The overarching theme for 2016 is the integration of law and policy with both emerging and established conservation issues. Students will be immersed in one emerging issue, aquaculture and aquaculture conservation, and two established issues, marine invasive species and the conservation of sea turtles and marine mammals.

Instructors: Dr. Doug Nowacek, Steve Roady, James Morris

Skill Development
Students will:

  • Explore the basic theoretical tenets to understanding marine commons and their governance
  • Analyze different approaches and solutions proposed to govern marine commons
  • Be exposed to different methods to studying and governing commons
  • Evaluate strategies to measure and maintain biodiversity

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this week, students will be able to:

  • Understand the rationale behind common approaches and solutions proposed to improve marine conservation in a variety of settings
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of different methods used to understanding problems related to governing marine commons and marine conservation in general
  • Understand many of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss and restoration of biological diversity, e.g., climate change, species invasions, habitat destruction
  • Be conversant in the strategies developed to combat threats to biological diversity

Instructors: Dr. Wendy Dow Piniak & Dr. Matthew Godfrey

Skill Development

• Data Collection & Analysis

• Presentation skills: written and oral

Learning Outcomes

• Identify and describe the seven species of sea turtles and summarize their ethology, life history,biological characteristics and ecological roles;

• Discuss and evaluate conservation and management actions for sea turtles;

• Interact with conservationists, researchers and local stakeholders; and

• Synthesize information from primary literature, evaluate a research topic, present research in a written manuscript and oral presentation;

Instructors: Dr. David Johnston

Skill Development

Unoccupied Aircraft Systems (UAS)

• Flight concepts for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft
• UAS applications and considerations in a marine environment
• UAS sensors and their uses
• UAS manual and autonomous flight
• UAS safety considerations, ethics and permitting
• UAS rules for commercial and hobbyist uses
• Mission planning, flight, and post-flight processing
• Hands-on activities are in blue

Learning Outcomes

1) Students will demonstrate a clear understanding of basic aeronautics, UAS types, their components, and their associated control systems

2) Students will demonstrate a clear understanding of the rules, regulations, privacy, ethical, and safety issues associated with employing UAS in scientific research

3) Students will be able to communicate how UAS contribute to the study of marine ecosystems, using specific examples that illustrate the breadth of applications they are suitable for

4) Students will learn how to conduction mission planning for UAS studies, how to simulate their missions, and how to execute them in marine and coastal environments

5) Students will learn how to manage the data derived from UAS missions in marine environments and analyze them to address specific questions or problems.

6) Students will learn to build, test and fly their own UAS, both manually and autonomously.

7) Students will participate in UAS scientific research and work on an independent research project that will be presented to the class.


Instructors: Professors Lesley Thorne and Andy Read 

Skill Development
During this course, students will:

  • Learn about the life histories, status, and ecosystem importance of various marine megafauna, including marine mammals and seabirds

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain what intrinsic factors lead these taxonomic groups to be vulnerable to direct and indirect over-exploitation
  • Describe the human drivers of over-exploitation for these groups
  • Understand the U.S. legislative framework that addresses the conservation of these groups, including the Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Acts
  • Understand the international policy framework, including the International Whaling Commission and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations
  • Understand how science (especially science that is well-explained) can inform policy through case studies of sea turtle and marine mammal by-catch
  • Formulate, articulate and defend a policy position in a  negotiation process
  • Analyze human values that underpin different management approaches, particularly with respect to consumptive and non-consumptive paradigms

Instructors: Dr. Mike Kingston 

Skill Development

• Explore a variety of marine and estuarine habitats
• Collect and study intertidal and subtidal organisms using a variety of methodologies
• Design and conduct observational and manipulative field experiments
• Analyze and interpret marine ecological data using statistical software packages
• Read the published literature to develop an independent research proposal

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Explain how the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes affect community development and community structure in marine systems
• Understand the role of competition, predation, recruitment, dispersal, disease, and symbiosis, disturbance and stress in the lives of marine organisms
• Describe the current state of human impacts including climate change, pollution, overharvesting, mineral extraction, and exotic species introductions on marine communities and ecosystem services
• Articulate the current state of marine resource extraction by humans as well as identify the challenges and obstacles to developing a more sustainable future

Brian JohnsonThemes