Core coursework in the first year is designed to provide the broad theoretical and practical background and tools necessary for effectively conducting scientific research, managing natural resources and communicating the results of research and management decisions to various audiences. All students enrolled in the MMES program complete four two-semester core courses:
Fall Year 1
- MES 501 Physical and Ecological Processes along a Land-Sea Gradient I (3 credits)
- MES 503 Research Methodologies and Tools I (3 credits)
- MES 505 Natural Resource Management I (3 credits)
- MES 507 Professional Development I (1 credit)
Spring Year 1
During the Spring semester, students work as a team to create a management plan or address an environmental issue from the perspective of ecological and management. The project's theme guides all core courses in the Spring.
- MES 502 Physical and Ecological Processes along a Land-Sea Gradient II (3 credits)
- MES 504 Research Methodologies and Tools II (3 credits)
- MES 506 Natural Resource Management II (3 credits)
- MES 508 Professional Development II (1 credit)
Core courses are held on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students should expect to be on campus and in class or the field from 9am to 5pm every Monday and Wednesday during the Fall and Spring semester of their first year.
MES 501 Physical and Ecological Processes along a Land-Sea Gradient I
This course provides a theoretical and hands-on introduction to global ecological concepts and diverse ecosystems. Students will be introduced to current ecological thinking through readings and discussion, including primary literature. They will also participate in laboratory and field work to introduce them to local flora and fauna and the habitats (terrestrial, coastal and marine) in which they are found. Two hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory per week.
MES 502 Physical and Ecological Processes along a Land-Sea Gradient II
This course follows up on knowledge and skills that were introduced in Physical and Ecological Processes I. Ecological concepts will be examined by using the interactions between local flora and fauna and the abiotic environment along a land-to-sea gradient as specific examples. Students will examine conceptual models linking terrestrial, coastal and marine zones, and examine the effect of large scale physical changes on ecological processes through specific case studies. Students will also participate in collecting data for long-term ecological studies. Two hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory per week.
MES 503 Research Methodologies and Tools I
This course sets the theoretical and practical foundations for conducting scientific research. Students will learn how to design research projects from inception of an idea, formalizing a hypothesis, designing sampling/experimental techniques and data collection, and an overview of statistical and geospatial analyses. Two hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory per week.
MES 504 Research Methodologies and Tools II
This course provides training in database management, and the statistical and geospatial tools necessary to conduct research in natural and social sciences. Two hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory per week.
MES 505 Natural Resource Management I
This core course provides an overview of environmental management by examining services provided by natural resources, introducing resource management paradigms, and analyzing case studies. Three hours of lecture per week.
MES 506 Natural Resource Management II
This core course provides continued training in natural resource management with particular emphasis on Caribbean coastal and marine ecosystems. Students will examine institutions and policies that influence natural resource management, have the opportunity to interact with guest lecturers from local natural resource management agencies, and work as a team on a project that addresses a local resource management issue. Three hours of lecture per week.
MES 507 Professional Development I
This course provides an introduction to the tools necessary to be a successful scientist and resource manager. It will address communication with diverse audiences, public speaking and presentations skills, negotiation and conflict resolution. One hour of discussion per week.
MES 508 Professional Development II
This course continues to build students’ professional skills. It will address proposal preparation and presentation, grantsmanship, and ethics, and will introduce students to project planning. Additional topics covered will depend on the professional interests of students in the course. One hour of discussion per week.