Welcome Green Mountain

Marine Studies Program

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Up close and personal with a whale - Photo by Naomi Blinick

The Marine Studies curriculum at Prescott College exists as an emphasis area within the Environmental Studies Program. Students may focus their competence (major) on Marine Studies or take courses to contribute to their breadth (minor) area or liberal arts education.  The Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies serves as a field station for many Marine Studies courses.

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. With our relationships with the local Mexican fishing community and the native Comcaac village, we are able to explore a variety of marine environments, study human interactions with the sea, and participate in cooperative marine conservation research projects.

Marine Studies Emphasis Guidelines

Marine Studies at Prescott College has a strong focus on ecology of the marine environment (physical and biological oceanography) 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 rounds-out a student's understanding and respect for the power and vastness of the world's ocean.

Competence: Environmental Studies with an Emphasis in Marine Studies

(16 course minimum; 8 UD minimum)
• 4 distribution courses and ecology course required for ES competence.
• 5 Marine Studies core courses.
• 2 Science Foundation courses.
• 2 Conservation Foundation courses.
• 2 Supporting courses.
• 1 Independent Study.
• Senior project.
NOTE: some courses may simultaneously apply to more than one of the categories listed above

Conservation Foundation Courses:

Conservation Foundation Courses:

Changing World Order (LD/UD)
Conservation Biology (UD)
Conservation in America (LD)
Earth Systems Science and Policy (UD)
Ecological Economics, Principles of (LD/UD)
Environmental Ethics (UD)
Environmental Law (LD)
Environmental Politics (UD)
Global Development Issues and Energy Economics (UD)
Philosophies of the Interpretive Naturalists (LD/UD)
Population, Resources, and Solutions (LD)
Wetland Ecology and Management (UD)

Core Courses

Core Courses

Coastal Ecology of the Gulf of California (UD)
Individualized studies in AE: SCUBA (LD/UD)
Marine Biology I, II, III (18) (LD/UD)
Marine Conservation I, II, III (18) (LD/UD)
Natural History and Cultural Ecology of Kino Bay (LD)
Oceanography (LD)
SCUBA Diving and Marine Natural History (LD)
Sea Kayaking and Marine Natural History(LD)
Wilderness Explorations and Landscape Studies: Dos Californias I, II, III (18) (LD/UD)
Independent Studies (UD)
We suggest the following sequence of Marine Studies core courses:
First year: Natural History and Cultural Ecology of Kino Bay
Second Year: Marine Biology and Oceanography,
Third Year: Marine Conservation, Coastal Ecology of the Gulf of California
Fourth Year: Independent studies and or Senior Project.

List of Courses

List of Courses

The listing of courses below is intended to be a guide, suggesting the types of courses that could be included in an Environmental Studies Competence with an emphasis in Marine Studies. Ultimately, it is the task of the student and his/her I.G.C. to agree on a combination of courses - possibly including some not listed - which develops competence and is suited to the individual.


Field Methods for Plant Biology

Sea Kayaking and Natural History

Spanish Intensive and Cultural Immersion

Coastal Ecology of the Gulf of California (UD)



 Marine Studies l: Skills for Mariners

Marine Studies II: Natural History of the Gulf of California

Marine Studies III: Conservation Case Studies in the Gulf of California

WELS I: Expeditionary Technical Skills for Coastal Exploration

WELS II: The Ocean Classroom

WELS III: Teaching and Facilitation Methods for Adventure Educators

Marine Conservation: Phase I: Conservation Biology  

Marine Conservation: Phase II: Gulf of California Conservation Case Studies

Marine Conservation: Phase III: Applied Conservation Research

 Independent Studies

Marine Biology I: Diversity of Marine Life

Marine Biology II: Oceanography

Marine III: Field Methods for Marine Ecology

Other Supporting Courses:

Other Supporting Courses:

Cultural Survey and Natural History of Baja California (LD)
Energy and the Environment (UD)
Environmental Ed: Methods (UD)
Environmental Ed: Practicum (UD)
Environmental Ed: Theory (LD)
Other Supporting Courses, cont.
Interpreting Nature Through Art and Photography (LD)
Park and Wilderness Management (UD)

Science Foundation Courses:

Science Foundation Courses:

Animal Behavior (UD)
Animal Biology (LD)
Biological Principles, Basic (LD)
Earth Science, Introduction to (LD)
Ecology, Basic Concepts (LD)
Environmental Chemistry (LD)
Environmental Geology (LD)
Field Methods in Geology (UD)
Geographic Information Science (LD/UD)
Geologic Evolution of the Southwest (LD)
Natural History and Ecology of the Southwest I, II (12) (LD)
Organic Evolution (UD)
Plant Biology (LD)
Soil Science, Introduction to (LD)
Statistics for Research (LD)
Tropical Biology: Natural History of Costa Rica (UD)
Weather and Climate (LD)