Courses Offered | LSU College of the Coast & Environment

Oceanography & Coastal Sciences

Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Courses Offered


1005 - Introduction to Oceanography (3) An honors course, OCS 1006, is also available. The world’s oceans, their origin and evolution; interactions between physical, geological, chemical and biological processes in the marine environment; use and abuse of oceans.

1006 - Honors: Introduction to Oceanography (3) Same as OCS 1005 with special honors emphasis for qualified students. Interaction of physical, geological, chemical, and biological processes of the ocean; effect of human activities.

2007 - Introduction to Marine Sciences: Geological & Physical (4) (fall) 3 hrs. lecture; 3 hrs. lab. Credit will not be given for this course and OCS 2009. Lab fee and field trip required. Geological and physical processes in marine and aquatic environments; including their influence on coastal Louisiana. 

2008 - Introduction to Marine Sciences: Life Processes (4) (Spring) 3 hrs. lecture; 3 hrs. lab. Laboratory and field trip fees and two field trips are required for this course. Also offered as BIOL 208 at Southern University in Baton Rouge. Ecological processes in marine and aquatic settings; their influence on coastal Louisiana.

2010- Introduction to Waves and Beaches (3) Introduction to the physical and geological coastal oceanographic processes that shape the coastal zone; various coastal environment types; and coastal processes and human interaction with these environments.

2011- Introduction to MATLAB for Coastal Sciences (3) Prereq.: OCS 2008 and OCS 2009. 3 h lecture. Credit will not be given for both this course and CSC 1240 or CSC 2533. Introduction to MATLAB with emphasis on coastal and oceanographic data visualization and manipulation. Importing large datasets into MATLAB, 2D and 3D plotting, mapping and overlaying quantitative data on maps, manipulating color bars, animating data and exporting images for presentations and publications.

2095 - Introduction to Marine Sciences (4) SU only Prereq.: introductory science course. Four weeks at LUMCON coastal laboratories. Physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes in the oceans and coastal environments and their interactions; interrelationships of man and the marine environment.

3103 - Global Environmental Cycles (3) Prereq: CHEM 1201 and MATH 1550; credit or registration in BIOL 1201. Major hydrologic and elemental cycles on the planet, global change and processes, energy balance, including problems associated with climate, pollution, population, and resources.

3200 - Hurricanes and Typhoons (3) Comprehensive introduction to hurricanes as a multi-facted phenomenon; hurricane meteorology and climate variability, oceanographic response and coastal impacts, storm deposition, ecological effects, geological and historical records, and societal impacts and response.

3999 - Undergraduate Research in Coastal Sciences (1-6) Prereq: permission of Department. May be taken for a maximum of 6 semester hrs. of credit. Individual research problems in the oceanographic and coastal sciences.

4001 - Special Topics in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences (1-6) Su only May be taken for a max. of 9 sem. Hrs. of credit when topics vary.

4005 - Special Field Topics in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences (1-6) Su only May be taken for a max. of 9 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary. Variable number of weeks at LUMCON or Gulf Coastal Research Laboratory.

4010 - Marine Science for Teachers - (4) Su only Four-week short course offered at various locations by LUMCON. Credit not available to a degree in marine sciences. Survey of the marine sciences; secondary and elementary school levels.

4012- Biology of Marine Invertebrates (3) Prereq.: 8 sem. hrs. of introductory zoology or biology with laboratory. Evolution, life history, ecology, and management of marine fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

4015 – Oceans to Estuaries I: Physics & Geology (5 crd hrs. 4 lec, 1 lab) FALL Prereq: Two semester introductory courses in physics and geology, MATH 1550/1552. Major geological and physical processes and products within the world’s oceans, including the open ocean, continental margins, estuaries, and intertidal areas.

4016 – Oceans to Estuaries II – Chemistry & Biology (5 crd hrs. 4 lec, 1 lab) SPR Prereq: CHEM 1201/1202, BIOL 1201/1202, MATH 1550/1552. Major chemical and biological processes within the world’s oceans, including the open ocean, continental margins, estuaries, and intertidal marshes.

