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Graduate School

    The University of Maine
  Oct 18, 2017
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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School of Marine Sciences

The University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences (SMS) is one of the nation’s largest marine research and education programs. SMS offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees; its faculty and students conduct basic and applied research on a wide variety of topics, and perform public service related to scientific policy for marine resource and coastal zone management. More than 50 faculty are affiliated with SMS, including full-time, part-time, and cooperating appointments. By its very nature, SMS is an interdisciplinary unit. Areas of expertise and research include physical, biological and chemical oceanography; aquaculture; marine biology; marine geology; marine resource development and policy; seafloor ecology; fish biology; fish pathology; fisheries science; seaweed biology; maritime studies; population genetics; molecular biology and toxicology; marine optics and acoustics and ocean engineering.

SMS faculty provide leadership in research programs that encompass all the world’s oceans, with emphasis on the Gulf of Maine. Faculty are headquartered at the Orono campus of UM and its coastal marine laboratory, the Ira C. Darling Marine Center (see Research Resources), and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Further information on SMS is on the web at:  Further information on the Darling Marine Center is on the web at

The School of Marine Sciences offers the following graduate degrees:

  • M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Oceanography;
  • M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Biology;
  • M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Bio-Resources (administered jointly with Food Science and Human Nutrition);
  • M.S. degree in Marine Policy; and
  • Dual M.S. degree in Marine Policy and either Oceanography or Marine Biology.

The School of Marine Sciences offers core and advanced courses in all degree areas. Most specialized courses of study in the subdisciplines of marine science are also provided by various associated departments.  Financial support for graduate students is primarily in the form of research assistantships. Some teaching assistantships are available.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography

Oceanography is a synthesis of all marine sciences and requires a conceptual approach different from any individual marine science. Each student can expect an education and research program emphasizing an integrated approach to the field of oceanography. Both degree programs in Oceanography involve a core of four courses in physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the marine system, and supplementary courses based on the students needs and interests. Fields of research include planktology, benthic ecology, fisheries oceanography, phycology, environmental toxicology, micropaleontology, shore-zone sedimentary processes, biogeochemical cycling, marine optics and acoustics, coastal physical oceanography, numerical modeling and remote sensing. Many student theses focus on the Gulf of Maine, a region with diverse and challenging research opportunities. Entering students should hold an undergraduate degree in a basic science, should have had mathematics through calculus, and at least one year of geology, chemistry, physics, and biology.  A working knowledge of statistics is helpful. All students are required to take core courses of SMS 501 - Biological Oceanography, SMS 520 - Chemical Oceanography, SMS 541 - Physical Oceanography and SMS 560 - Marine Geology. In addition, students in the doctoral program must complete six additional credits at the 500 level or higher in Oceanography and satisfy the credit requirements set by the Graduate School. Other requirements include registration for Oceanography Seminar and participation in an oceanic research cruise. Most of the course work will be taken in Orono, especially during the student’s first year, whereas the thesis research may be carried out either at Orono or the University’s marine laboratory, the Ira C. Darling Marine Center. (see Research Resources).

Required Core Courses


Graduate Faculty

David W. Townsend, Ph.D. (Maine, 1981), Professor. Area: Biological Oceanography of Shelf Seas. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

James Acheson, Ph.D. (Rochester, 1970), Professor. Area: Cultural Anthropology. (Marine Policy)

Emmanuel Boss
, Ph.D. (Washington, 1996), Associate Professor. Area: Particle Dynamics, Optical Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Susan Brawley
, Ph.D. (California, 1978), Professor. Area: Algal Physiology, Development and Ecology. (Marine Biology, Oceanography)

Ian Bricknel, Ph.D. (Lancaster, 1990), Professor. Area:  Marine Aquaculture, finfish culture, parasitology, fish immunology and vaccinology and fish health.  (Aquaculture)

Deidre Byrne
, Ph.D. (Columbia University, 2000), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Fei Chai
, Ph.D. (Duke University, 1995), Professor. Area: Ecosystem Modeling; Tropical Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Yong Chen
, Ph.D. (Toronto, 1995), Professor. Area: Fisheries Population Dynamics and fisheries stock assessment and management. (Marine Biology, Marine Policy)

Laurie Connell
, Ph.D. (North Carolina, 1988), Associate Research Professor. Area: Molecular Ecology. (Marine Biology)

Christopher M. Duncombe-Rae
, Ph.D. (University of Cape Town, 1994), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography.

Kevin Eckelbarger
, Ph.D. (Northeastern, 1974), Director and Professor, Darling Marine Center. Area: Invertebrate Biology. (Marine Biology)

William Ellis
, Ph.D. (Univ. of Rhode Island, 1992), Assistant Director and Associate Professor. Area: Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry. (Oceanography)

Peter A. Jumars, Ph.D. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1974), Professor. Area: Benthic Biological Oceanography, Organism-Environment Interactions at the Level of Individuals, Deposit Feeding. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Lee Karp-Boss
, Ph.D. (Washington, 1998), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Biological Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Joseph Kelley
, Ph.D. (Lehigh, 1980), Professor. Area: Coastal Geology, Coastal Zone Management. (Oceanography, Marine Policy)

Linda J. Kling
, Ph.D. (Maryland, 1980), Associate Professor. Area: Fish Aquaculture, Fish Nutrition and Feeding. (Aquaculture)

Irv Kornfield
, Ph.D. (Stony Brook, 1974), Professor. Area: Population Biology, Ecology and Systematics. (Marine Biology, Oceanography, Aquaculture)

Sara Lindsay
, Ph.D. (South Carolina, 1994), Assistant Research Professor. Area: Sensory Biology and Ecology of Marine Invertebrates, Benthic Ecology. (Marine Biology, Ocean-ography)

Lawrence M. Mayer
, Ph.D. (Dartmouth, 1976), Professor. Area: Marine Biogeochemistry. (Oceanography)

James D. McCleave
, Ph.D. (Montana State, 1967), Emeritus Professor. Area: Migratory and Transport Mechanisms of Fishes, Fisheries Oceanography, Eel Biology. Associate Director, School of Marine Sciences. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Henry Perkins
, Ph.D. (MIT and WHOI, 1970), Research Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography.

