the mean and variance of underlying population effects from a collection of empirical studies focused on addressing the same research question, and it has grown in importance and popularity in marine ecological research.  Students enrolled in this course will work together as a team to complete (and eventually publish) a meta-analysis on an important research topic in marine ecology. The course will be comprised of a mixture of lectures, student led discussion and workgroups, presentations, and in-class assignments. Students who complete this course will receive training meta-analysis methods, ecological metadata, R studio and R markdown, Github and version control, data management and open science tools for data publication, professional codes of conduct, data wrangling, and data visualization.

MNS 293. Principles of Marine Science:  Marine and Organic Geochemistry - Amber Hardison  and Zhanfei Liu
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Organic geochemistry is the study of the transformations of organic matter from its origins in biological organisms through its preservation in the geosphere. From the marine perspectives, this course covers processes controlling formation, distribution, and diagenesis of organic matter in the earth, oceans, and atmosphere.  Main topics include analytical techniques for organic matter, use of organic biomarkers, dissolved and particulate organic matter in the ocean, production and degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, carbon preservation in water column and sediments, etc.

MNS 382. Estuarine Ecology - Ken Dunton
This class is part of our intersession program. Class meets May 16-June 6 (hours to be arranged). Taught at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. General ecological principles of estuarine environments in Texas, including physiography hydrography, and plant and animal community structure and productivity.

MNS 393. Topics in Marine Science, Topic 11:  Coastal Watersheds - Jim McClelland et al.
This course fosters an integrated understanding of the science, law, and policy related to issues such as land use, water use, and climate change in coupled watershed-coastal ocean systems. The course is interdisciplinary and listed in both the Law School and the Department of Marine Science. There are three major course components: (1) topical lectures, (2) literature discussions, and (3) case studies. The literature discussions allow us to delve into specific topics in detail, whereas the case studies foster a system-level understanding of select sites around the country. Students work on the case studies in small, interdisciplinary groups. The case studies will be selected from distinct regions of the U.S. subject to different climate regimes, land/water use patterns, and oceanographic conditions. Factors influencing the quantity and quality of water exported from land and oceanographic characteristics that mediate the response of coastal ecosystems to changes in watershed export are emphasized. Law, management, planning, and policy initiatives related to issues of water quality, water quantity, and sustainability of coupled watershed-coastal ocean systems are also emphasized. Groups give a formal presentation on their case study findings near the end of the semester. Students also write independent papers or proposals focusing on specific research, mitigation, education efforts, or legal or regulatory changes needed to improve understanding and management of their case study systems. The last week of class focuses on cross-site comparisons and discussion of idealized management scenarios that draw from the most effective aspects of individual case studies. Classes are offered over a video link so that students at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas as well as Austin can participate. Two lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week for one semester. Taught every spring.

MNS 191. Seminar in Marine Science - Brad Erisman
Held at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas – not video-linked
Recent advances in the marine sciences, discussed by students, faculty and staff members, and guest lecturers. Topics to be announced.