4021 - Weather Analysis and Satellite Meteorology (3) F Diagnostic studies of surface and upper-air observational data using isoplething charts and satellite images to represent the state of the atmosphere over both land and sea; the use of satellite technology in weather forecasting, including cloud identification, wind direction, storm development, and air quality.

4024 - Coastal Morphodynamics Prereq.: MATH 1020, 1021, 1022, or 1023. Basic morphodynamic processes operative along coasts; emphasis on modern coastal process-response systems.

4030 - Techniques of Research Presentation (1) F, S Pass- fail grading. May be taken for max of 2 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Guidelines for effective scientific seminar presentations.

OCS 4038: Scientific Writing and Collaboration (2) Credit will not be given for this course and Engl 4002. Provide experience in writing for scientific publications; practical advice on ethical behavior and working collaboratively with others; topics include grammar, organization of manuscripts, preparation of figures and tables, organization of journals, submission process, reviewing other's manuscripts, formal and informal models of group dynamics, personality types, practical tips for working with others, and time management

4040 - Environmental Pollution Transport Processes Prereq.: CHEM 1201, MATH 1550, and PHYS 2001. Application of fluid-earth physical principles to characterize pollutant dispersion and transport processes in atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial environments, particularly across the coastal zone.

4041 - Salt Marsh Ecology (4) Su only Prereq.: general plant biology and 10 semester hours of biology. Four weeks at Gulf Coastal Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Botanical aspects of local marshes; plant identification, composition, structure, distribution, and development of coastal marshes; biological and physical interrelationships; primary productivity and relation of marshes to estuaries and associated fauna.

4052 Phycology (4) Prereq.: BIOL 1202 and 1209. 2 hrs. lecture; 4 hrs. lab. See BIOL 4052.

4060 Introductory Estuarine Dynamics (3) Prereq.: MATH 1552 or consent of instructor. Classification of estuaries, description of coastal and estuary flow regimes, tides, hydrodynamic measurements, mixing, stratification, dispersion, river discharge and weather influence and dynamical processes in Louisiana estuaries and bays.

4090 - Marine Microbiology Prereq.: BIOL 2051 or equivalent. Also offered as BIOL 4090. Characterization and ecology of estuarine and open-ocean microorganisms; role of marine bacteria in organic and inorganic cycling processes and food web dynamics; microbial contribution to geomicrobiology, antibiosis and productivity in the sea; indicator species; microbial activities in corrosion, fouling, and seafood-related spoilage and contamination.

4095 - Marine Field Ecology (4) F-0 Prereq.: general biology, invertebrate of vertebrate zoology, introductory chemistry, and consent of instructor. Five weeks at LUMCON coastal laboratory. Relationships of marine and estuarine organisms to environmental factors; interactions among organisms; ecological processes of energy and materials flow; field studies of communities and ecosystems of the Louisiana coastal zone.

4126 - Chemical Oceanography (3) S Consent of instructor. 3 hrs. Lecture/seminar. Also offered as GEOL 4081. Controls on the mass balance and distribution of major elements, trace elements, heavy metals, dissolved gases, and nutrients in estuarine and open-ocean systems.

4128 – Wetland Hydrology and Hydrodynamics (3) F Preq: MATH 1550, 1552, GEOL 1001 or equivalent. Basic surface water and ground water hydrology in wetland environments with an emphasis on hydrologic principles, application of hydrologic techniques to wetlands, and understanding of hydrodynamics in these ecosystems.

4164 - Deltaic Processes and Products (3) Prereq.; consent of instructor. River delta formation and associated sedimentary processes with special emphasis on the Mississippi River delta and adjoining coastal, shelf-edge, and slope regions; comparisons of the Mississippi delta with other modern deltas.

4165 - Environmental Chemistry of Wetlands (3) F, O Prereq.: CHEM 2060 or equivalent. Transformations of pollutants and toxic substances that affect the solubility, bioavailability, fixation, and degradatoin of organic and inorganic substances in wetlands; emphasis on biological and physiochemical properties of wetlands that enhance this degradation and fixation.

4166 - Wetland Delineation and Functional Assessment (3) F, O Prereq: one semester course in soils, biology or ecology or consent of instructor; 2 hrs. lecture; 3 hrs. lab. Delineation of jurisdictional wetlands covering wetland soil chemistry, soil taxonomy, hydric soil indicators, hydrophytic plant communities, wetland hydrology; use and interpretation of federal and state wetland delineation procedures; field measurement techniques; wetland functions; functional assessment methodologies in wetland evaluation and mitigation.

4170 - Physical Oceanography (3) S Prereq.: CE 2200 and graduate standing or consent of instructor. Physics of the ocean; with emphasis on dynamical problems; physical properties of sea water, marine instrumentation, flow dynamics in the earth’s rotating coordinate system, water waves, general circulation.

4210 - Geological Oceanography(3) Preq.: two-semester introductory course in geology. Principles of marine geology; sediments and sedimentation in the marine environment from the near shore zone to the abyssal plain; geological effects of bottom currents; sea-level history; geophysical techniques; continental drift and sea-floor spreading; tectonic history of the oceanic crust.

4308 - Plants in Coastal Environments (3) Prereq.: one-semester course in biology or ecology; or consent of instructor. 3 hrs lecture; weekend field trips as needed. Also offered as BIOL 4308. Ecology of Louisiana’s major coastal plant communities; emphasis on influence of environmental factors controlling plant distribution and productivity; physiological, morphological, and anatomical mechanisms aiding plant survival; man’s impact on Louisiana’s coastal plant communities.

4372 - Estuarine Ecology (4) Prereq.: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. 3 hrs. lecture; 2 hrs. lab. Preparation of field trips; synthesis of presentation of data collected on field trips to coastal areas. Ecological processes in estuaries, shallow coastal waters, and associated coastal environments; training and field use of equipment required for estuarine research.

4410 - Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis (3) F Prereq.: Consent of instructor. Mathematical description and analysis of ecological systems; emphasis on systems approach using matter and energy flow models for quantifying and analyzing interdependence and dynamics in ecosystems; linear flow models, dynamic nonlinear models, optimization models, stochastic models, and computer techniques for modeling, validation, sensitivity analysis, and parameter optimization.

4465 - Seminar in Coastal Zone Management (1-4) Spring Prereq.;Also offered as Law 5803. Nonlaw students encouraged to participate. Written and oral presentations required; special projects relating to the primary field of interest permitted. Resources allocation and environmental quality issues in coastal estuarine zones of the U. S.; evaluating alternative solutions to topical coastal zone issues; preparing legal devices for meeting the issues, such as legislation regulations, contract provisions, and deed restrictions; traditional law courses in water law, environmental law, natural-resources law, and land-use planning.

4500 - Fisheries Acoustics (3) Prereq.: 8 sem. hrs. of introductory biology or zoology with laboratory; 6 sem. hrs. of physics. 1 hr. lecture; 6 hrs. lab and field work. Theory and application of acoustics in the study and assessment of living marine resources.

4550 - Biological Oceanography (3) S-O Prereq.: two-course undergraduate science sequence above 2000 level, or graduate student status in science department. Participation in oceanographic cruise is generally required. Biology of open oceans, continental shelves, and large river deltas.

4560 - Wetland Loss, Restoration, and Management (3) Preq.: two-course sequence in science above the 2000 level. Participation in field trips to local wetlands and management agencies is required. Coastal wetland loss, restoration and management; wetland values, use, and potential management issues.

4565 - Restoration Ecology/Ecological Restoration Prereq: permission of instructor. 2 hrs. Lecture; 1 hr. lab. Field Trips. Students are responsible for paying some expenses for field work. The science of restoration ecology and the practice of ecological restoration. 

4600 - Global Environmental Change x-listed with ENVS 4600. Patterns and processes of global climate changes during the Quaternary and their links to the biosphere, cryosphere, and ocean; proxies and archives; climate forcing and biotic responses; current warming and future impacts; human ecology of climate change; energy supply and human health; sustainability and policy.

4666 - Coastal Field Geology (4) Su See GEOL 4666.

4999 - Capstone in Coastal Environmental Science (1) See ENVS 4999.

