Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Galbraith Hall 368
http://sioundergrad.ucsd.edu

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

Introduction

Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for marine science research, education, and public service in the world. Its preeminence in the marine sciences is reflective of its excellent programs, distinguished faculty and research scientists, and outstanding facilities. Scripps Institution was founded in 1903 as an independent biological research laboratory, which became an integral part of the University of California in 1912. At that time, the laboratory was given the Scripps name in recognition of donors Ellen Browning Scripps and E. W. Scripps. Research and education at Scripps encompasses physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of the oceans. Among the hundreds of research programs that may be under way at any one time are studies of air-sea interaction, climate prediction, earthquakes, the physiology of marine organisms, the geological history of the ocean basins, and multidisciplinary aspects of global change and the environment.

The Undergraduate Program

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Department offers over forty-five undergraduate courses covering a wide breadth of earth and marine sciences on several different levels. There are several introductory classes for nonmajors, and upper-division courses intended for a wide range of students in natural science majors. Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers a BS in marine biology, a BS in earth sciences and a contiguous BS/MS in earth sciences. For students interested in broadening their understanding of and opportunity in marine science and oceanography, the program offers an academic minor in marine science. The marine science minor is designed to complement the strong disciplinary training of UC San Diego basic natural science and engineering majors (i.e., chemistry, physics, biological sciences, earth sciences, engineering, mathematics, etc.) by providing a broad interdisciplinary perspective with an applied environmental focus. The program also offers an academic minor in earth sciences.

Marine Biology Major

Faculty Adviser: Michael Landry, Professor, Biological Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers an undergraduate major program in marine biology, resulting in a BS. Undergraduates in this major will develop an understanding of the biology of marine organisms and the biological and physical processes that affect these organisms, their populations, and their coastal and oceanic ecosystems. The major requires a foundation in the natural sciences, a rigorous core of marine biology courses and a unifying laboratory/field course that engages students more directly in the discovery process and in analyzing and interpreting data. Majors select electives from a growing set of upper-division Scripps Oceanography courses in marine biology and related disciplines. The marine biology curriculum takes advantage of the UC San Diego’s unique physical location along the Pacific Ocean. Laboratory work and field trips to intertidal zones, salt marshes, and other marine ecosystems are important components of the instructional program. 

Ocean sciences are relevant to many contemporary environmental issues and problems and central to understanding earth-system evolution, dynamics, climate and sustainability. A major in marine biology is an appropriate start for students who are seeking a career or graduate studies in marine biology and related biological disciplines, a career in fields such as marine conservation, or simply interested in the major to broaden their base of knowledge and experience in the biological sciences. Program advisers and faculty can provide additional information on career and graduate school opportunities. It is strongly recommended that all marine biology majors meet regularly with academic advising staff in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Undergraduate Education Office in Galbraith Hall and with the marine biology faculty adviser to discuss and update curriculum choices.

Students must receive a grade of C– or higher in any course to be counted toward fulfillment of the major requirements (with the exception of SIO 90 and SIO 139, which are only offered on a P/NP basis). One quarter of SIO 199 credit (4 units) may be used as a restricted elective, but does not satisfy a laboratory course requirement.

