2007-2008 UAF Catalog


Course descriptions index


Marine Science and Limnology

MSL 111X     4 Credits
The Oceans (n)
Study of the oceans from the broad perspective offered by combining insights from biology, physics, chemistry and geology. Topics include the evolution of the oceans and marine life, forces acting on water and the resulting currents and waves, and relationships between the physics and chemistry of water bodies and their biological productivity. Societal questions related to fisheries management, global climate change and pollution will be discussed. (3 + 3) Offered Juneau Alternate Fall; Offered Fairbanks Fall, Spring


MSL 411      3 Credits
Current Topics in Oceanographic Research
Study of research problems from biology, chemistry, geology and physics. Topics include sea floor hydrothermal vents and their indigenous communities, manganese nodules, tsunami prediction, radioisotopes in the sea, Bering Sea productivity and the role of the ocean in global warming due to fossil fuel carbon dioxide. (Prerequisites: Four semesters of natural sciences at 100-level or above or permission of instructor.) (3 + 0) Offered Juneau As Demand Warrants; Offered Fairbanks Alternate Fall


MSL 420      2 Credits
Scientific Diving
Introduction to SCUBA diving techniques used by the research community. Includes familiarization with Alaska subtidal flora and fauna. Opportunity to work under water and assist with diving projects conducted by advanced diving students at the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab. Course certifies a Research Diver Specialty (PADI), CPR and first aid (Red Cross) and Emergency Oxygen Administration (DAN). Completion of this course allows students to be eligible to join the UAF (AAUS) dive program and to dive on UAF sanctioned diving projects, and have reciprocity to dive with other university and government agencies. Materials fee: $425. (Prerequisite: SCUBA open-water certification; and basic biology or ecology courses. Special condition: Must have current SCUBA physical approved. Graded Pass/Fail.) (1 + 1 + 8) Offered Spring


MSL 421      2 Credits
Advanced Scientific Diving
(Stacked with MSL 623)
Propose a hypothesis and experimentally test it during a one-week field trip to the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab. Develop a proposal, dive plan and materials list in relation to the hypothesis. Undergraduates will present their findings in a poster or oral presentation while graduate students will present theirs in a public seminar. Materials fee: $175. (Prerequisite: SCUBA open-water certification; MSL 420; and basic biology or ecology courses. Special condition: Must have current SCUBA physical approved.) (1 + 1 + 8) Offered Spring


MSL 435      3 Credits
Acoustical Oceanography
Principles and applications of underwater sound in solving oceanographic problems related to chemistry, physics, geology and biology, including hydroacoustical methods, acoustical phenomena, bioacoustics and fisheries acoustics, environmental noise and signal processing. (Prerequisites: College physics and calculus.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Fall


MSL 450      4 Credits
Marine Biology and Ecology Field Course
(Stacked with MSL 651)
Advanced understanding of marine organisms in an ecological and evolutionary context through field and laboratory work at the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab. Includes collection of marine macroalgae, invertebrates and plankton and relating their anatomical organization to habitat, lifestyle and ecology. Emphasis on familiarization with Alaska's nearshore flora and fauna, the ecological function of organisms and ecosystem dynamics. Includes employing different field sampling techniques and experimental designs in various habitats found around the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab, e.g. rocky intertidal, open water, mudflats, seagrass beds and salt marshes. (Prerequisites: One year of biology and permission of instructor. Basic courses in ecology and invertebrate zoology recommended.) (3 + 6) Offered Alternate Summer, As Demand Warrants


MSL 456      4 Credits
Kelp Forest Ecology
(Stacked with MSL 656)
Introduction to knowledge, hypotheses and disputes regarding components of nearshore tidal communities and the ecological interactions that influence their structure and dynamics. Includes primary published literature in marine subtidal ecology, and local Alaska subtidal flora and fauna. Work underwater conducting ecological research. Includes formulating questions, collecting and analyzing ecological data, report writing and feedback. Course fee: $450. (Prerequisites: UAF Science Diver certification.) Offered Alternate Summer, As Demand Warrants


