After the first year, students enroll in 5-6 additional credits (usually 2 courses) from the following choices:
- MES 524 Marine Ecology (3 credits)
- MES 570 Evolution (3 credits)
- MES 549 Aquatic Plant Biology (4 credits)
- MES 550 Terrestrial Plant Biology (4 credits)
- MES 552 Plant Physiology (4 credits)
- Environmental Science and Human Health (3 credits)
- MES 565 Selected Topics in Marine and Environmental Science (variable credits)
- MES 595 Independent Study (1-4 credits)
- MES 596 Internship (1-4 credits)
- MES 567 Pedagogy and Mentoring (1 credit)
Note that additional courses, including courses in zoology and in natural resource management, are currently being developed.
Also note that not all of the courses are offered every year (see course descriptions). If a course is not being offered, or if a student is interested in a topic for which a course does not currently exist, MES 595 Independent Study may be arranged in the area of interest. In such a case, students should contact their thesis advisor and the MMES Director.
MES 524 Marine Ecology (3 credits)
Principles of marine ecology introduced through reading and discussion of recent scientific literature. Course includes all topics of the undergraduate course MBI 424; additional requirements include, but are not limited to, more rigorous, extensive, and in depth analysis of primary literature. Three 50 minute lectures per week. (S-O)
MES 570 Evolution (3 credits)
Concepts of evolutionary biology, including the molecular level, population genetics, speciation, behavior, and broad patterns of macroevolution. Course includes all topics of the undergraduate course BIO 370; additional requirements include, but are not limited to, a more intensive consideration of the application of evolutionary theory to conservation biology, marine and environmental science. Three 50 minute lectures per week. (F-O)
MES 549 Aquatic Plant Biology (4 credits)
A comprehensive survey of aquatic plants with emphasis on marine systems. The life histories, morphology, physiology, ecology, and evolutionary relationships among the major groups of algae and flowering plants are examined using local flora as examples. The commercial uses of algae are included. Course includes all topics of the undergraduate course BIO 370; additional requirements include, but are not limited to, oral presentations of material from the primary scientific literature and completion of an independent research project. Three 50 minute lectures and three hours of field/laboratory per week. (F-E)
MES 550 Terrestrial Plant Biology (4 credits)
Comprehensive introduction to plant life from bryophytes through angiosperms. Morphology, evolution, systematics, reproduction, plant identification, and other significant biological aspects, with examples taken from the local flora. Students study principles that aid in understanding the biology and ecology of terrestrial plant ecosystems and learn to use field and laboratory techniques of plant biology. Course includes all material as the undergraduate course BIO 350 with additional graduate level work including a literature search, more in-depth examination questions, and a rigorous field research project. Three 50 minute lectures and one 3 hour field/laboratory per week. (S-O)
MES 552 Plant Physiology (4 credits)
Comprehensive introduction to physiological mechanisms that affect plant ecological processes. Topics covered include photosynthesis, respiration, nutrition, hormones, growth, absorption, and conduction. Students study principles that aid in understanding the ecology of terrestrial plant ecosystems and learn to use field and laboratory techniques of plant physiology. Course includes all material as the undergraduate course BIO 352 with additional graduate level work including a literature search, more in-depth examination questions, and a rigorous field research project. Three 50 minute lectures and one 3 hour laboratory per week. (S-E)
Environmental Science and Human Health (3 credits)
An overview of recent research at the interface of environmental science and human health including topics such as the importance of biodiversity as a source of new medicines, the possible effects of global climate change on human health, how decreased biodiversity affects ecological communities and thereby affects disease transmission, the oceanography of harmful algal blooms environmental disturbance and human infectious disease, biodiversity and medical research, and policy implications. Three 50 minute lectures per week.
MES 565 Selected Topics in Marine and Environmental Science (variable credits)
Topics in various fields of marine and environmental science designed to educate graduate students in areas of special interest or regional need; topics such as mathematical and computer modeling of natural systems, coastal management, advanced geographical information systems, conservation genetics, global environmental change, ecological physiology, and fisheries biology, among others. May be repeated for credit as varying topics will be offered. Variable hours and credit.
Topics that have been offered include:
• Biology of Marine Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles
• Advanced Statistics
• Fisheries Systems Management
• Human Dimensions in Natural Resource Management and Policy
• The Role of Marine Protected Areas in Ecosystem-Based Management
• Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Models
• Resources, Environmental Writing, and Thought
MES 595 Independent Study (1-4 credits)
Reading and synthesis at the graduate level in an area not otherwise available. May be repeated for credit if different topics are studied, but the student cannot accumulate more than four (4) credits. A written proposal must be submitted by the student to the supervising professor and the Graduate Student Coordinator at least four weeks prior to registration for the course. Variable hours and credit.
MES 596 Internship (1-4 credits)
Students may participate in an internship with a natural resource management agency or non-profit organization. Written proposals for the internship must be developed by the student and the prospective agency supervisor and submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator and the student’s advisory committee for approval at least four weeks prior to the start of the internship. A maximum of four (4) credits can be earned, the number of credits being determined by the duration of the experience. Variable hours.
MES 567 Pedagogy and Mentoring (1 credit)
Introduction to techniques designed to enhance the undergraduate learning experience, including recent research on cognition and how the findings of this research can be incorporated into the teaching of undergraduate laboratory sections, supplemental instruction, and mentoring of undergraduate researchers. Students will have the opportunity to practice techniques and obtain feedback on the effectiveness of their instruction. Other topics to be discussed will include UVI policies, use of technology in teaching, ethical issues, such as confidentiality, sexual harassment, and academic integrity. One 50 minute lecture per week, or 750 minutes of contact time distributed as necessary if offered during summer session. (F)