Course Descriptions

OCSC Core Courses

OCSC 1000Exploration of the World Ocean: is an introductory course covering the major ocean sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, physics) at a level sufficient for science majors but accessible to non-science majors. It explores phenomena occurring from the shoreline to the abyss and from equatorial to polar regions. It also examines principles of marine ecology as well as how the marine environment affects humans and vice versa. The course is offered in a blended format that combines face-to-face lectures and online interactive activities in the form of virtual oceanographic expeditions.

LC: 1.5 hours per week

OR: 1.5 hours per week (online interactive activities)

OCSC 2000Introductory Biological Oceanography: This course provides a general understanding of the biological processes that occur in coastal and oceanic environments. It introduces students to the major groups of bacteria, phytoplankton, invertebrates and fish, emphasizing the biotic and abiotic factors controlling primary production and marine biomass. It shows how the physical, chemical, and geological environments interact with biology to define processes and patterns affecting nutrients and life in marine ecosystems.

PR: OCSC1000

OCSC 2001 Introduction to Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture: This course introduces students to the breadth of aquaculture and fisheries science and the variety of animal species cultured and harvested. Basic aspects of aquaculture and fisheries and the links between the two are covered, including production systems, capture fisheries, environmental interactions, and the physiology, ecology and reproduction of finfish and shellfish in the context of their culture and harvest.

PR: OCSC 1000 or BIOL 1002 Principles of Biology

OCSC 2100Introductory Chemical Oceanography (same as Chemistry 2610): This course will provide an introduction to the fundamental chemical properties of seawater and the processes governing the concentrations of elements and compounds in the oceans. It is an introduction to the sources, distribution, and transformations of chemical constituents of the ocean, and their relation to biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes. Topics include: controls on average concentration of chemicals in the ocean; vertical and horizontal distributions of ocean constituents; air-sea interactions; production, export, and remineralization of organic matter; the ocean carbon cycle; human-induced changes; stable isotopes; and trace elements.

CR: CHEM 2610

PR: CHEM 1011 OR CHEM 1051 which may be taken concurrently OR CHEM 1001

OCSC 2200 Introductory Geological Oceanography (same as Earth Sciences 2919): is a study of the formation and evolution of oceans, including plate tectonics, mid-ocean ridges (birth place of oceans), subduction zones (where oceans are consumed), sedimentary environments such as estuaries, deltas, beaches and barrier islands, continental shelves, slopes and deep abyssal plains and special topics, including anoxic events, evolution of tides, atmosphere-ocean interactions, formation of banded iron formations, snowball Earth, black and white smokers, and how Earth modulates its climate through atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere interactions.

CR: Earth Sciences 2919

PR: Earth Sciences 1000

OCSC 2300 Introductory Physical Oceanography (same as Physics 2300): will provide an introduction to the physical ocean. Ocean characteristics studied will include: the properties of seawater, key features of ocean circulation, wind-forcing in the ocean, tides and shoreline processes as well as ocean coupling with the atmosphere, geosphere and cryosphere (ice) and new approaches to ocean sampling and numerical modelling. The course will take an integrated earth systems approach to the study of upwelling zones, open ocean ecosystems and climate change.

CR: Environmental Science 2371, Physics 2300

PR: any two first-year courses in Physics

OCSC 2500 Introduction to Practical Ocean Sciences: This course meant to satisfy the laboratory course requirement for Ocean Sciences majors. The course will consist of a preparatory module (offered either online or face-to-face during the winter semester) followed by 2-week intensive module offered in May or June.

OCSC 3000 Aquaculture Principles and Practices: This course will emphasize the techniques and methods used to culture finfish and shellfish, with a primary focus on Canadian aquaculture. Basic aspects of aquaculture will be covered, including the design and maintenance of production systems, culture techniques, and nutrition, health, physiology and reproduction of finfish and shellfish. The labratory portion of this course will provide students with practical experiences in the maintenance of land-based aquaculture production systems and in the husbandry/culture of aquatic organisms.

PR: OCSC 2001, or OCSC 1000 and BIOL 1002.

OCSC 3002 Aquaculture and Fisheries Biotechnology: is an introduction to biotechnology and genetics as they are applied to aquaculture and fisheries. Topics covered include genetic variation; genetic structure of fish and shellfish populations; the genetic basis of aquaculture traits; finfish and shellfish genomic research; marker-assisted selection in aquaculture; manipulation of ploidy; genetic engineering in aquaculture; and techniques used to study the responses of aquatic animals to external stressors such as hypoxia, temperature stress, acidification, and pathogens.

PR: Biology 2060, 2250




OCSC 3620Aquatic Microbial Ecology (same as Biology 3620): is a study of the nature, distribution and activities of microorganisms in the freshwater and marine environments. Field and laboratory work illustrate some of the investigative techniques used in this field of study.

CR: Biology 3620 and the former Biology 3603

LH: 3

PR: Biology 2600 and 3050, Statistics 2550 or equivalent

OCSC 4000Scientific Diving Methods:is an in-depth study and application of methods routinely employed for data collection in underwater scientific research. Aspects covered include habitat mapping; installation and use of instrumentation; still and video camera techniques; planning and execution of surveys and experiments in major subtidal habitats; as well as data analysis and interpretation. Participants are trained in accordance with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Guide for Diving Safety and the Canadian Association for Underwater Science (CAUS) standards to meet the criteria for Scientific Diver I rating. This course is normally offered at the Bonne Bay Marine Station in a special 2-week session at the beginning or end of the Spring semester depending on station’s availability.

OR: The following documentation must be provided to the course instructor at least four months before the first day of the course. It must be in effect until at least the last day of the course. Submission of this documentation does not guarantee acceptance into the course. Aside from course prerequisites, acceptance will be based on successful completion, before the course begins, of a diving fitness and skills evaluation in a pool environment and demonstration of understanding of the MUN Diving Safety Manual, physics and physiology of diving, and use of recreational dive tables. Nationally recognized scuba diver certification with diver rescue and accident management techniques; diver medical examination by a licensed physician knowledgeable in diving medicine; First Aid (basic), CPR (basic), and DAN oxygen first aid for scuba diving injuries administration cards; DAN membership and insurance or medical insurance covering hyperbaric treatment; diver’s log book with at least 12 dives in the last 12 months including one dive in the last six months and four dives in cold (<10°C) water; cold-water scuba diving equipment complete with proper hydrostatic/VIP service tags on diving cylinders and overhaul/service receipts on regulators and buoyancy compensator devices.

PR: Biology 2122 or Biology 3709, Biology 2600, Statistics 2550

OCSC 4122Advanced Studies in Marine Animal Diversity (same as Biology 4122): provides an in-depth examination of cellular physiological, behavioural and ecological adaptations in marine animals. Lectures will be combined with discussions of relevant papers from the primary literature on topics of current interest, which may relate to morphology, ecology, evolution, natural history, species interactions and practical applications. Students will also gain hands-on experience by designing and conducting research projects involving live or preserved animals

CR: Biology 4122

LC: either three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week or a two-week intensive course that embodies equivalent instructional time

LH: either three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week or a two-week intensive course that embodies equivalent instructional time

PR: Biology 2122, Biology 2600, and Biology 2900

OCSC 4601Functional Biology of Fish (same as Biology 4601): is an introduction to anatomical physiological and cellular processes in the life cycle of fishes.

CR: Biology 4601

PR: Biology 2060, Biology 2210, and Biology 3401


Ocean Sciences

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000