MSL 460      1-3 Credits
Marine Studies for Science Teachers
Field studies in oceanography and marine biology emphasizing a hands-on approach to scientific observation, data collection and analysis. Small boat and beach excursions. Students may enroll for one, two, or three weeks at 1 credit per week. Two additional credits may be earned by students concurrently enrolled in MSL 498 and completing their own investigative research project. Course offered at the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory. (Prerequisites: B.S. or B.A. degree and college-level science background or permission of instructor(s).) Offered Alternate Summer, As Demand Warrants


MSL 467      3 Credits
Introduction to Marine Macroalgae (n)
(Stacked with MSL 667)
Introduction to marine macroalgae. Includes algal structure, function and ecology, basic knowledge of the major phyla, key and press algae, and local Alaska flora. Includes a four to five day field trip to Kasitsna Bay Marine Laboratory. Materials fee: $50. (Prerequisite: Upper-division standing in a natural science.) (2 + 3) Offered As Demand Warrants


MSL 610      3 Credits
Marine Biology
Biology of the major plant and animal groups in the sea and their roles in pelagic and benthic systems. Physical, chemical and geological features affecting marine organisms and the role of bacteria in the sea. The basic biology and adaptations of selected species of zooplankton and nekton. The benthos--shore biota, shelf and deep-sea organisms: basic biology, trophic roles and adaptations of selected species. (Prerequisites: Degree in biology or permission of instructor. Highly recommended: courses in invertebrate zoology, ichthyology, vertebrate zoology.) (3 + 0) Offered Spring


MSL 611      5 Credits
Field Problems in Marine Biology
Study of pelagic and benthic ecosystems emphasizing distribution, abundance and ecology of dominant species. Students will also complete a research project of their own choosing. Five-week course offered at the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor; invertebrate zoology or equivalent.) (0 + arranged) Offered Alternate Summer, As Demand Warrants


MSL 615      3 Credits
Physiology of Marine Organisms
A study of the physiological systems of and adaptation to the marine environment, intertidal, pelagic and deep benthos environment and energy flows will be discussed. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Fall


MSL 616      3 Credits
Metabolic Physiology
Integrates organismal and cellular aspects of vertebrate metabolism, thus representing an amalgam of biochemistry, cellular physiology and comparative animal physiology. Detail and intensity devoted to the various topics of metabolism will be tailored to the research interests of class. (Recommended: Undergraduate course in biochemistry, and physiology or cellular biology.) (3 + 0) Offered Spring


MSL 617      3 Credits
Marine Mammal Management
Practical current issues related to marine mammals in Alaska and throughout the world. Review of the legal agreements affecting marine mammals such as the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered species Act, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act, and the history and actions of such groups as the International Waling Commission. Includes discussion of current mammal management policies in the U.S. and throughout the world. Other issues explored in relation to marine mammals: contaminants, habitat, interactions with fisheries and subsistence hunting. (Recommended: Courses in genetics, populations dynamics, and general ecology. Next offered: 2008-09.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 619      3 Credits
Biology of Marine Mammals
Introduction to a broad range of research and conservation topics associated with marine mammals. Topics include physiological adaptations, phylogeny and evolution, behavior, ecology, population dynamics and conservation. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing; or upper-division ecology and biology courses. Next offered: 2008-09.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 620      4 Credits
Physical Oceanography
Physical description of the sea, physical properties of seawater, methods and measurements, boundary processes, currents, tides and waves, and regional oceanography. (Prerequisite: Math 202X, PHYS 103X or PHYS 211X, science or engineering degree, or permission of instructor.) (3 + 3) Offered Fall


MSL 621      3 Credits
Polar Marine Science
Physical, biological, chemical and geological oceanography of the polar oceans with emphasis on comparing and contrasting the Arctic and Antarctic. (Prerequisites: MSL 620, 630, 650, 660, or concurrent enrollment, or permission of instructor. Next offered: 2008-09.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Fall


