Aug 15, 2020  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MSCI 650 - Estuarine Ecology

Fall, odd years (3) Brush, Schaffner Prerequisite(s): MSCI 503 .

This survey course will expose students to the key aspects of estuarine ecosystems. Topics covered will include both the abiotic settings of estuaries, including geological, physical, and chemical characteristics, and the biotic components and their interactions, including nutrient dynamics, biogeochemistry, microbial processes, primary production, ecosystem metabolism, secondary production, and food web dynamics. The course will end with overviews of current and emerging issues in estuarine science, including eutrophication and climate change. Bi-weekly class meetings will consist of interactive discussions led by the instructors based on readings from key estuarine ecology texts and the primary literature, supplemented with student-led discussions of primary literature and "virtual field trips" to a variety of well-studied estuaries. Students will work on a semester-long project to develop course materials into an estuary-focused wiki on the William & Mary wiki site. Each student will lead the development of materials for a select number of topics, and be responsible for contributing materials and editing content for all topics. Students will also lead field trips to local systems to illustrate class topics and synthesize existing datasets to conduct a comparative analysis of estuarine ecosystems.