Lower-Division Requirements

Math 10A-B-C or 20A-B-C

Chem 6A-B-C, 7L

Physics 1A+1AL, 1B+1BL, 1C+1CL or 2A-B-C

BILD 1. The Cell

BILD 2. Multicellular Life

BILD 3. Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

SIO 90. Undergraduate Seminar: Perspectives on Ocean Sciences

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Marine Biology Core (all courses required)
    SIO 132. Introduction to Marine Biology
    SIO 134. Introduction to Biological Oceanography
    SIO 181. Marine Biochemistry
    SIO 136. Marine Biology Laboratory
    SIO 139. Current Research in Marine Biology Colloquium
  2. Biology Core Courses (all courses required)
    SIO 187. Statistical Methods in Marine Biology
    BICD 100. Genetics
  3. Oceans Physics and Chemistry Requirement
    SIO 119. Physics and Chemistry of the Oceans
  4. Restricted Electives (at least five of the following; two must be indicated as laboratory courses)
    SIO 101. California Coastal Oceanography (Lab)
    SIO 104. Paleobiology and History of Life (Lab) or SIO 148. Evolution of Earth’s Biosphere (Lab)
    SIO 123. Microbial Environmental Systems Biology
    SIO 124. Marine Natural Products
    SIO 125. Biomechanics of Marine Life 
    SIO 126. Marine Microbiology
    SIO 127. Marine Molecular Ecology
    SIO 128. Microbial Life in Extreme Environments
    SIO 129. Marine Chemical Ecology
    SIO 133. Marine Mammal Biology
    SIO 138. The Coral Reef Environment
    SIO 147. Applications of Phylogenetics (Lab)
    SIO 183. Phycology: Biology of Marine Plants (Lab)
    SIO 184. Marine Invertebrates (Lab)
    SIO 185. Marine Microbiology Lab (Lab)
    SIO 188. Biology of Fishes (Lab)
    SIO 189. Pollution, Environment, and Health
    Chem 140A. Organic Chemistry I
    Chem 140B. or Chem 140 BH Organic Chemistry II
    Chem 143A. or Chem 143 AH Organic Chemistry Laboratory (Lab)
    BICD 103. Biochemical Techniques Lab (Lab)
    BIBC 102. Metabolic Biochemistry
    BIEB 102. Introduction to Ecology
    BIEB 150. Evolution
    SIO 199. Independent Study for Undergraduates

Earth Sciences Major

The earth sciences encompass broad scientific study of the origin and evolution of the Earth and its life forms. The earth sciences major embraces a wide range of topics, including the physical and chemical evolution of our planet, the evolution of life, the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, near-surface processes, the origin and behavior of the oceans and atmosphere, and the impact of humans on the environment. Earth science investigations are increasingly quantitative and experimental, and thus most upper-division courses require a strong foundation in chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

The earth sciences curriculum takes advantage of the unique opportunities offered by Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Classes beyond the introductory level are usually small, permitting personalized instruction. Field trips are an important part of the instructional program. Earth sciences students are encouraged to consult with their instructors about incorporating appropriate courses and research opportunities at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography into their undergraduate curriculum.

A degree in earth sciences is an appropriate start for a broad range of career and graduate school opportunities in various areas, including research, government, state and federal survey jobs, environmental management, the petroleum and mining industries, consulting, ocean sciences, industrial institutions, elementary or secondary education, environmental policy, or environmental law. Program advisers and faculty can provide additional information on career and graduate school opportunities. This flexibility in the major is afforded by a wide array of restricted electives that allow students a degree of autonomy to design much of their program. Career track examples with restricted electives and faculty advising are provided to assist students in their optimal career development track within the flexible curriculum.

Lower-division requirements are designed to provide the foundations in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology that are essential in modern quantitative earth science disciplines. Students should note that several of the upper-division electives for the major have lower-division prerequisites in addition to the required prerequisites for the major. In planning their major, students should check catalog course descriptions carefully and should meet with advising staff. All earth sciences majors take an introductory course, SIO 50, and four upper-division courses introducing basic concepts in the earth sciences, SIO 100, SIO 102, SIO 103, and SIO 104. Ideally SIO 50, SIO 100 and SIO 102 should be taken before the junior year to provide the appropriate background for other upper-division courses.

It is strongly recommended that all earth science majors meet regularly with the earth sciences academic advising staff in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Undergraduate Education Office in Galbraith Hall and a faculty adviser, from those listed in career tracks below, to discuss and update curriculum choices.

A grade point average of 2.0 or higher in the upper-division major program is required for graduation. Students must receive a grade of C– or better in any course to be counted toward fulfillment of the major requirements. In exceptional cases, students with a grade point average in the major of 2.5 or greater may petition to have one grade of D accepted. All courses (lower and upper division) required for the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Special Studies Courses

Special studies in the earth sciences are offered as the courses SIO 198 and SIO 199. These courses are subject to consent of the instructor and approval by the earth sciences faculty adviser. They are open to students who have accrued at least ninety quarter-units and have a GPA of at least 3.0. One quarter of SIO 199 studies may be counted toward the earth sciences major.

