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Marine and Environmental Sciences Introductory Courses
Classes in the Marine and Environmental Science major begin in your 3/c (sophomore) year. Four major-specific courses are taken that year:

Marine Biology
In this course, cadets study the marine biosphere, particularly food chains and basic productivity, and the adaptations of the marine habitat throughout both the plant and animal kingdoms. It includes detailed laboratory examinations of specific life forms.

Format: Class/Laboratory
Typicaly taken: 
Fall, 3/c year

Marine Geology
This course introduces physical geology in the marine realm, covering such topics as:

  • minerals and rocks
  • plate tectonics
  • glaciers
  • polar regions
  • marine sediments
  • morphology/evolution of the coastal regions and ocean basins
  • hydrothermal vents
  • coral reefs

Labs include field trips focusing on mineral and rock identification, map interpretation and sediment sampling and analysis. 

Format: Class/Laboratory
Typicaly taken:
Spring, 3/c year 

In this course, cadets analyze and predict weather systems, studying atmospheric fluid dynamics, atmospheric structure, radiative balances and other factors that influence weather – like pressure and the earth's rotation – and topics like hurricanes, regional climatology and storm development. Laboratory work emphasizes weather data collection, regional forecasting (using local observations and National Weather Service reports) and the application of this information to Coast Guard work at sea.

Format: Class/Laboratory
Typicaly taken: Fall, 3/c year

Physical Oceanography
This course explains the properties of seawater and covers the characteristics of the world's major ocean currents and the forces affecting them. You'll examine underwater acoustics, waves and tides, and, during labs, collect data for analysis.

Format: Class/Laboratory
Typicaly taken: Spring, 3/c year