7001 – Advanced Topics in Marine Sciences (1-6) May be taken for a max. of 9 sem. hrs. when topics vary

7010 - The Concepts of the Ecosystem (3) S-O Prereq.: one-semester course in ecology or consent of instructor. Structure, function, diversity, and succession of ecosystems viewed as a whole and as applied to major biomes.

7020 - Marine Microbial Ecology (3) S-O Prereq.: one-semester course in microbiology and consent of instructor. Also offered as BIOL 7022. Microbial ecosystems and population dynamics; response of marine microorganisms to physiochemical factors and environmental alterations; microbial interactions; nutrient regeneration processes; nutritional requirements and microenvironments; modeling and systems analysis in marine microbial ecology.

7028 - Numerical Modeling of Ocean Circulation (3) Prereq.; OCS 4170 and ME 4563 or equivalent. Numerical modeling of ocean dynamics; numerical methods; parameterization schemes; review of state-of-the-art models.

7110 – Toxicology of Aquatic Environments (3) See ENVS 7110.

7112 - Concepts in Marine Ecotoxicology (3) Preq.: ENVS 7100 and 7110 or permission of instructor. Also offered as ENVS 7112. Marine pollution and toxicology of industrial and non-point source materials related to ecological risk assessment in coastal and marine areas; biological processes and waste in the ocean; physiochemical process and waste in the ocean; laboratory and field techniques in epibiotic, endobiotic, and fecal-sestonic habitats; benthic habitats and metals/chemical specification/geoavailability; fish as a biological model; microcosm theory and design for littoral and neritic habitats; approaches to ecological risk assessment in marine habitats.

7120 - Dynamical Oceanography (3) Prereq.: consent of instructor. Dynamics of rotating, stratified, incompressible fluids with particular application to the oceans; conservations equations and boundary conditions, surface and internal gravity waves, vorticity, geostrophic adjustment, coastal trapped waves, Rossby waves, wind-driven ocean circulation.

7121 - Ecology and Management of Tropical Estuaries (3) Su Prereq.; 6hrs. in marine ecology and consent of the instructor. Two week field trip/ lecture at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Avancados in Merida, Mexico. Intensive field course concerning aspects of ecology and management of tropical estuaries; plankton systems, sea grasses, mangroves, benthos, nekton and macro algae; emphasis on human impact and management, global change issues, and use of modeling.

7122 - Gravity Waves in Shallow Water (3) Prereq.: MATH 1550, 1552,; PHYS 2101, 2102. Linear and nonlinear theories of water gravity waves considered by classical mathematical derivation and numerical methods; wave transformation in shallow water; characteristics of boundary layer under wave action; wave-related phenomena in near shore zone.

7123 - Oceanographic Delta Analysis (3,3) F,S Prereq.: MATH 1550 and EXST 2055 or equivalent. Statistical techniques for analysis of oceanographic time and space series data; spectrum analysis; objective analysis; empirical orthogonal functions and Kalman filters.

7124 - Applied Coastal Plant Ecology (3) Prereq.: 6 sem. hrs. in biology or environmental science. Field trips included. Students are responsible for paying for their transportation. Concepts of applied coastal plant ecology; field experiences in coastal habitat restoration and management; applied wetlands' functions, wet-land classification, evaluation and delineation; and environmental assessment monitoring.

7125 - Estuarine Dynamics (3) V Prereq.: consent of instructor. Wind-driven and mass-driven currents in estuaries, turbulence and mixing in estuaries, seiches, storm surges, internal waves, salt balance, and inlet flows.

7126 - Circulation and Mixing in Coastal Water (3) Prereq.: OCS 4170. Mechanics of circulation in coastal currents; buoyancy driving, wind driving, coastal jets, long shore pressure gradients; physical conditions controlling hypoxia; classification of coastal currents; mixing and dispersion of pollutants and oil slicks for environmental management.

7127 - Dynamics and Sedimentary Response Features of Coastal Environments (3) Su - O Interactions between major dynamical forcing mechanisms and sedimentary-geomorphic responses in major types of coastal environments (deltas, sandy coasts, and coral reef coasts); variability of physical processes and corresponding response features.

