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Monterey Peninsula College
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School of Marine Sciences: focus in Marine Biogeochemistry and Environmental Change

College or University: University of Massachusetts

Type of degree: Ph.D.

Brief overview of program: The production, consumption, and alteration of chemical species by aquatic organisms are central to the function and regulation of marine systems. In particular, the supply, recycling, and export of carbon, nutrients, and trace metals are tightly coupled to plant productivity; ecosystem activity, and ecosystem structure. While a wide variety of organisms participate in essential biogeochemical transformations, microbes receive special attention due to their dominant role. Natural environmental change is often consequence of climatic forcing of biogeochemical processes. Anthropogenic environmental change is typically mediated through both perturbation of biogeochemical cycles, as in the case of coastal eutrophication or increasing atmospheric CO2, as well as through the introduction of contaminants, such as toxic organic compounds (e.g. PCB's) and heaby metals. These impacts can be both local and global in scale. Reconstructing the history of environmental change usually employs the use of a wide variety of chemical markers preserved in sedimentary or other archives such mollusk shells. Such reconstructions provide important insight into the full dynamic range of marine environmental processes and function as well as to the events causing past and current observed states. The MBCEC concentration provides the student a fundamental understanding of major marine biogeochemical cycles and their interactions with physical and biological components of marine systems. Emphasis is on the role of biogeochemical cycles on natural and anthropogenic environmental change across a variety of settings from coastal to open ocean environments. Technical skills employed may include use and/or development of state-of-the-art trace chemical analyses and interdisciplinary numerical modeling

Website: Click here for program website

Program Point of Contact: Robert Chen


Department: Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences

Institution address: University of Massachusetts School of Marine Sciences 265 Riverside Street
                             Lowell,MA 01854

Phone: 978 934 3898


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .