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MARN 1002/1003/1004: Introduction to Oceanography with lab

This general education course covers the processes governing the geology, circulation, chemistry, and biological productivity of the world’s oceans. Emphasis is placed on the interactions and interrelationships between physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes that contribute to both the stability and the variability of the marine environment.

MARN 4001: Measurement and Analysis in Coastal Ecosystems

The course this year is focused principally on assessing the potential cause(s) of water quality impairment in Wequetequock Cove near the town of Stonington and in the nearby lower Pawcatuck River. The non-profit organization CUSH (Clean Up Sound and Harbor) has conducted an inter-annual survey of the water quality of coves and small estuaries in and around Mystic and Stonington, and discovered that Wequetequock Cove in the summer suffers from near complete oxygen depletion, and consequently, has little in the way of animal life in the water column and shallow benthos.  The causes of this impairment stems from an overabundance of nutrients delivered to the cove, yet the dominant source(s) of said nutrients remain unclear. In order to help CUSH and the residents of Wequetequock Cove in identifying the potential causes and mechanisms of watershed impairment, we will conduct research in and around Wequetequock Cove to investigate sources of nutrients to the cove, and their effect on the oxygen concentrations therein.

MARN 5898: Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

This course provides an overview of important stable isotopic systems used to study biogeochemical cycling of bioactive elements, with particular attention to carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopic systems.  Less common isotopic systems, including those of sulfur, silicic acid, and trace metals will be discussed briefly.  Classes will take place once or twice weekly at a time to be determined. These will involve discussions of assigned papers from the literature, in-class problem worksheets, as well computer-assisted periods to develop an isotope modeling project.

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