Marine Studies

Exploring the relationships between humans and marine environments

 
Dolphins Jumping Near Boat,

Marine Studies at Prescott College has a strong focus on ecology of the marine environment (physical oceanography and marine ecology) and on the relationships between humans and the marine environment. Students graduating with a competence in Marine Studies should have a foundation in life sciences, physical sciences, human ecology, conservation, and resource management, as well as a broad scope of supporting courses in literature, politics, economics, and humanities.  Direct field experience further establishes a student's understanding and respect for the power and vastness of the world's ocean. Most Marine Studies students follow one of two main paths: marine ecology/field research/natural history or marine conservation/resource management/policy. 

Many Marine Studies courses take place at Prescott College's Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico, on the coast of the Gulf of California. The Kino Bay Center sits amid the diverse Sonoran Desert on the coast of the Midriff Island region of the Gulf of California, an area rich in marine habitats, seabirds, marine mammals, fish, mangrove estuaries, and other coastal flora and fauna. Our relationships with the local Mexican fishing community and the native Comcaac village enables us to explore a variety of marine environments, study human interactions with the sea, and participate in cooperative marine conservation research projects. Marine Studies students are also encouraged to broaden their experience by participating in an Eco-League exchange with either College of the Atlantic or Alaska Pacific University.

 

Required Courses

(16-course minimum; 8 UD minimum) (LD = Lower Division; UD = Upper Division)

  • Marine Studies Core Courses (five courses)
  • Science Foundation Courses (two courses)
  • Conservation Foundation Courses (two courses)
  • Analytical and Field Methods Courses (two courses)
  • Distribution Courses (one course from each of the four areas) and one ecology course required for ESS competence
  • Independent Study on marine-focused theme (one)
  • Senior Project

Note: some courses may simultaneously apply to more than one of the categories listed above. The listing of courses below is intended to be a guide, suggesting the types of courses that could be included in an Environmental Studies and Sustainability Competence with an emphasis in Marine Studies. Ultimately, it is the task of the student and his/her advisor to agree on a combination of courses--possibly including some not listed that develops competence and is suited to the individual.

Core Courses

At least five are required:

  • Coastal Ecology of the Gulf of California (UD)
  • Independent Study on marine-focused theme (UD)
  • Marine Biology I, II, III (12 credits) (LD/UD)
  • Marine Conservation I, II, III (12 credits) (UD)
  • Marine Studies I, II, III (12 credits) (LD)
  • Sea Kayaking and Marine Natural History (LD)
  • Wilderness Explorations and Landscape Studies Gulf of California I, II, III (12 credits) (LD/UD)
  • Senior Project (UD)

Foundational & Field Studies Courses

Science Foundation Courses (select at least two courses)

  • Animal Behavior (UD)
  • Animal Biology (LD)
  • Biological Principles (LD)
  • Botany (LD)
  • Earth Sciences, Intro to (LD)
  • Ecology, Concepts of (LD)
  • Field Methods in Geology (UD)
  • Foundations of Chemistry (LD)
  • Geologic Evolution of the Southwest (LD)
  • Geomorphology (UD)
  • Natural History and Ecology of the Southwest (8 credits; LD)
  • Weather and Climate (LD)         

Conservation Foundation Courses (select at least two courses)

  • Changing World Order (LD/UD)
  • Conservation Biology (UD)
  • Environmental Ethics (UD)
  • Environmental Politics (UD)
  • Issues of Global Food Production (LD)
  • Philosophies of the Interpretive Naturalists (UD)

Analytical and Field Methods Courses (select at least two courses)

  • Field Methods for Plant Biology (UD)
  • Geographic Information Science (LD)
  • Marine Biology III (LD/UD)
  • Marine Conservation III (UD)
  • Statistics for Research (UD)
  • Wetland Ecology and Management (UD)
  • Wildlife Management: Applied Conservation Biology (UD)

Recommended Distribution Courses

Life Sciences

  • Animal Behavior (UD)
  • Animal Biology (LD)
  • Biological Principles (LD)
  • Botany (LD)
  • Herpetology (LD)
  • Marine Biology I (LD)
  • Organic Evolution (UD)
  • Ornithology, Introduction to (LD)

Earth and Physical Sciences

  • Earth Sciences, Introduction to (LD)
  • Environmental Geology (LD)
  • Geologic Evolution of the Southwest (LD)
  • Geology of Arizona (LD)
  • Geomorphology, Topics in (UD)
  • Oceanography (LD)
  • Soil Sciences, Introduction to (LD)
  • Weather and Climate (LD)

Social Systems

  • Ecological Economics (LD)
  • Environmental Ethics (UD)
  • Environmental Politics (UD)
  • Integrating Social and Ecological Perspectives (UD)
  • Marine Conservation I (UD)

Personal Values

  • Ecopsychology, Introduction to (LD)
  • Environmental Ethics (UD)
  • Nature and Psyche (LD)
  • Philosophies of the Interpretative Naturalists (UD)

Sample Sequence of Courses for Marine Studies Emphasis

Year 1: Biological Principles, Concepts of Ecology, Marine Studies I, II, III (12 credits) 

Year 2: Marine Biology I, II, III (12 credits), Environmental Ethics, Conservation Biology

Year 3: Marine Conservation I, II, III (12 credits); Coastal Ecology of the Gulf of California

Year 4: Independent Study (UD) and/or Senior Project (UD)

Highlights

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  • Wanda Peters 1980

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  • Josephine Arader

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  • Dillon Metcalfe (Kelly Megan Stack Scholarship Recipient)

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  • David Meeks

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  • Norman Treager

    Norman L. Traeger was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Prescott College for his lifetime of philanthropic efforts ...    Learn more >

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