Bachelor of Science in Oceanography
The Department of Marine and Environmental Systems integrates the expertise and skills of ocean scientists, engineers and managers. The oceanography faculty includes highly qualified individuals devoted to research involving the study of ocean currents and waves, coastal processes, planktonic and benthonic organisms, marine meteorology, hydroacoustic applications, and trace-metal pollution identification and distribution. How these research efforts impact the deep-sea, coastal and estuarine environment is the subject of numerous publications and technical reports, which have been prepared by both faculty and students.
Much of the instructional work on estuarine and coastal waters is conducted as part of applied research contracts that use the program's small motor-powered skiffs and chartered vessels for river, estuarine and offshore work. Access to the ocean is through Port Canaveral and/or Sebastian Inlet; the Gulf Stream can be reached in about three hours. These routes to the sea also provide convenient access to the Bahamas and the Florida Keys.
The program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Oceanography combines classroom and laboratory work at the main campus in Melbourne with the analysis of oceanographic data collected by students using program research vessels and boats.
During the first two years, the student concentrates on building a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and the humanities. The student can then choose one of five concentrations: biological, chemical or physical oceanography, coastal zone management or marine environmental science. Transferring from one concentration to another during the first two years will incur little or no loss of academic credits. In all concentrations, emphasis is placed on a strong scientific background for the student so that he or she is prepared for more advanced studies in graduate school or employment by industry or government. The program promotes the concept of applied research through a summer Marine Field Project. Both programs are conducted under the direction of faculty members and are designed to help the student use previous academic coursework in a relevant manner. The marine studies/oceanography undergraduate curricula are designed to prepare the graduate for a professional scientific career and graduate studies, exploring the scientific implications of human activities in and near the oceans. Oceanography offers five program concentrations:
Biological Oceanography: Provides training in all areas of oceanography with emphasis on biological aspects. Advanced courses in biology supplement those in oceanography.
Chemical Oceanography: Includes practical training in marine and environmental chemistry. Advanced courses in chemistry supplement those in oceanography.
Coastal Zone Management (CZM): Provides training in all areas of oceanography, while providing knowledge of decision-making and management concepts.
Marine Environmental Science: Offers a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to meet specific educational/professional goals within the broad field of marine science.
Physical Oceanography: The most quantitative concentration, it includes advanced courses in mathematics and engineering as well as oceanography.