Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science

The Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science educates undergraduate and graduate students to be future leaders in coastal and marine science as well as in management and policy decision-making for the utilization and preservation of marine resources. We recognize today's professional careers demand strong interdisciplinary as well as interpersonal skills and have designed our educational programs to provide a core education in the physical, chemical and geological sciences and the necessary training for applying this knowledge to the maintenance and improvement of our marine resources. Our faculty conducts cutting-edge research in coastal marine geology, physical oceanography, marine geochemistry, and coastal resources management that emphasize and support our degrees and course curricula. Our strength is the diversity of our faculty who utilize their experience from private, governmental, and academic careers to create extraordinary learning opportunities for students through “hands on” and “on the water” field and laboratory research as well as internships that give our students a competitive advantage for employment after graduation.

We offer a variety of majors and minors in subjects centered on the coastal and marine environment. We offer a B.S. in Marine Sciences (MARS) and a B.S. in Ocean and Coastal Resources (OCRE). Students enrolled in the MARS degree have the opportunity to select a track in physical, chemical, or geological marine sciences or an integrated track. The License Option Program (MARS-LO) is also available to MARS majors to obtain a third mate’s license in the Merchant Marine upon graduation. We offer a minor in OCRE, as well as minors in Geology, Oceanography, and Geography through the respective departments in College Station. Graduate programs offer a Master of Marine Resources Management (MARM) and a Ph.D. program in Marine and Coastal Management and Science (MCMS). We also offer a 3+2 Program in which the student can attain a B.S. OCRE with a MARM degree in 5 years. Our faculty advise students in diverse Master and Ph.D. graduate degrees on our campus such as the Interdisciplinary Program in Marine Biology (MARB IDP) and programs in conjunction with departments in College Station such as Oceanography (OCNG) and Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (LAUP). The departmental website (http://www.tamug.edu/mars/faculty/index.html) provides more information of our faculty’s fields of expertise and appointments with other departments and programs.

MARS 601 Teaching Environmental Sciences

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 4 Lab Hours.

This course will concentrate on the basic principles of environmental education using a hands-on approach to learn environmental principles and how to teach them. This course will have a special emphasis on coastal issues.
Prerequisite: Graduate status or approval of instructor.

MARS 602 Environmental Economics and Oceanography

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours. 0 Lab Hours.

An introductory fundamentals course for Marine Resources Management students; primary concepts of economics and oceanography with emphasis on their applications to physical and living resources. Writing assignments and case studies.
Prerequisite: Graduate status or approval of instructor.

MARS 603 Quantitative Methods for Resource Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Comprehensive introduction to descriptive and inferential statistical techniques; regression models; quantitative data analysis; research designs essential for understanding resource management and policy related issues.
Prerequisite: STAT 303 or equivalent introductory undergraduate quantitative methods course.

MARS 604 Quantitative Methods for Resource Management II

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Continuation of a two semester sequence course; extends knowledge of quantitative methods beyond basic statistical inference and the linear regression models; advanced topics and quantitative methods used for resource management and policy related research; emphasis on panel data models, random effects and fixed effects models, spatial regression analysis, instrumental variable model, nonlinear models and maximum likelihood estimation, binary and multinomial response models and regression models for count data.
Prerequisite: MARS 603 or approval of instructor.

MARS 610 Environmental Law

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of basic environmental laws including statutes, regulations, and cases. It also focuses on the both economic and ethical issues within the context of environmental law and policy.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 615 Physical and Geochemical Marine Resources

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Location, identification, extraction and exploitation of non-fisheries marine resources, including: water, salt, hydrocarbons, minerals, energy from the thermal, wave, tidal, current and wind fields, chemical compounds, pharmaceuticals, and construction materials in estuarine, coastal and open ocean areas.
Prerequisites: CHEM 102, GEOL 104, OCNG 251 or equivalent. Graduate status or approval of instructor.

MARS 620 International Environmental Business Ethics

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Ethical issues that may arise in environmental business transactions; case studies, both real and hypothetical.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor or graduate status.

