VIMS — it’s not just for grad students anymore

Breaking news! The College now offers a minor in Marine Science effective Spring 2010.

The undergraduate minor is related to the biology, geology and environmental science departments. There will be an information session about it later this year; if you are interested you should contact Liz Canuel at the School of Marine Science at Virginia Marine Institute of Marine Science, the College’s graduate school of marine sciences and marine research center. On campus, contact Heather Macdonald in the undergraduate gepartment of geology.

For now, be sure to take Introduction to Oceanography, which is offered this spring. However, its title will be changed to Introduction to Marine Science, and it is cross-listed with Marine Science 330, Biology 330 and Geology 330. It is a prerequisite for Field Studies in Coastal Marine Environments, another course that is required for the minor.

It requires these six credits, plus three “Marine Science Fundamentals” courses, including Physical Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Marine Geology, Biological Oceanography, Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology and Pathobiology or Fundamentals of Marine Fisheries Science. These are all graduate courses, and to take them students must complete the required paperwork for undergraduate enrollment in graduate courses.

It also requires six hours in electives — there are 23 options; most of these are upper level biology, geology or environmental science classes. The rest are also VIMS classes, including topics like Seagrass Ecology and Malacology (I just had to look that one up — it’s the study of mollusks). From what I can tell on Banner, it looks like these classes are at VIMS. Keep in mind that VIMS is located in Gloucester, Va., so this minor looks like it takes some dedication. However, it also offers a head start for anyone extremely on top of life — anyone who knows they will attend graduate school or have a career in the marine sciences.

And even if you’re not in those categories, you can learn interesting facts about seafood. You will use these when you are rich later in life, eating lobster on a yacht, because you did not pursue an academic career in marine sciences. Just kidding! I’m a science major, too — I promise!

Peace & love until next time.


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