Overview

The Master of Professional Science in Tropical Marine Ecosystem (TME), a track within the Department of Marine Biology and Ecology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), provides students with advanced training in the theoretical aspects of tropical marine ecology, as well as the practical aspects needed to begin a career in this field. Please refer to the MPS website for more information about the TME track.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites:
 
  1. Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.)
  2. One year of General Biology + General Biology Labs
  3. One year of General Chemistry
  4. At least one semester of Calculus
  5. 9 additional credits in natural science (Research in these fields may, in some cases, substitute for coursework hours.)

Note to students: Deficiencies in required coursework may be considered on a case-by-case basis for otherwise highly qualified students or those demonstrating experience with these skills.

All application requirements are available here.

Curriculum Requirements

Ecology Requirement
MBE 615Tropical Marine Ecology3
Statistics Requirement
RSM 612Statistics for Marine Scientists3
or EVR 624 Statistics and Data Analysis for Environmental Science and Policy
Policy Requirement
EVR 620Environmental Law and Policy3
or EVR 720 Coastal Law and Policy
or EVR 616 Ocean Policy
or EVR 710 International Ocean Law and Governance
or EVR 631 Marine and Coastal Protected Area Theory, Planning, Management, and Issues
Field Requirement 1
MBE 621Field Techniques and Instrumentation in Tropical Marine Ecology3
or MBE 614 Tropical Marine Biology
or MBE 637 Data Manipulation and Presentation for Marine Ecologists
or MBE 644 Tropical Coastal Restoration
or MBE 641 Reef Restoration Techniques
Technical Skills Requirement 2
EVR 660
EVR 661
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems
and Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory
3
EVR 610Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement3
Other Requirements
RSM 600Introduction to Research Diving Techniques 33
RSM 667Motorboat Operator Certification Course 31-2
or RSM 664 Scientific Small Boating
MBE 746Marine Population Biology: Processes and Modeling *3
or MBE 638 Tropical Microbial Ecology
or EVR 629 Biology, Ecology, and Management of Mangrove Ecosystems
or MBE 623 Marine Parasite Ecology
or MBE 618 Reef Coral Biology, Ecology, and Conservation
or RSM 601 Scientific Freediving
or EVR 634 Shark Behavioral Ecology and Conservation
Internship Requirement
MBE 805MPS Internship 44-5
Total Credit Hours30
*

Courses listed are suggestions. Students may choose other electives with the approval of their academic advisor and/or course instructor if special permission is required.

1

Students may choose another field course in MBE or EVR with the approval of their academic advisor.

2

Students may take both courses if desired.

3

Enrollment is strongly encouraged. May be substituted for another elective with the approval of their academic advisor.

4

Enrollment in 2 - 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS.

Additional Elective Options

Students may take any elective on the RSMAS campus with the consent of their faculty advisor. Below are a few examples of courses past students in this program used as electives.

MBE 614Tropical Marine Biology3
MBE 678Evolutionary Genetics3
MBE 643Ecology, Conservation, and Ecotourism in the Galapagos II - Field1
MBE 704Biological Oceanography3
MBE 716Bayesian Statistics for Marine Scientists3
EVR 601Political Ecology of Marine Management3
EVR 602Economics of Natural Resources3
EVR 604Fieldwork in Coastal Management: Tourism, Conservation, and Development3
EVR 620Environmental Law and Policy3
EVR 610Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement3
EVR 614Underwater Site Mapping and Visualization Techniques3
EVR 616Ocean Policy3
EVR 625Fisheries Socioeconomics and Management3
EVR 626Submerged Cultural Resource Management3
EVR 662Intermediate Spatial Analysis3
EVR 710International Ocean Law and Governance3
EVR 720Coastal Law and Policy3
RSM 633Survey of Telemetry for Animal Movement Research1
RSM 645Science Communication: Professional Writing1
RSM 646Presentation Boot Camp1
RSM 649Advanced Presentation Boot Camp1
RSM 710The Physical Environment of Marine Organisms3
POL 631Global Environment Politics3
BIL 623Advanced Biology of Marine Invertebrates4

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MBE 615 Tropical Marine Ecology 3
RSM 600 Introduction to Research Diving Techniques * 1 3
RSM 667 or 664 Motorboat Operator Certification Course * 1
or Scientific Small Boating
1
RSM 612 or EVR 624 Statistics for Marine Scientists
or Statistics and Data Analysis for Environmental Science and Policy
3
EVR 620, 720,
Environmental Law and Policy 2
or Coastal Law and Policy
or Ocean Policy
3
 Credit Hours13
Spring
MBE 621 Field Techniques and Instrumentation in Tropical Marine Ecology 3 3
EVR 660
EVR 661 or 610
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems 1
or Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement
3
MBE 746 Marine Population Biology: Processes and Modeling 4 3
EVR 610 Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement 4 3
 Credit Hours12
Summer
MBE 805 MPS Internship 5 2-6
 Credit Hours5
 Total Credit Hours30
*

Enrollment is strongly encouraged. May be substituted for another elective with the approval of their academic advisor.

1

​Can be taken in Fall or Spring

2

​​​Additional Policy Options: EVR 631, EVR 710

3

Additional Field Options: MBE 614MBE 637, MBE 644, MBE 641. Students may choose another field course in MBE or EVR with the approval of their academic advisor.

4

Suggested Options: MBE 638, MBE 623, MBE 618, EVR 634, EVR 629, RSM 601. Students may choose other electives with the approval of their academic advisor and/or course instructor if special permission is required.

5

​Enrollment in 2 - 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS.

Mission

The mission of the Master of Professional Science degree in Tropical Marine Ecosystem (TME) is to prepare graduates for technical positions in marine conservation, management, and marine ecosystem science at one of a number of state and federal agencies, institutions, and NGOs by providing students with advanced training in the theoretical and practical aspects of tropical marine ecology. This program introduces students to theoretical aspects of nearshore, benthic ecosystems common to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide (coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves) and emphasizes threats facing these ecosystems. Practical aspects of the course exposes students to field methods and techniques, taxonomy and identification of common vertebrates, invertebrates, algae and marine plants, GIS and remote sensing of shallow water marine environments, scientific diving (through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences), and small boat handling (through the Department of the Interior’s Motorboat Operator Certification Course).

Goals

The goal of the Master of Professional Science degree in Tropical Marine Ecosystem is to introduce students to theoretical aspects of nearshore, benthic ecosystems common to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide (coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves) with an emphasis on threats facing these ecosystems. The TME program assists students in the development and application of scientific field methods and techniques, taxonomy and identification of common vertebrates, invertebrates, algae and marine plants, GIS and remote sensing of shallow water marine environments, scientific diving (through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences), and small boat handling (through the Department of the Interior’s Motorboat Operator Certification Course). The goal of the TME track is to prepare graduates for technical positions in marine conservation, management, and marine ecosystem science at one of a number of state and federal agencies, institutions, and NGOs by providing students with advanced training in the theoretical and practical aspects of tropical marine ecology.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to effectively identify, understand, assess, and manage various tropical marine ecosystems.
  • Students will demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of field and lab work during their internships.
  • Students will submit a final, written report and deliver a final presentation based on the work completed in their internship.