MARS 625 GIS Use in Coastal Resources

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

GIS Use in Costal Recources. Basic concepts of design, planning, and implementation of Geographical Information Systems; computer hardware and software evaluation; practical experience in data entry, analysis and update of spatial and characteristic data; use of maps and remotely sensed data as data.
Prerequisite: Any computer science course or equivalent; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 626 Advanced GIS for Coastal Systems

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Conceptual and technical expansion of GIS and spatial analysis methods; hands on experience with multidisciplinary data sets relevant to coastal systems; spatial and statistical methods, creation, manipulation and analysis of various datasets that address the interaction of human and natural systems in coastal habitats.
Prerequisite: MARS 625 or similar course; graduate status or approval of instructor.

MARS 635 Environmental Impact Statements and Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

The course presents an overview of: a) environmental impact statements (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); and b) natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liablility Act (CERCLA). It is designed to cover requirements for a wide variety of EISs. NRDA hypothetical cases will be presented in which students are asked to calculate assessments.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 638 Avian Diversity and Habitats as Coastal Resources

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Avian Diversity and Habitats as Costal Resources. The lecture and readings will emphasize field identification, habitat requirements for native and migrant species and birds as bioindicators of habitat health and environmental stress. We will apply the study of bird diversity to environmental monitoring of coastal ecosystems and migrant stopover habitats. Labs will be conducted primarily in the field.
Prerequisites: BIOL 112, MARM 315 or WFSC 302 or ZOOL 318 or approval of instructor; graduate status.

MARS 640 Environmental Administrative Law

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Environmental law is governed, in large part, by administrative law. This course covers the processes involved in administrative environmental law. The primary focus of this course will be on: the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Corps of Engineer; and NOAA. A review of international administrative bodies will also be included.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 645 Wildlife Law and Ethics

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

This course provides an overview of the basic wildlife laws including international regimes, bilateral and multilateral treaties, conventions, and cases dealing with conservation, preservation, and management of non-Homo sapien species; federal law, regulations, and cases; and a sampling of state law. It also focuses on the ethical issues of species management.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 648 Invasive Species

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

The science and management of biological invasions, history and success rates including vectors and theories with positive and negative biological, ecological, economical and societal impacts. Ivasive species as threats to natural areas and communities. Management theories and regulatory strategies and their effectiveness. Emphasis on marine invasive species. Prerequiste: Graduate status.

MARS 650 Geochemical Marine Resources Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the issues involved in geochemical marine resources management. This course explores the management of exploration, production, and protection of the geochemical marine resources of the earth and the interface of the many players.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 652 Sustainable Management of Coastal Margins

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

The class will study federal, state, and local laws, regulations, ordinances and programs pertaining to management of coastal margins, visit the Texas General Land Office, attend meetings of the Coastal Coordinating Council, the Texas Legislature when a coastal-related bill is being debated, or attend the Galveston County Commissioner's Court or Galveston City Council when a coastal ordinance is being considered.
Prerequisite: Approval of Instructor.

MARS 655 Wetlands Management

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

This course surveys the interrelationship of chemistry, physics, geology and biology of coastal wetland systems and explores and defines the context of wetlands sustainability and management. Field exercises are an integral component providing students "hands on" experiences. Guest lectures, seminars and field trips lead by agency personnel who are experts in these fields of research are included.
Prerequisite: Background in chemistry, physics, geology and biology.

MARS 656 Coastal Water Policy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

History, past and present legislation, the government entities and agencies molding the policies affecting coastal water policy in Texas.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

MARS 658 Fisheries Management Strategies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

International and U.S. federal and selected state fishery management strategies; history of fisheries, jurisdictional issues, eco-system approaches and case studies.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or approval of instructor.