Mary Jane Perry
, Ph.D. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography/California, San Diego, 1974), Professor. Area: Phytoplankton Physiology and Ecology, Primary Productivity, Bio-optics. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Andrew J. Pershing
, Ph.D. (Cornell Univ., 2001), Assistant Research Professor. Area: Ecology and Environmental Biology.

Neal R. Pettigrew
, Ph.D. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/M.I.T., 1981), Professor. Area: Near-shore, Estuarine and Continental Shelf Circulation. (Ocean-ography)

Paul Rawson
, Ph.D. (South Carolina, 1996), Associate Professor. Area: Quantitative Genetics, Evolutionary Biology. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Warren Riess
, Ph.D. (New Hampshire, 1987), Associate Research Professor. Area: History; Underwater Archeology. (Marine Policy)

John Riley
, Ph.D. (Cornell Univ., 1971), Professor. Area: Aquacultural Engineering.

Jeffrey A. Runge
, Ph.D. (Univ. of Washington, 1981), Research Professor. Area: Biological and Fisheries Oceanography.

Malcolm Shick
, Ph.D. (Texas, 1974), Professor. Area: Marine Invertebrate Physiology. (Marine Biology)

Bruce Sidell
, Ph.D. (Illinois, 1975), Professor. Area: Biochemistry and Physiology of Fishes. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Robert S. Steneck
, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins, 1982), Professor. Area: Benthic Marine Ecology, Lobsters, and Plant-Herbivore Interactions. (Oceanography, Marine Policy, and Marine Biology)

Andrew Thomas
, Ph.D. (British Columbia, 1988), Associate Professor. Area: Plankton Biology, Biological/Physical Interactions, Satellite Oceanography. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Robert L. Vadas
, Ph.D. (Washington, 1968), Professor. Area: Marine Ecology, Algal Ecology. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Rebecca Van Beneden
, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins, 1983), Professor and Associate Director School of Marine Sciences. Area: Marine Molecular Biology and Environmental Toxicology. (Marine Biology)

Les Watling
, Ph.D. (Delaware, 1974), Emeritus Professor. Area: Benthic Ecology. (Oceanography, Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Mark Wells
, Ph.D. (Maine, 1989), Professor. Area: Metal-Plankton Interactions, ocean optics, and harmful algal blooms. (Oceanography)

James Wilson
, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1971), Professor. Area: Economics and Fisheries Management. (Marine Policy, Aquaculture)

Huijie Xue
, Ph.D. (Princeton University, 1991), Professor. Area: Numerical Modeling of Coastal and Oceanic Circulation. (Oceanography)

Gayle Zydlewski
, Ph.D. (Univ. of Maine, 1996), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Fish Physiology, Behavior, and Population Dynamics

Cooperating Faculty

Daniel F. Belknap, Ph.D. (Delaware, 1979), Professor. Area: Marine Geology, Sedimentology. Chair, Department of Earth Sciences. (Oceanography)

Nick Brown
, Ph.D. (Aquaculture Univ., Stirling, UK, 1998), Assistant Professor. Area: Aquaculture Technology

Adria Elskus
, Ph.D. (Boston University, 1992), Associate Professor. Area: Molecular Environmental Toxicology.

James Gilbert
, Ph.D. (Idaho, 1974), Professor. Area: Large Mammal Population Dynamics, Assessment and Modeling. (Marine Biology)

Carol Kim
, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1992), Associate Professor. Area: Zebrafish as a Model for Disease and Immune Function. (Marine Biology)

Michael Kinnison
, Ph.D. (University of Washington, 1999), Associate Professor. Area: Ecology and Environmental (Marine Biology)

Greg Mayer
, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 2001), Assistant Professor. Area: Molecular Toxicology. (Marine Biology)

Paul Mayewski
, Ph.D. (Ohio University, 1973), Professor. Area: Change in Climate and Chemistry of the Atmosphere. (Oceanography)

Laurie Osher
, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley, 1997), Assistant Professor. Area: Biogeochemistry (Marine Biology)

Bryan Pearce
, Ph.D. (Univ. of Florida, 1972), Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography, Numerical Modeling (Oceanography)

Michael Peterson
, Ph.D. (Northwestern Univ., 1994), Professor. Area: Ultrasound, Instrumentation and Biomimetic Design. (Oceanography)

Mary Rumpho
, Ph.D. (Washington State, 1982), Professor. Area: Mollusc/Algal Chloroplast Symbioses. (Marine Biology)

John Singer
, Ph.D. (Georgia, 1983), Professor. Area: Marine Microbiology. Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. (Aquaculture, Marine Biology)

Seth Tyler
, Ph.D. (North Carolina, 1975), Professor. Area: Invertebrate Biology. (Marine Biology)

Adjunct Faculty

Brian Beal, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1994), Assistant Professor. Benthic Ecology, Marine Biology. University of Maine at Machias

Christopher Davis
, Ph.D. (Univ. of Maine, 2000), Assistant Professor. Molluscan Biology and Aquaculture.

Lawrence Jacobson
, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 1986), Associate Professor. Fisheries Population Dynamics, Assessment Modeling and Management. National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods, Hole, Massachusetts

Richard Langton
, Ph.D. (University of Wales, 1975), Associate Professor. Fish Relationships and Fishing Effects on Habitat, Stock Enhancement. Buccoo Reef Trust

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