Lower-Division Requirements

Math 20A-B-C-D

Physics 2A-B-C (or 4A-B-C)

Chemistry 6A-B-C

Biology 3

SIO 50

Group A: Earth Science Upper-Division Core Requirements

(All courses are required.)

SIO 100. Introduction to Field Methods

SIO 102. Introduction to Geochemistry

SIO 103. Introduction to Geophysics

SIO 104. Paleobiology and History of Life

Group B: Upper-Division Earth Science Restricted Electives

(Choose at least three of the following.)

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 106. Introduction to Hydrogeology

SIO 113. Introduction to Computational Earth Science

SIO 120. Introduction to Mineralogy

SIO 141. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

SIO 144. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry

SIO 152. Petrology and Petrography

SIO 160. Introduction to Tectonics

SIO 162. Structural Geology

SIO 182. Environmental and Exploration Geophysics

Group C: Upper-Division Restricted Electives

(Choose at least five of the following.)

Students may use any additional course(s) from the Earth Science Restricted Electives list (Group B, above) as a Group C elective.

SIO 101. California Coastal Oceanography

SIO 108. Introduction to Paleoclimatology

SIO 110. Introduction to GIS and GPS for Scientists

SIO 111. Introduction to Ocean Waves

SIO 115. Ice and the Climate System

SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming

SIO 119. Physics and Chemistry of the Oceans

SIO 135. Satellite Remote Sensing

SIO 138. The Coral Reef Environment

SIO 143. Ocean Acidification

SIO 148. Evolution of Earth’s Biosphere

SIO 150. Physics and Chemistry of Planetary Interiors

SIO 155. Whole Earth Geochemistry

SIO 170. Introduction to Volcanology

SIO 171. Introduction to Physical Oceanography

SIO 172. Physics of the Atmosphere

SIO 173. Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Climate

SIO 180. Communicating Science to Informal Audiences

SIO 199. Independent Study

Chem 173. Atmospheric Chemistry

Chem 120A. Inorganic Chemistry

Chem 127. Physical Chemistry

Chem 140A, B. Organic Chemistry

Chem 171, 172. Environmental Chemistry

Phys 100A, B, C. Electromagnetism

Phys 105A, B. Mathematical and Computational Physics

Phys 110A, B. Mechanics

Phys 121. Experimental Techniques

MAE 131A. Solid Mechanics I

 

An example schedule is outlined below.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman Year

 

Math 20A

Math 20B

Math 20C

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

SIO 50

Phys 2A

Phys 2B

Sophomore Year

 

Math 20D

SIO 102

SIO Elect.

Phys 2C

 

 

SIO 100

BILD 3

 

Junior Year

 

SIO 103

SIO 104

SIO Elect.

 

SIO Elect.

SIO Elect.

Senior Year

 

SIO Elect. 

SIO Elect.

SIO Elect.

 

SIO Elect.

 

Career Track Examples with Restricted Electives

The earth sciences curriculum is designed to be flexible, and can be tailored to student interests and needs in consultation with academic and faculty advisers. The following are suggested career paths for graduate school and/or employment in subdisciplines of earth sciences. Note: These recommendations are intended to guide students in concert with academic and faculty advising. They are not requirements—the only formal requirements for the major are listed above.

Career Track: Geology

Faculty Adviser: Geoff W. Cook, Lecturer, Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, gwcook@ucsd.edu

Recommended electives for students with an interest in geological aspects of the Earth:

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 106. Introduction to Hydrogeology

SIO 110. Introduction to GIS and GPS for Scientists

SIO 113. Introduction to Computational Earth Science

SIO 120. Introduction to Mineralogy

SIO 152. Petrology and Petrography

SIO 160. Introduction to Tectonics

SIO 162. Structural Geology

SIO 170. Introduction to Volcanology

SIO 182. Environmental and Exploration Geophysics

In addition, students should complete at least one quarter of SIO 199 (Independent Study) coordinated with Scripps earth sciences faculty.

