1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Course Description Index


School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Graduate Program in Marine Sciences and Limnology

Degree: M.S., Ph.D.

Minimum Requirements for Degree: M.S.: 30 credits; Ph.D.: Open

The Graduate Program in Marine Sciences and Limnology offers M.S. degrees in several areas of oceanography (physical, chemical, biological, geological, fisheries and marine biology). Limnological research projects are also undertaken under the oceanography degree. The Ph.D. degree is offered in oceanography and students also may pursue an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in marine biology.

Opportunities for laboratory and field work are available through the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the Institute of Marine Science. These include laboratories at Fairbanks, the Seward Marine Center, Kasitsna Bay, the Juneau Center for Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, and the Fishery Industrial Technology Center at Kodiak. Research vessels operated by the institute and school include the R/V Alpha Helix, which has open-ocean capabilities and operates in Alaskan coastal waters, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Bering Sea, and the R/V Little Dipper, which operates on day trips in Resurrection Bay. Laboratory facilities include a seawater system at Seward and a variety of modern and analytical instrumentation, including mass spectrometers, alpha, gamma and beta counting equipment, a flow cytometer facility, and gas and liquid chromatography equipment. Mainframe and personal computing facilities are readily accessible to graduate students.

Oceanography is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. For both M.S. and Ph.D. oceanography students, research emphasis is on processes influencing the ocean's circulation, composition, biological productivity, and geology. Students considering graduate study in oceanography should have a strong background in one of the sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics) and a working familiarity with the others. The Graduate Program in Marine Sciences and Limnology offers M.S. degrees in several areas of oceanography (biological, chemical, fisheries, geological, physical). Limnological research projects may also be undertaken within the oceanography degree. Students are admitted to the Graduate Program in Marine Sciences and Limnology on the basis of their ability and the capability of the program to meet their particular interests and needs. Applications are considered throughout the year but students should apply by March 1 to have the best chance for admission and financial support for the subsequent Fall semester. Assistantship stipends are awarded competitively and limited fellowship support is available. Most students are supported on research projects that relate directly to their degree research.

Oceanography -- M.S. Degree

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Pass a written comprehensive examination.
  3. Complete a thesis and pass an oral defense of the thesis.
  4. Oceanography majors must demonstrate field experience aboard an oceanographic vessel.
  5. Course Requirements (30 credits):
    Complete a minimum of 30 credits; at least 24 credits, including thesis and/or research, must be at the 600 level.

    Required courses (12 credits)
    MSL 620 -- Physical Oceanography (3 credits)
    MSL 630 -- Geological Oceanography (3 credits)
    MSL 650 -- Biological Oceanography (3 credits)
    MSL 660 -- Chemical Oceanography (3 credits)
    Seminar (3 credits)
    MSL 692 -- Seminar (3 credits)
    Fisheries Oceanography option:
    MSL 640 -- Fisheries Oceanography (3 credits)
    and MSL 620, 630, 650, 660, and 3 credits of seminar.

    Total credits required (30 credits)

Oceanography -- Ph.D. Degree

The doctoral degree is awarded for proven ability and scholarly attainment, and each candidate's program is planned with a graduate advisory committee. There are no fixed course requirements, nor is an M.S. degree required to earn the Ph.D. degree. However, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in Oceanography (Biological, Chemical, Fisheries, Geological, and Physical Oceanography and Marine Biology options) will be expected to have completed coursework at least equivalent to that required for the corresponding M.S. degree. Students must comply with UAF degree requirements.