Earth & Ocean Sciences 

Earth and Ocean Sciences is an interdisciplinary field incorporating fundamental and applied studies of the land-estuarine-ocean system.  Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the movement and transformation of materials and energy between mountain headwater and estuarine, coastal, and oceanic systems, including geomorphology and landscape dynamics, physical circulation and transport, chemical transformation, and biological reaction. This foundational area also includes elements of environmental chemistry, geochemistry, hydrology, and toxicology to help understand and predict the fate and effects of nutrients and contaminants in the environment. In Earth and Ocean Sciences, we use a wide variety of techniques and approaches, including observing platforms and numerical models to investigate processes in each sub-system, build connections across systems, understand processes at multiple spatial scales, and to foster interdisciplinary educational experiences for graduate students.


  1. Two Introductory Science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Geology)
  2. Two Advanced Science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Geology)
  3. Two Quantitative courses (Calculus, Statistics, or Computer Programming)
  4. Two Foundation relevant courses

Courses & Other Requirements (M.S. & Ph.D) 

  1. Foundational Course: MEES 640 – Interconnected Earth Systems: Land, Ocean, and Estuary. 
  2. A minimum of three Professional Development courses from the four subject areas, including a course in Applied Environmental Sciences.
    • Applied Environmental Sciences (*required)
    • Scientific Communication
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Environmental Statistics
  3. One seminar for each year in residence of the program (up to 4)
  4. Elective courses approved by the student's advisory committee including at least one 700 level course. 

For information regarding faculty members who are associated with Environment and Society, see the link below.