School of Marine Sciences: focus in Coastal Systems Science
College or University: University of Massachusetts
Type of degree: Ph.D.
Brief overview of program: Human society reaps large economic and recreational benefits from the land/sea margin, which often results in adverse environmental impacts. Understanding and remediating these impacts must begin with the realization that coastal marine ecosystems in effect extend well inland, encompassing their watersheds and estuaries. Freshwater inputs not only affect salinity distributions and circulation patterns but are also sources of nutrients and contaminants. The land/sea boundary is the home of unique ecosystems -- marshes, shallow embayments, shelf environments, for example -- that are critical for the lifecycles of many economically and recreationally important finfish and shellfish species. However, the complex ecology and multiple interconnections of these systems are not sufficiently understood to predict the outcome of present and future human impacts.
The CSS concentration provides a fundamental understanding of aquatic ecology in the coastal zone and its dependence on physical, chemical, and geological processes and phenomena. Since this area often requires synthesis of diverse, spatially distributed data, competency in using geographic information systems is encouraged. Students are also expected to become familiar with the scientific issues that influence coastal resource management and policy.
Website: Click here for program website
Program Point of Contact: Martha Mather
Department: Natural Resources Conservation
Institution address: University of Massachusetts School of Marine Sciences 265 Riverside Street
Phone: 978 934 3898