Semester by the Sea: Courses

Fall Program

Students participate in three core* courses:

Long Island Marine Habitats (MAR-S 303, 4 credits)
A field intensive course emphasizing the marine organisms and ecosystems of Eastern Long Island.

Maritime Traditions of New England (MAR-S 356, 3 credits, DEC K course for SBU students)
A humanities course in which students explore the development of maritime culture and traditions in New York and New England.

Coastal Culture Experience (MAR-S 355, 2 credits)
A course which complements the Maritime Traditions course by taking students on extended trips to locations in Long Island and New England which have shaped maritime culture in the region.

Students also select two electives from the following courses:

Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles (MAR-S 376; 3 credits)
Led by the Riverhead Foundation's Rescue Program Director, students will explore the biology, ecology, and conservation of sea turtles and likely participate in additional learning opportunities, such as necropsies.

Physical Oceanography (MAR-S 352, 3 credits)
This course introduces students to the physics of the marine environment and the tools (physical, mathematical, scientific) to study these waters.  Environments ranging from pelagic to estuarine will be examined during trips aboard research vessels.

Experimental Marine Biology (MAR-S 305, 3 credits)
Students design and conduct experiments in the laboratory and at local field sites, collect and analyze data, and use scientific literature to interpret and present results in papers and oral presentations.

Ichthyology (MAR-S 380, 3 credits)
Students explore the diversity of fishes and the physiological, anatomical, ecological, and behavioral adaptations that allow them to populate a wide range of niches and environments. Field and laboratory work provide students with practical experience in collecting, identifying, and studying fish.

Chemical Oceanography (MAR-S 351, 3 credits)
teleconferenced (offered concurrently at both main and Southampton campuses)
An exploration of chemical principles applied to the study of the oceans. Students learn how chemical tracers are used to determine the geological, physical, and biological characteristics of present and past oceans. Other topics include physical marine chemistry, nutrient and carbon cycling, organic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, sediment chemistry and diagenesis, air-sea exchange and controls on carbon dioxide, and estuarine geochemistry.

For fall schedule overview, click here.

Spring Program

Students create their schedule from the following courses:

Marine Conservation (MAR-S 315, 3 credits)
The fundamental concepts of Conservation Biology, a new synthetic field that incorporates principles of ecology, biogeography, population genetics, systematics, evolutionary biology, environmental sciences, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy toward the conservation of biological diversity.

Biological Oceanography (MAR-S 349, 4 credits)
An examination of the processes which produce and maintain the abundances, composition, and temporal variations of organisms in the ocean.

Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Rehabilitation (MAR-S 375, 3 credits)
An intensive hands-on course designed to introduce students to the topics of marine mammal and sea turtle biology as they relate to rehabilitation and research.

Aquaculture (Topics in Marine Environmental Sciences) (MAR-S 395a, 3 credits)
This lab based course is designed to teach the fundamentals of aquaculture.

Maritime Technology  (Topics in Marine Environmental Sciences) (MAR-S 395b, 3 credits)
An examination of the historical impact of selected technologies on the maritime world. Students investigate topics such as how the problem of longitude was solved to the technology of the “unsinkable” Titanic and the science behind the discovery of its grave site.  They will also explore how the fishing industry has been shaped by changes in technology including Loran, GPS and new technologies such as TED (turtle excluder device).

For spring schedule overview, click here.

During either semester, SBU students can also enroll in courses at the main campus.  Limited shuttle bus service is provided.  If selecting this option, students must check their schedule carefully and allow adequate travel time.

* Core courses are required for visiting students and highly recommended for current SBU students.