MSL 623      2 Credits
Advanced Scientific Diving
(Stacked with MSL 421)
Propose a hypothesis and experimentally test it during a one-week field trip to the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab. Develop a proposal, dive plan and materials list in relation to the hypothesis. Undergraduates will present their findings in a poster or oral presentation while graduate students will present theirs in a public seminar. Materials fee: $175. (Prerequisite: SCUBA open-water certification; MSL 420; and basic biology or ecology courses. Special condition: Must have current SCUBA physical approved.) (1 + 1 + 8) Offered Spring


MSL 625      3 Credits
Shipboard Techniques
Introduction to modern oceanographic shipboard sampling and analysis techniques. (2 + 3) Offered Spring


MSL 626      3 Credits
Continental Shelf Dynamics
Geophysical fluid dynamic fundamentals appropriate to continental shelf circulation. Steady and time-dependent wind and buoyancy-forced flows in the presence of stratification and bathymetry. (Prerequisites: MSL 620 and MATH 421.) (3 + 0) Offered As Demand Warrants (Spring)


MSL 629      4 Credits
Methods of Numerical Simulation in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Fundamentals of computer simulation, including time and spatial differencing and stability theory applied to partial differential equations describing dynamic processes in the ocean and atmosphere. Numerical approximation schemes for geophysical fluid dynamics will be analyzed through equations of motion, continuity and transport. Special consideration given to description of frictional processes in turbulent flow and transport/diffusion phenomena. Includes laboratory practice. (Prerequisites: MATH 310, 421, 422 or equivalent; baccalaureate degree in physics, engineering, mathematics or equivalent; experience with FORTRAN. Next offered: 2007-08.) (3 + 3) Offered Alternate Fall


MSL 630      3 Credits
Geological Oceanography
Topography and structure of the ocean floor. Theory of plate tectonics. Geology of ocean basins, continental slope, shelf and coastal environments. Major sediment types and distributions. Sediment transport and deposition. Paleoceanography. (Prerequisite: Introductory college geology or permission of instructor.) (3 + 0) Offered Spring


MSL 640      4 Credits
Fisheries Oceanography
Oceanography of marine processes affecting commercially important fisheries (finfish and shellfish) and species that affect them. Interactions between fisheries resources and physical, biological, geological and chemical oceanography, as well as climatological and meteorological conditions. Topics include recruitment, transport, natural mortality, predator-prey relationships, competition, distribution and abundance, El Ni�o/La Ni�a, regime shifts, and climate change. Emphasis on early life history of fishes. Examples from fisheries and ecosystems worldwide are used. (Prerequisite: MSL 650 or permission of instructor; recommended FISH 400, O/2.) (4 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 650      3 Credits
Biological Oceanography
Survey of biological processes emphasizing organic matter synthesis and transfer including topics essential to a basic understanding of contemporary biological oceanography. Primary and secondary production, standing stocks, distribution, and structure and dynamics of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations. The transfer of organic matter to higher trophic levels and food webs. Nutrient cycling, especially but not exclusively nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon, microbiological processes relevant to nutrient cycling. Heterotrophic production, benthic communities coastal ecosystems, the influence of organisms on the composition of seawater, particularly with reference to oxygen and carbon dioxide regimes. Aspects of regional oceanography. (Prerequisites: Upper-division standing in a science major.) (3 + 0) Offered Fall


MSL 651      4 Credits
Marine Biology and Ecology Field Course
(Stacked with MSL 450)
Advanced understanding of marine organisms in an ecological and evolutionary context through field and laboratory work at the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab. Includes collection of marine macroalgae, invertebrates and plankton and relating their anatomical organization to habitat, lifestyle and ecology. Emphasis on familiarization with Alaska's nearshore flora and fauna, the ecological function of organisms and ecosystem dynamics. Includes employing different field sampling techniques and experimental designs in various habitats found around the Kasitsna Bay Marine Lab, e.g. rocky intertidal, open water, mudflats, seagrass beds and salt marshes. Graduate students perform a research project related to course subject matter. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing, one year of biology and permission of instructor. Basic courses in ecology and invertebrate zoology recommended.) (3 + 6) Offered Alternate Summer, As Demand Warrants