7129 – Global Climate Change and Wetlands (2) Prereq: consent of instructor. Impact of projected global climate change on stability and functioning of coastal and interior wetland ecosystems; feedback of biogeochemical change in wetlands caused by climate change.

7130 – Marine Isotope Biogeochemistry (3) (F) Prereq: graduate standing or consent of instructor: Concepts and laboratory principles for stable and radioactive isotopes, first-hand experience interpreting isotopic data, modern applications in oceanography and biogeochemistry.

7131 – Marine Geochemistry(3) S Geochemical processes in the marine environment, including water column geochemistry, pore water processes and interactions across the sediment-water interface, and early diagenesis; emphasis uranium-thorium decay series a radionuclide applications in marine geochemistry

7132 - Coastal Physical/ Chemical Systems: Analytical Methods(3) F-O Preq.: consent of instructor. 2 hrs. lecture; 3 hrs. lab. Sampling techniques; proper handling and preservation of samples; sample processing for analysis; application of spectroscopy and chromatography analytical instrumentation or the determination on nutrients, trace and toxic metals, synthetic organics (pesticides and industrial organics), and petroleum hydrocarbons in water, soil, and sediment samples; techniques presented in terms of application of analytical chemistry to environmental and natural systems.

7165 - Biogeochemistry of Wetland Soils and Sediments (3) S-E Same as AGRO 7165. Microbial and redox chemistry processes in fresh water, brackish water, and estuarine-flooded soils and sediments affecting the transformations of nutrients and toxic materials.

7170 - Satellite Oceanography (3) F Prereq.: OCS 4170 or equivalent. Oceanographic measurements and observations using satellite-borne sensor systems; radiation-ocean-atmosphere interactions, satellite systems, sensor design, and data types; analysis of infrared, visible, and microwave data for deep ocean, coastal, and estuarine phenomena.

7175 Environmental Optics (3) This course provides an introductory study into the nature of light, solar radiation, its behavior and propagation through atmosphere, the aquatic system and its interactions with constituents such as suspended particles and dissolved material, uv-vis absorption spectroscopy, applications addressing issues of water and air quality using field and ocean color sensors.

7310 - Harmful Algal Blooms (3) Harmful algal species and associated syndromes; ecophysiological processes for bloom initiation and development; eutrophication; grazing impact; impacts on marine life and human health; identification, enumeration of algae and toxin detection techniques; HAB management.

7311 - Marine and Estuarine Plankton (3) S-E Prereq.: background in ecology, invertebrate zoology, limnology, or phycology; and consent of instructor. Structure and function of marine plankton populations; changes related to various environmental factors such as temperature, nutrients, radiation, transparency, currents, and water-masses; phytoplankton, zooplankton and ichthyoplankton food webs, trophic dynamics and case studies; life history, and biodemograhic features; sampling theory, collecting techniques, distribution, abundances, production, analytical models, and economic significance.

7317 - Marine Ecology (3) V See BIOL 7120

7320 - Fisheries Oceanography (3) Also offered as FISH 7320. Relationships between marine fish abundance and distribution and non-anthropogenic physical and biological processes; spatial and temporal scales; analytical methods and sampling strategies; marine fish life histories as related to oceanographic processes; marine ecosystem.

7330 Preparing for Fish Studies (3) A detailed, semi-quantitative introduction to current biological and technological methodologies for studying fishes and aquatic habitats, with emphasis on reducing bias introduced by study design and choice of sampling gears.

7335 Fish Recruitment (3) Examining the relationship between fish life history, recruitment dynamics and harvest potential, and local-, meso-, and global-scale oceanographic processes.

7370 - Seminar: Theoretical Concepts of Ecology (1) S Prereq.: one-semester course in ecology or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit. Announced topics.

7976 - Seminar in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology (3) May be taken for a max. of 9 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Air-sea interaction, synoptic meteorology, tropical meteorology, geophysical fluid dynamics, ocean-atmosphere interaction related to climate change.

8000 - Thesis Research (1-12 per sem.) "S"I"U" grading.

8900 - Advanced Reading and Literature Research (1-6) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit.

8901 - Advanced Field Research (1-6) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit.

9000 - Dissertation Research (1-12 per sem.) S"I"U" grading.