Dec 29

Google Doc to share spring travel plans to the ML

Please share your travel plans on the Google Doc below!  This will help us to know what your plans are, and can help you to connect with other students coming to the Marine Lab who may be able to share a ride, or who may need a ride.

Travel plans to Duke Marine Lab

Dec 16

Course Instructors and TAs

BLOCK A   (Jan. 12 – Feb. 10)          

Marine Ecology (St. John)

  • Silliman, Brian                       
  • TA: Marine Ecology              

Coastal Watershed Science & Policy 

  • Hunt, Dana                             
  • TA: Joe Morton                      

Conservation and Development 

  • Campbell, Lisa                      

BLOCK B   (Feb. 13 – March 10)                     

Urban Tropical Ecology (Singapore)

  • Rittschof, Daniel                    

Biological Oceanography 

Social Impact Analysis 

BLOCK C   (March 20-April 12)                      

Biology & Conservation of Sea Turtles (Puerto Rico)

Marine Fisheries Policy 

Gateway to Biology: Molecular Biology 

Physical Oceanography 

  • Hench, Jim                              

BLOCK D   (April 13 – May 5)                          

Community-Based Marine Conservation (Gulf of CA)

Sound In The Sea: Intro to Marine Bioacoustics 

  • Nowacek, Douglas                
  • TA: Jillian Wisse                     

Comparative Physiology of Marine Animals 

Marine Conservation Biology 

  • Read, Andrew                         
  • Johnston, David                      
  • TA: Joseph Fader                    


Dec 13

Facebook Group

Below is a link to the spring Facebook group.  You can use this page to coordinate carpooling, sharing taxis, posting flights, etc.  Katie will soon post about a Google Doc where you can all communicate your travel needs/plans in one location.  This group will also be used throughout the semester to share things going on in the area that you may enjoy.


Nov 14

Waiving Health Insurance (for Non-Duke students)



Dear Duke Student:

Starting on November 15, 2016:


  • Please go to your DukeHub account to either submit the details of your alternate existing insurance coverage OR confirm enrollment through Duke’s Student Medical Insurance Plan (SMIP).
  • Be sure to have your insurance information handy prior to completing the enrollment process.


Step 1. Log into DukeHub

ID cards will be sent to the address of record.  All documents from Blue Cross Blue Shield will be mailed to this address

Step 2.  Select the “Forms & Requests” tab

Step 3. Under the “Health Insurance” category, select the “waive, enroll, or view your status” link and complete the enrollment process.



  • Please note that paying the insurance charge on your Bursar account does not automatically enroll you in the plan at that time.
  • This charge and coverage by Duke may be removed if you provide adequate proof of coverage under an alternate health insurance plan that meets the University’s coverage criteria.
  • If you do not enter your decision by January 31, 2017, you will be automatically enrolled in the SMIP for the period from January 1, 2017 to July 31, 2017. The insurance charge will remain on your Bursar account and you will receive your enrollment information and card after January 31, 2017.


If you are an international student holding an F1 or J1 Visa, enrollment in the SMIP is mandatoryNo action is required on your part.

This criteria, as well as general information about the SMIP, may be found on the Student Health website at the following address:



  • The Duke SMIP will continue to be administered by BCBS of North Carolina.
  • Full plan details, rates, a schedule of benefits, dependent enrollment information and more information are available at the following website: duke
  • If you have questions about the plan, please contact Student Blue at 800-579-8022, or send an email to:
  • If you have questions about the enrollment process, please send a message to




Oct 27

Interested in being an RA?


Don’t forget that you can apply to be a Residential Advisor (RA) during Spring 2017 at the Duke Marine Lab. If you are interested in applying, you still have some time! There will be two co-RAs; they each receive a 60% reduction on room and board as payment for their services. Being a RA at the Marine Lab is a great experience and you get to work with your peers in a positive and collaborative environment! (RAs can take travel courses in the spring, but there always has to be one RA on campus, so the co-RAs work this out ahead of time.)


The deadline for spring RA applications is Wednesday, November 2. Please submit the following to Sarah Phillips ( by email:

  • A statement summarizing your skills and qualifications for the position. Tell us why you think you’d be a good RA. If appropriate, specifically include examples of your experience planning events, coordinating volunteers, handling difficult or stressful situations, and serving in leadership roles.
  • Two non-academic letters of recommendation from persons who have personal knowledge of you (professionals not your peers). Letters should address your interpersonal skills, ability to deal with crises, creativity, etc. These letters can be sent to Sarah directly from the person recommending you.

Oct 26

Research Independent Study projects

2017 Spring Semester

If you are interested in doing research independent study, please see the list of available spring projects below.     If there is one that interests you, go ahead and contact the advisor for that project.  Once you both agree that it is a good fit, please forward their approval to to get a permission number.  Please be sure to include if you are wanting Biology, Environment, or EOS credit.