Career Track: Geophysics

Faculty Adviser: Dave Stegman, Professor, Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, dstegman@ucsd.edu

Recommended electives and additional lower division preparation for students with an interest in the mechanical, dynamical and thermodynamical aspects of the Earth:

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 111. Introduction to Ocean Waves

SIO 113. Introduction to Computational Earth Science

SIO 135. Satellite Remote Sensing

SIO 160. Introduction to Tectonics

SIO 182. Environmental and Exploration Geophysics

Phys 100A, B, C. Electromagnetism

Phys 105A, B. Mathematical and Computational Physics

MAE 131A. Solid Mechanics I

Note: Geophysics is a highly quantitative field. Interested student should prepare for upper-division electives and work in the field with additional lower-division prerequisites:

Physics 4 series (4A-E) recommended OR Physics 2 series with Physics 2D, 2BL, 2CL

Math 18. Linear Algebra

Math 20E. Vector Calculus

CSE 5A. Introduction to Programming OR any other C or FORTRAN programming course

Career Track: Environmental Geochemistry

Faculty Adviser: Katherine Barbeau, Professor, Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, kbarbeau@ucsd.edu

Recommended electives for students with an interest in the study of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment:  

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming

SIO 141. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

SIO 144. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry

SIO 148. Evolution of Earth’s Biosphere

SIO 155. Whole Earth Geochemistry

Chem 120A. Inorganic Chemistry

Chem 140A. Organic Chemistry

Chem 127. Physical Chemistry

Students are advised to gain experience with common chemistry laboratory techniques. Suitable classes include Chem 7L (General Chemistry Laboratory), Chem 100B (Fundamentals of Instrumental Analysis and Chem 100BL (Instrumental Analysis Laboratory), and Chem 143A (Organic Chemistry Laboratory). Students should additionally complete at least one quarter of SIO 199 (Independent Study), coordinated with Scripps or chemistry faculty.

Career Track: Solid Earth Geochemistry

Faculty Adviser: Miriam Kastner, Professor, Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, mkastner@ucsd.edu

Recommended electives for students with an interest in the focus on the Earth as a chemical system and on its evolution:

SIO 120. Introduction to Mineralogy

SIO 144. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry

SIO 152. Petrology and Petrography

SIO 141. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

SIO 155. Whole Earth Geochemistry

SIO 160. Introduction to Tectonics

SIO 162. Structural Geology

Chem 120A. Inorganic Chemistry

Students are advised to gain experience with common chemistry laboratory techniques. Suitable classes include Chem 7L (Introductory Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory), Chem 100A (Analytical Chemistry Laboratory), Chem 100B (Instrumental Analysis Laboratory), and CHEM 143A (Organic Chemistry Laboratory). Students should additionally complete at least one quarter of SIO 199 (Independent Study), coordinated with earth sciences or chemistry faculty.

Career Track: Marine Science/Oceanography

Faculty Adviser: Michael Landry, Professor, Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, mlandry@ucsd.edu

Earth sciences majors with an interest in marine sciences should consider the academic minor in marine sciences as a complement to the earth sciences major. Alternatively, students might choose from the following recommended electives within the earth sciences major:

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 141. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

SIO 144. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry

SIO 101. California Coastal Oceanography

SIO 111. Introduction to Ocean Waves and Tides

SIO 115. Ice and the Climate System

SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming

SIO 119. Physics and Chemistry of the Oceans

SIO 138. The Coral Reef Environment

SIO 143. Ocean Acidification

SIO 148. Evolution of Earth’s Biosphere

Career Track: Earth Sciences Education

Faculty Adviser: John Czworkowski, Lecturer, Science Education Minor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, jczworkowski@ucsd.edu

An earth sciences major is good preparation for students who are considering K-12 science education and/or public education and outreach as a career. Students with these interests should consider the academic minor in science education, offered through the Education Studies Program, as a complement to the earth sciences major.

