Marine Studies (MARS)

MARS 3200. Marine Studies. 4 Hours.

Surveys the issues and methodologies involved in the interdisciplinary study of marine environments. Examines the physical, biological, social, and historical processes that interact in this complex system. Guest lectures provide an overview of the range of disciplines in the study of the world’s oceans.

MARS 3210. Marine Mammals. 4 Hours.

Designed to familiarize students with biology and conservation of marine mammals. The course content is primarily scientific, but the goal of the course is to consider how scientific knowledge is used as a tool of conservation. Topics include the evolution and taxonomy of whales, seals, and other marine mammals, adaptations to the ocean environment, feeding and social behavior, and population ecology. Issues include whaling and sealing, environmental contaminants, entanglements in fishing gear, tuna /dolphin interactions, and the decline of Stellar Sea lions.

MARS 3300. The Ocean World. 4 Hours.

Provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary introduction to the oceans. Focuses on the sea’s complexity and the far-reaching consequences of our interactions with them. Draws on specialists in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts, each with an interest in marine issues and a commitment to bridging the gaps among disciplines. The course themes are broad, but, when appropriate, focus on Boston Harbor, a first step into the ocean world for this area.

MARS 3305. Maritime History of New England. 4 Hours.

Surveys maritime transportation, trade, travel, exploration, and warfare from approximately 3500 B.C. to the end of the wooden boat era in the late nineteenth century. Prior to the widespread application of steam power on land and sea, ships were the fastest, safest, and most economical means of transporting large cargoes over long distances. Literary and art history sources are also introduced, along with several films on maritime archaeology.

MARS 3310. Water Resources Policy and Management. 4 Hours.

Explores the ways in which water has affected our bodies, our planet, our history, our culture, and the danger posed by increasing demand, waste, and pollution on our limited supply of usable fresh water. Considers water through scientific, historical, and cultural viewpoints. Surveys contemporary water problems in all their dimensions-political, economic, and technological.

MARS 3315. Wetlands: Ecology and Hydrology. 4 Hours.

Investigates the vital role of wetlands in the hydrology and ecology of global landscapes. Topics include function of inland and coastal marshes, and swamps and bogs in water and nutrient cycles, and in support of biodiversity from microbes to vertebrates. Examines biological links between wetlands and human activities, such as agriculture, coastal development, and fisheries. Also covers legal framework for the protection and restoration of endangered wetlands.

MARS 3325. Coastal Zone Management. 4 Hours.

Focuses on outstanding issues in coastal environment affairs. Discusses scientific, legal, economic, and technical aspects of coastal issues and intergrates them into problem-solving exercises.

MARS 3425. Biology of Fishes. 4 Hours.

Covers the evolution, systematics, anatomy, physiology, and behavior of freshwater, marine, and anadromous fishes from temperate to tropical environments. Examines the diversity of fish interactions in aquatic communities; predator/prey relationships, host/symbiont interactions, and the various roles of fishes as herbivores. Studies inter- and intraspecific predator-prey relationships among fish populations in aquatic communities and integrates principles of ecology. Provides access to the collection of the New England Aquarium resulting in an extraordinary opportunity to understand principles of ichthyology through the study of living fish. Hosted each year by a consortium member institution, this Massachusetts Bay Marine Studies Consortium is an intermediate-level survey course.

MARS 3430. Biology of Whales. 4 Hours.

Offers a comprehensive review of the biology, ecology, and management of cetaceans. A thorough grounding in cetacean mammalogy and population biology seeks to prepare students to understand conservation problems presented as case histories. Requires students to complete an independent research paper on a topic related to cetacean biology. Hands-on activities may include the dissection of a small cetacean and a shore-based whale watch in Cape Cod Bay. Hosted each year by a consortium member institution (at Northeastern University’s Boston campus), this is a Massachusetts Bay Marine Studies Consortium course.

MARS 4500. Advanced Seminar in Marine Studies. 4 Hours.

Focuses on outstanding issues in the marine environment. Using a seminar format, students from colleges and universities throughout the Boston area convene to address the complex interactions of disciplines including scientific, legal, economic, and technical aspects of issues that come into play in marine affairs. Seminars are led by experts actively involved in the issues.