MSL 652      3 Credits
Marine Ecosystems
Understanding ecosystems of the sea in the context of evaluating the impact of human activities. Focus on current concepts, trends and perspectives. (Prerequisites: BIOL 472W, MSL 650, and MSL 620 or permission of instructor; Next offered: 2008-09.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 653-J     3 Credits
Zooplankton Ecology
(Cross-listed with FISH 653-J)
Survey of marine zooplankton including processes and variables which influence their production and dynamics. Emphasis on the northeast Pacific ocean zooplankton community. Field and lab methods for sampling include fixing, preserving, subsampling, identifying and quantifying zooplankton collections. Laboratory techniques for culture of zooplankton include physiological measurements of bioenergetic parameters. (Prerequisites: invertebrate zoology course, MSL 610, or permission of instructor.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 654-J     3 Credits
Benthic Ecology
(Cross-listed with FISH 654-J)
Ecology of marine benthos, from subtidal to hadal zones. Methods of collecting, sorting, narcotizing, preserving and analyzing benthic assemblages, including video analytical techniques from submersibles and ROV's. Hydrothermal vent and cold seep assemblages. Physiology/energetics of benthic organisms, including animal-sediment relationships, feeding, reproduction and growth. Depth, spatial and latitudinal distribution patterns. (Prerequisites: Invertebrate zoology course, marine biology course, or permission of instructor. Next offered: 2008-09.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 655      2 Credits
Phytoplankton Ecology From Form to Function
Introduces the diversity and functioning of aquatic (marine and limnic) phytoplankton taxa in a wide sense. Topics include various adaptations to the environment (life cycles, physiology). Four lab sessions (1 hour lecture and 2 hours lab) will intensify the understanding of the topics, providing hands-on experience in analyzing phytoplankton samples on algal diversity and activity using modern techniques (fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and PAM fluorometry. (Prerequisites: MSL 650; and/or graduate courses in algal ecology and aquatic ecosystems; Next offered: 2007-08.) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 656      4 Credits
Kelp Forest Ecology
(Stacked with MSL 456)
Introduction to knowledge, hypotheses and disputes regarding components of nearshore tidal communities and the ecological interactions that influence their structure and dynamics. Includes primary published literature in marine subtidal ecology, and local Alaska subtidal flora and fauna. Work underwater conducting ecological research. Includes formulating questions, collecting and analyzing ecological data, report writing and feedback. Course fee: $450. (Prerequisites: UAF Science Diver certification.) Offered Alternate Summer, As Demand Warrants


MSL 660      3 Credits
Chemical Oceanography
(Cross-listed with CHEM 660)
The chemical, biological and physical processes that determine the distribution of chemical variables in the sea. The distribution of stable and radioisotopes are used to follow complex chemical cycles, with particular emphasis on the cycles of nutrient elements. The chemistry of carbon is considered in detail. Implications of the mid-ocean ridge vent system to ocean chemistry are examined. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.) (3 + 0) Offered Spring


MSL 661      3 Credits
Stable Isotope Techniques in Environmental Research
An examination of the use of added or naturally occurring isotope tracers in ecological studies. Demonstration of equipment and modern techniques. (Prerequisite: MSL 660 or permission of instructor. Next offered: 2007-08.) (3 + 0) Offered Alternate Spring


MSL 667      3 Credits
Introduction to Marine Macroalgae
(Stacked with MSL 467)
Introduction to marine macroalgae. Includes algal structure, function and ecology, basic knowledge of the major phyla, key and press algae, and local Alaska flora. Includes a four to five day field trip to Kasitsna Bay Marine Laboratory. Materials fee: $50. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing.) (2 + 3) Offered As Demand Warrants


MSL 670      2 Credits
Nutrient Dynamics
The dynamics of nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon cycles of the world oceans and the specific processes which transfer nutrients between ecosystems compartments. Analytical techniques employed in measurement of nutrient transfer rates. (Prerequisites: MSL 660 or 650 or permission of instructor. Next offered: 2007-08.) (2 + 0) Offered Alternate Fall


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