Department of Marine Science

The information in parentheses after a course number is the Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) designation. Only TCCN designations that are exact semester-hour equivalents of University courses are listed here. Additional TCCN information is given in Appendix A.

Marine Science: MNS

Lower-Division Courses

MNS 101. Seminar in Marine Science.

Overview of the depth and breadth of marine and freshwater science. Introduction to research opportunities at the university. One lecture hour a week for one semester. Biology 101C (Topic: Seminar in Marine Science) and Marine Sciences 101 may not both be counted. Prerequisite: None

MNS 307 (TCCN: GEOL 1345). Introduction to Oceanography.

Introduction to the sciences of oceanography: geological, physical, and biological. Two lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Marine Sciences 307 and Geological Sciences 307 may not both be counted.

MNS 308. Humans and a Changing Ocean.

The consequences of human-induced alteration of the marine environment including the impact on fisheries, marine mammals, food-web changes, and changes in species composition and ecological function will be explored. Designed for non-science majors. Two lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Marine Sciences 309 (Topic: Humans and a Changing Ocean) and 308 may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Marine Sciences 307 (or Geological Sciences 307).

MNS 309. Topics in Marine Science.

Designed for nonscience majors. Selected topics in marine science, including marine biology, marine chemistry, and physical oceanography. Two lecture hours and one and one-half laboratory hours a week for one semester. May not be counted toward a degree in marine science. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Marine Sciences 307.

MNS 310. Fundamentals of Marine Science.

Designed for students pursuing a degree option in Marine and Freshwater Science. In-depth introduction to physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes in marine systems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Biology 311D and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

Upper-Division Courses

MNS 320. Marine Ecology.

Study of ecological processes at different levels of integration in marine ecosystems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Biology 311D, and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 120L. Laboratory Studies in Marine Ecology.

A laboratory course with two weekend field trips to the Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas to perform ecological studies in the Texas coastal zone. Two weekend field trips, with pre- and post-field trip laboratory hours required. Prerequisite: Credit or registration for Marine Sciences 320.

MNS 440. Limnology and Oceanography.

Same as Biology 456L. An introduction to the study of the interactions between aquatic organisms and their environments. Two lecture hours and six laboratory hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Chemistry 302 or 302H; and the following with a grade of at least C-: Biology 325 or 325H, and Biology 206L, 208L, 226L, or Environmental Science 311.

MNS 344K. Marine Mining and Minerals.

Same as Geological Sciences 344K. Overview of seafloor mineral deposits, their exploration, and mining. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May not be counted toward the Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences or the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences degrees. Prerequisite: Geological Sciences 401 or 303, 416K, and 416M.

MNS 148, 348. Training Cruise(s).

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic 1: Training Cruise(s): Research in Biological Oceanography. One or more cruises of one to several days each to collect physical, chemical, oceanographic, and biological data relevant to biological processes in the sea. Preparatory instruction and post-cruise sample processing and analysis. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; consent of instructor; and the following coursework with a grade of at least C- in each: Biology 325, and Chemistry 302 or 302H.
Topic 2: Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Course. Hands-on, team-based instruction in the collection and processing of marine geological and geophysical data along the Gulf of Mexico coast. For Marine Science 148, one lecture hour and one laboratory hour a week for one semester. For Geological Sciences 348K and Marine Science 348, one lecture hour and four laboratory hours a week for one semester with additional hours to be arranged. Only one of the following may be counted: Geological Sciences 348K, 397F, Marine Science 348 (Topic 2). Fulfills the field experience requirement for some geological sciences degree programs. Students should contact the Department of Geological Sciences before registering. Additional prerequisite: For geological sciences majors, Geological Sciences 420K or 320L with a grade of at least C-, and consent of instructor; Geological Sciences 416M and 465K are recommended; for others, Marine Science 307 and 354F with a grade of at least C- in each, and consent of instructor.

MNS 352. Principles of Marine Science.

Lectures, laboratory, and fieldwork. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic 9: Endocrinology. Endocrinology, with special reference to lower vertebrates and evolution of control systems. Marine Science 352 (Topic 9) and 382 (Topic 9: Endocrinology) may not both be counted. May count as zoology. Prerequisite: Previous courses in physiology and consent of instructor.
Topic 12: Adaptive Physiology of Marine Organisms. Selected topics in the comparative physiology of marine organisms and their environmental adaptations. Prerequisite: Previous course in cell physiology or consent of instructor.
Topic 13: Microclimatology. Physical and thermal characteristics of the atmospheric surface layer, with particular reference to coastal environments.
Topic 16: Ocean Engineering. Description of ocean waves and tides, methods of wave forecasting, classroom and field exercises. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topic 18: Marine Atmospheric Chemistry. Atmospheric particle chemistry; sea-surface films, atmospheric organic matter; air-sea chemical fractionation; carbon, nitrogen, sulfur cycles. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topic 20: General Marine Phycology. Survey of benthic algae and phytoplankton of the Texas coast; systematics, morphology, life history and culturing techniques.
Topic 21: Ecology of Marine Fungi. Biology of the fungi with emphasis on ecological, morphological, and developmental aspects and culturing techniques.
Topic 22: Oceanography. Consideration of current understanding of the chemistry and biology of the oceans.

MNS 352C. Estuarine Ecology.

Explores general ecological principles of estuarine environments in Texas including physiography, hydrography, and plant and animal community structure and productivity. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/lab hours may be required. Marine Sciences 352 (Topic 8) and 352C may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and six semester hours of coursework in biology, chemistry, geological sciences, or physics.

MNS 352D. Marine Botany.

Exploration of the marine algae and seagrasses of the south Texas coast, with emphasis on their taxonomy, physiology, and ecology; may include field trips to representative coastal habitats. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; one of the following courses: Biology 322, 324, 325 or 325H, 328, Marine Sciences 320, 352C; and three additional semester hours of coursework in biology.

MNS 352E. Marine Conservation Biology.

Explores how human activities influence the natural functioning and diversity of marine ecosystems and examines conservation efforts aimed to promote the sustainability of coastal habitats; may include several field excursions to local/regional marine ecosystems including sensitive coastal marshes and seagrass communities. Encourages the development of creative and critical thinking skills through numerous classroom activities focused on developing holistic understandings of marine ecosystems and the complexities of conservation science. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Marine Sciences 353 (Topic: Marine Conservation Biology) and 352E may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Biology 311D and Chemistry 302 or 302H with a grade of at least C- in each.

MNS 152L, 252L. Principles of Marine Science: Laboratory Studies.

A laboratory course with one-day field trips (which may include weekends) to local estuarine and coastal habitats. Includes pre- and post-field trip laboratory hours. For each semester hour of credit earned, three or four field/laboratory sessions, scheduled throughout the semester. May be counted toward the Bachelor of Science in Biology (Option III: Marine and Freshwater Biology) and toward other undergraduate degrees in biology. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Credit or registration for Marine Sciences 352.

MNS 152S, 252S. Principles of Marine Science: Undergraduate Seminar.

Guest lectures by local and visiting research scientists on a variety of topics in marine and environmental science. Each seminar is followed by a separate one-hour discussion to give students an opportunity to meet directly with the scientist. For each semester hour of credit earned, one lecture/discussion a week for one semester. May be counted toward the Bachelor of Science in Biology (Option III: Marine and Freshwater Biology) and toward other undergraduate degrees in biology. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

MNS 152T, 252T. Principles of Marine Science: Special Topics.

Advanced research topics in marine science relevant to critical habitats, organisms, or processes. The equivalent of one or two lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/lab hours may be required. May be counted toward the Bachelor of Science in Biology (Option III: Marine and Freshwater Biology) and toward other undergraduate degrees in biology. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and six semester hours of coursework in biology, chemistry, geological sciences, and/or physics.

MNS 353. Topics in Marine Science.

The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; consent of instructor.

Topic 2: Fish Adaptations to Coastal Ecosystems. Quantitative ecological comparisons of zoogeographical abundance and distribution with population, metabolic, and growth parameters. Additional prerequisite: Fifteen semester hours of coursework in biology and/or zoology.
Topic 4: Current Research. Research instruction/participation in marine science. Laboratory and field activity with emphasis on faculty contact.
Topic 5: Seafloor Mining. Study of seafloor mineral resources, including problems and policies related to exploration, mining, environmental concerns, assessment, and industrial development.
Topic 6: Marine Ecology. Independent study in marine ecology, literature research, and comprehensive writing. Report required. Additional prerequisite: Upper-division standing in a natural science, engineering, or education.
Topic 7: Marine Sedimentology. Selected topics and problems concerning the depositional processes, controls, and distribution of marine sediments.
Topic 8: Marine Chemistry. Study of the processes controlling the chemistry of natural waters, the oceans as a chemical system, and the impact of human activities on these systems.
Topic 14: Marine Isotope Geochemistry. The use of isotopes (stable, radiogenic, uranium series, and anthropogenic) in the study of marine science.
Topic 15: Interdisciplinary Classroom Field Methods. Uses the interdisciplinary nature of marine science to focus on inquiry-based instruction, constructivist-oriented teaching strategies, and field explorations.
Topic 17: Marine Fish Physiology. Physiology of major organ systems of marine fishes, with emphasis on adaptations to marine environments. Includes osmoregulation, nutrition, circulation, excretion, reproduction, sensory physiology, and endocrine control. Additional prerequisite: Biology 311D, and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 354. Marine Invertebrates.

Study of invertebrate taxonomy, structure, behavior, and ecology; may include field sampling and laboratory studies of invertebrate habitats of the Texas coast. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; six semester hours of biology coursework.

MNS 354C. Biology of Fishes.

Anatomy, physiology, behavior, life history, taxonomy, and distribution of fishes; may include field sampling and laboratory studies of the coastal biota. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, six semester hours of coursework in biological sciences, or consent of instructor.

MNS 354E. Aquatic Microbiology.

Ecology, physiology, distribution, and growth of heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria and fungi in waters and sediments. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Marine Sciences 354E and 384E may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Biology 311D, Chemistry 302 or 302H; and consent of instructor.

MNS 354F. Marine Geology.

Survey of the origin, structure, stratigraphy, and sedimentology of marine basins and continental margins. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Marine Sciences 354F and 384F may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; and six semester hours of coursework in chemistry, marine science, or geological sciences, or consent of instructor.

MNS 354J. Marine Chemistry.

Introduction to marine and environmental chemistry, including the distribution of elements in seawater, the geochemical and oceanographic processes controlling and affected by these distributions, and the effects of human activities on marine chemical processes. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, and Chemistry 301 and 302; or consent of instructor.

MNS 354Q. Marine Environmental Science.

Application of the principles of marine science to the study of environmental issues: toxicology, biogeochemical cycles, and the biological and ecological impacts of zenobiotic materials in the coastal zone. The equivalent of two lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; Biology 311D, and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 354T. Biological Oceanography.

Introduction to the organisms in the sea, their adaptations to the environment, and the factors that control their distribution and abundance; may include laboratory and field work with organisms found in the coastal waters of Texas. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and Biology 311D.

MNS 354U. Biology of Sharks, Skates, and Rays.

Ecology, anatomy, and physiology of elasmobranch fishes. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Biology 311D, and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 355C. Physiology of Fishes.

Physiology of major organ systems of both marine and freshwater fishes. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Biology 311D, and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 356. Ecosystem Oceanography.

An exploration of interconnections within and among marine ecosystems, as well as their linkages to climate, human activity, and adjacent freshwater and terrestrial environments. Emphasis will be placed on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems; may include hands-on field and laboratory activities. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Marine Sciences 352 (Topic: Ecosystem Oceanography) and 356 may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; Biology 311D; and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 357. Marine Phytoplankton Diversity.

The taxonomy of the major phytoplankton groups, their physiology, and their role in marine ecosystem; may include field and/or laboratory hours. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Marine Sciences 353 (Topic: Diversity Marine Phytoplankton) and 357 may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing; Biology 311D; and Chemistry 302 or 302H.

MNS 367K. Human Exploration and Exploitation of the Sea.

Review of the history of ocean exploration including major oceanographic expeditions. Discussion of current topics in ocean exploration and exploitation of marine resources, the impact of resource exploitation on biological systems, and the development of marine policy. An oral presentation is required. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester; additional lecture and field/laboratory hours may be required. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and Marine Sciences 307 with a grade of at least B-.

MNS 170, 270, 370. Special Studies in Marine Science.

Supervised individual instruction and research in marine science field and laboratory techniques. The equivalent of one, two, or three class hours a week for one semester, at the Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in science, a University grade point average of at least 3.00, and written consent of instructor.