Humberto Diaz – Tropical marine ecology; aquaculture

          Room 210, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (252) 504-7611;

Effects of acidity on:

1) Settlement and early growth of barnacles.

Larval culture and settlement of the barnacle Amphibalanus amphitites on glass panels coated with silicone will be registered under an under laboratory conditions at different pH conditions. Barnacle growth will be measured weekly using digital photography. After 4 weeks, barnacle adhesion will be determined.

2) Orientation responses of hermit crabs in presence of different chemical cues.

While under the influence of several odor sources that evoke the presence of refuge or predators, we will study the changes in orientation responses that might occur when media pH varies.

3) Food ingestion ratio of pink shrimps.

Food ingestion will be determined under artificial increased levels of acidity as well as a response to competition for food while in a confined space. 

Daniel Dunn – Spatiotemporal management of fisheries

          Room 201, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (252) 504-7677;

The Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) applies geospatial technologies to issues in marine ecology, resource management and ocean conservation, moving from raw data to information, and ultimately to decisions.  While we draw from a wide range of inquiry, our work promotes practical resource management and ocean conservation solutions and inform policy decision-making.  Independent study projects at the Marine Lab will be overseen by Dr. Daniel Dunn whose focus is on area-based management and conservation.  MGEL currently has openings for 1-2 students to do independent studies.  Potential topics include, but are not limited to the following topics: 1) a review of temporal resolution of harvest control rules in the US fisheries; 2) a review of spatiotemporal management of protected species in US fisheries; 3) a review of the use of spatiotemporal management measures by pelagic regional fisheries management organizations (that govern fishing in international waters).  Engagement in any of the proposed options will provide the student with a solid understanding of the structure of national fisheries management either nationally or internationally, and in depth knowledge of spatiotemporal management of fisheries.  If the student has any knowledge of geographic information systems, a geospatial component can be added to the project. 

Jim Hench – Shallow-water physical oceanography, physical-biological interactions, and marine technology

          Room 308/309, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (650) 759-6639;

Research in the Hench Lab focuses on hydrodynamics of estuaries and coral reefs and its effects on transport processes. In marine systems, all chemical and biological processes are imbedded in moving fluid. Fluid motion affects the transport of contaminants, sediment, fluxes of particulates seen by benthic organisms, forces imposed on organisms, and larval dispersion and connectivity of marine populations. Thus, understanding water motion is central to many questions in marine science and conservation. For Spring 2017 (Blocks C & D only), we have openings for undergraduate research on these topics: 1) Understanding high-frequency internal waves in a highly stratified shallow estuary; 2) High-resolution circulation/wave modeling around coral reef lagoons and islands. In all projects, students will receive training in quantitative data analysis methods and modeling techniques. Experience using Matlab preferred but not required. More information can be found on Hench’s website: and by contacting Dr. Hench.

Dan Holstein – marine connectivity modeling

          Room 311, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (252) 504-7636;

Dr. Holstein’s research is focused the biological and physical factors that affect metapopulations of coral reef organisms through population connectivity including: the exchange of individuals or larvae between sub-populations, resilience from disturbances, evaluating the role of refugia in metapopulation persistence, and avoiding extinction. More information on Dr. Holstein’s research can found on his website: Students interested in working on marine connectivity modeling and population network analysis should contact Dr. Holstein for further information.

Dana Hunt – Marine microbial ecology; climate change; bacterial adaptation to emerging pollutants

         Room 104C, Pilkey Lab; (252) 504-7542;

For Spring 2017, Dr. Hunt will not be advising undergraduate independent study students.

Zackary Johnson – Biological oceanography and biotechnology

          Room 104, Pilkey Lab; (252) 504-7543;

The Johnson Lab studies the abundance, diversity and activity of marine microbes – the most abundant and important organisms in the global ocean. We study biological oceanography, marine molecular ecology, marine microbiology and biogeochemistry. During Blocks A & B of spring 2017, together with Hunt lab our group will be conducting experiments on the effects of ocean acidification and temperature rise on microbial populations in coastal and open ocean waters.  Students interested in working with our group on this project should email Dr. Johnson to discuss further details.

Dave Johnston

          Room 315, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (252) 504-7593;

Interested students are encouraged to contact Dr. Johnston to discuss project ideas.

Doug Nowacek- marine conservation, bioacoustics, marine mammals

          Lab 7 (Bookhout) Rm 117  phone  (252) 504-7566

Bioacoustics of marine mammals – analyzing acoustic data from animal-borne tags as well as moored acoustic systems.  Molecular genetics of marine mammals – determining sex and stock status of marine mammals from biopsy samples.

Dan Rittschof – Behavioral and chemical ecology, toxicology

          Room 310, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (252) 504-7634;

Topics: Smell Scapes, Proteomics of body odors and feeding appendages, embryo development or DNA toxicity in Japanese fish or local mosquitofish; customized projects on your personal interests with local invertebrates.

Tom Schultz Marine genetics and genomics

          Room 214, Lab 7 (Bookhout); (252) 504-7641;

My lab uses genetic and genomic approaches to address questions in conservation genetics. Specific topics include hybridization of landlocked river herring species, genetic analyses of juvenile summer flounder, analyses of blue crab populations, and genetic adaptations of Fundulus to toxic PAH contamination at an EPA Superfund site. In addition we have been using next-generation sequencing to characterize tidal rhythms at a molecular level in mole crabs. 

Andy Read & Seth Sykora-Bodie   Marine mammals

          Room 104, Lab 7 (Bookhout);;

This project is a joint effort between Lookout Cruises and the Read Lab to provide additional outreach and education on the local dolphin population to the visitors of Lookout Cruises and the broader Crystal Coast community. Lookout Cruises is a locally owned company that has operated in Beaufort, North Carolina for the past 22 years and provides daily sailing excursions. From April through November, Lookout explores Cape Lookout National Seashore on a 45’ catamaran. A “dolphin watch” tour operates daily from June through August, and occasionally in the colder seasons, in which the large majority of passengers are families with young children. Possible products of this partnership could include education materials for the general tourist population, including basic information and facts about local dolphin populations (birth/death statistics, foraging habits, migration patterns, etc.), a poster-board with pictures of easily identifiable local dolphins, a map of the area, and a possible way to identify the most likely location of dolphin pods each morning. Turtles and whales are sometimes spotted on the tours, and general information about these animals could also be developed.

Oct 06


Welcome 2017 Spring Semester undergraduates!

The 2017 Spring Semester is fast approaching!  Your course selection form is requested by Wednesday, October 26.  Amy Kirkland will send you any necessary permission numbers before registration begins Wednesday, November 2.  Permission for the travel courses is first-come, first-served — students may be permitted to take a 2nd or 3rd travel course when all interested students have enrolled in at least one travel course. Duke students register in DukeHub; non-Duke students will be registered by Amy Kirkland.

Research Independent Study
After Wednesday, November 16th we will send a list of research independent study options/advisors via email (The list will also be available on this website). If you’re interested in doing research independent study, please email the instructors whose project(s) match your interests.  When an instructor has agreed to work with you, forward that email to and I will send you a permission number to register with.

  • Students who choose to do research independent study are required to spend an entire block working on the project.
  • Students participating in more than one travel course will not be permitted to undertake a research project.

Important Dates: 

  • Move in is after 12 pm, Tuesday, Jan 10.
  • The 2017 spring semester begins with student orientation on Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017.
  • Spring Break: Friday 7 pm, March 10.  Classes resume Monday, March 20.
  • The 2017 spring semester ends on Friday, May 5, 2017– move out is by 9 am on Saturday, May 6.

Travel to Beaufort:
About one month before the beginning of the spring semester we will invite you to join a Facebook group with your fellow students to coordinate carpooling, share taxis, post flights, etc.  At that time you can post your New Bern (EWN) flight arrival time and begin corresponding with other students arriving around the same time. To maximize shuttle sharing as much as possible, I suggest everyone try to land in New Bern around 1pm. If everyone does this, you can save money by sharing shuttles. Students who arrive on later flights end up having to take a shuttle by themselves. The New Bern airport is located off Highway (70 East) and is an easy stop for students traveling from Duke’s main campus.

Best Shuttle Option: Diamond Limousine: 252-240-1680
A cluster of students can share the cost of a limousine from Diamond Limousine. I realize this sounds fancy, but it’s actually the most economical option that takes credit cards! Several students can travel together and they charge approximately $75 – please add gratuity for the driver.

Other Shuttles Options:
Carteret Cab 252-247-4600 (cash only)
A1 Cab 252-504-3680 (cash only)
Shuttle Me: 252-637-7433  (the most expensive, but takes credit cards)

Visit the Duke Marine Lab Facebook fan page to keep up with what is happening in Beaufort.


Housing and a meal plan are automatic with your registration in Marine Lab courses. Send roommate requests and inquiries about single room availability to Dominick Brugnolotti (; 252-504-7652).  Duke students: information about how to request Durham housing when you return to main campus in the fall can be found online in January or February.  Please make sure that you correspond with the Res Life folks directly to make sure you have housing when you get back to main campus!  Non-Duke students: please correspond directly with your off-campus studies office (or equivalent) at your home institution to let them know your plans for the spring semester.

Visit this web site to learn more about Duke Marine Lab undergraduate student programs

If you have any questions or problems with registration please feel free to contact Amy Kirkland (252-504-7502;

Need help with Marine Lab courses? Email Katie Wood, (252-504-7586;

Registration related questions? Email  Amy Kirkland, (252-504-7502;



Tom Schultz
Director of Undergraduate Studies