MARS 660 Environmental Conflict Resolution

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Origins and development of alternative environmental conflict resolution, a range of conflict resolution strategies for environmental conflict and the nature and process of environmental conflict resolution for both domestic and international disputes, across multiple issue areas and involving multiple scales - local, state, and national; emphasis on negotiation and mediation tactics of conflict resolution.
Prerequisites: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

MARS 670 Eco-Environmental Modeling

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Biological organisms are surrounded by chemical and physical environments which are influenced by the bio-system and flows of energy, water, and chemical species. Coupling to atmospheric, aquatic, and terrestrial systems is important. Modeling entails both mathematical tools and the underlying science. This course focuses on scientific models, from the simplest to more elaborate.
Prerequisites: BIOL 111, 112; CHEM. 101, 102; MATH 151, and 161 or 166; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 675 Environmental Management Strategies

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

The elements of EMS strategist’s skills, including what environmental laws may be triggered by scientific activities; the fundamental structure of an EMS; EMS alternatives; concepts in an audit; uses of an effective EMS to reduce costs and increase profits.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor or graduate classification.

MARS 676 Environmental Policy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

This course will provide a general introduction to the basic concepts and mechanisms of international and U.S. federal environmental law and policy. It will survey the field and its development as well as focus on case studies that illustrate the basic types of environmental problems.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 680 Integrative Analysis in Marine Resources

Credits 2. 2 Lecture Hours.

Integrative Analyses in Marine Resources. Review of public policy change mechanisms in marine resources management, including Congressional testimony, agency recommendations and structure, and NGO reports. Students propose and defend a public policy change with detailed documentation and an oral presentation demonstrating a professional understanding of marine resources issues within the context of current law.
Prerequisites: 24 hours of MARM course credits completed, or in concurrent enrollment, approval of instructor.

MARS 681 Seminar

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

Presentation of recent research by students, faculty and visiting faculty.
Prerequisite: None.

MARS 683 Field Practicum in Marine Sciences

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Lecture Hours. 1 to 4 Lab Hours.

An overview of marine sciences in remote locations varying by instructor and selected topics. Lectures on recent scientific papers, methods, and concepts related to field area. Individual projects and data collection including data analysis and presentation of results in a formal seminar and paper based on the research and findings.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in graduate program.

MARS 684 Internship in Marine Resources Management

Credits 1 to 9. 1 to 9 Other Hours.

This is a faculty supervised study with an agency or other position within or outside the Texas A&M University System. Student involvement consists of real-life learning of marine resources management issues. It is a full-immersion course that provides students with hands-on experience in marine resources management.
Prerequisites: Approval of faculty sponsor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 685 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Other Hours.

Selected Topics in an identified area of science, law policy or management of marine natural resources not covered in any other courses in the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

MARS 689 Special Topics in Marine Resources Management

Credits 1 to 6. 1 to 6 Lecture Hours.

Selected topics in an identified area of marine resources management. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: Approval of instructor; graduate status or special approval.

MARS 691 Research in Marine Sciences

Credits 1 to 12. 1 to 12 Other Hours.

For thesis or dissertation.

MARS 693 Professional Study for Marine Resource Management

Credits 1 to 3. 1 to 3 Lecture Hours.

Guidance for preparation of a professional paper and abstract by the advisor; intended for non-thesis (professional track) Marine Resources Management students.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

Alexander, Steve K, Lecturer
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Louisiana State University, 1976

Amon, Rainer, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, University of Texas at Austin, 1995

Anis, Ayal, Associate Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Oregon State University, 1993

Bodson, Bruce R, Lecturer
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
JD, South Texas College of Law, 1993

Brody, Samuel D, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, University of North Carolina, 2002

Davlasheridze, Meri, Assistant Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Pennsylvania State University, 2013

Dellapenna, Timothy M, Associate Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, The College of William & Mary, 1999

Highfield, Wesley E, Associate Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Texas A&M University, 2008

Jones, Glenn A, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Columbia University, 1983

Kaiser, Karl, Associate Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, University of South Carolina, 2009

Louchouarn, Patrick, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, 1997

Merrell Jr, William J, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Texas A&M University, 1971

Mohler, Robert R, Senior Lecturer
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Texas A&M University, 1994

Park, Kyeong, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, College of William and Mary, 1993

Retchless, David P, Assistant Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Pennsylvania State University, 2015

Ross-Wootton, Ashley D, Assistant Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Texas A&M University, 2010

Santschi, Peter H, Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Universitat Bern, 1975

Van Hengstum, Peter J, Associate Professor
Marine and Coastal Environmental Science
PHD, Dalhousie University, Canada, 2011