Recommended elective:

SIO 180. Communicating Science to Informal Audiences

Honors Program

The Honors Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is offered for a limited number of students who have demonstrated excellence in the earth sciences major or the marine biology major. Students are eligible for admission to the program when they have

  1. Completed ninety units of courses including twelve units of upper-division course work in their major (earth sciences or marine biology).
  2. Achieved a GPA of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in the major.
  3. Submitted to the Undergraduate Education Steering Committee, and had approved, an honors thesis research proposal.

Successful completion of the Honors Program requires

  1. Maintenance of a GPA of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in the major.
  2. Completion, with a B grade or higher, of a minimum of eight units of SIO 196 related to the honors thesis research, distributed over at least two quarters. These units must be in addition to the ordinary major requirements. However, students who subsequently fail to complete the Honors Program may apply up to four of these 196 units to their major.
  3. Acceptance of a written honors thesis report by a committee of not fewer than three faculty members.
  4. Satisfactory presentation of an oral report on the thesis research, preferably at a public undergraduate research conference on campus, or at a professional conference. Alternatively, the oral report may be given at a seminar involving honors students and at least three faculty members.

Students who successfully complete the Honors Program will graduate With High Distinction.

Students who are interested in the Honors Program should contact the program adviser in Galbraith Hall, Room 368, Revelle College.

(See Scripps Institution of Oceanography graduate program for information on the “Contiguous Bachelor’s/Master’s Earth Sciences Degree Program.”)

Earth Sciences Minor

A minor in earth sciences consists of twenty-eight units of earth sciences courses, at least twenty of which must be upper-division from Groups A, B and C above. Courses required by a student’s major may not be applied toward a minor and neither can SIO 198 nor SIO 199. Students interested in the earth sciences minor should meet with the earth sciences academic advising staff to discuss their curriculum choices.

Marine Science Minor

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers an undergraduate minor program in marine science. The minor curriculum is designed to complement the strong disciplinary training of UC San Diego basic science majors by providing a broad interdisciplinary perspective with an environmental focus. Ocean-related science is relevant to many contemporary environmental issues and problems and central to understanding Earth-system evolution, dynamics, climate, and sustainability. The minor consists of courses and research opportunities offered primarily through faculty and researchers at Scripps. The mix of these components can be tailored to reflect students’ career interests through an “all courses” track or a “research” track. The “all courses” track offers a very flexible curriculum that serves students with a broad range of educational and career interests including environmental management and regulation, teaching, environmental law, economics and policy and a wide variety of graduate programs. The “research” track is designed for students interested in an undergraduate research experience at Scripps and serves as excellent preparation for graduate research studies.

The minor consists of twenty-eight units of course work, at least twenty of which must be upper division. Courses required by a student’s major may not be applied toward the minor. Up to two courses for the minor may be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis (upper or lower division). Students must earn at least a letter grade of C– in the remaining five or more courses used for the minor. The marine science minor places a strong emphasis on a rigorous natural science foundation; thus, several of the upper-division courses related to the minor have significant prerequisites. Students planning the minor should check catalog course descriptions carefully and should meet with advising staff in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Office of Undergraduate Programs, Galbraith Hall, Room 188.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. SIO 30. The Oceans
  2. Any one of the following lower-division courses may be applied to the minor requirements
    SIO 10. The Earth
    SIO 12. History of the Earth and Evolution
    SIO 20. The Atmosphere
    SIO 35. Water
    SIO 40. Life and Climate on Earth
    SIO 50. Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences

Additionally, any math, chemistry, physics, or biology course that is a prerequisite for an upper-division elective for the marine science minor (ex. Math 20 series; Chem 6A, 6B, 6C; Phys 2 series; BILD 1, 2, 3) may be applied, by petition, as a lower-division requirement for the minor’s major.

Upper-Division Requirements

Option 1—All Courses Track

At least five courses from the list (below) of upper-division electives

Option 2—Research Track

At least five courses from the list (below) of upper-division electives, at least three of which must be courses satisfying Option #1 and at least two of which must be Independent Study (SIO 199; eight units total). Note: The Independent Study must be designed in mutual agreement and arrangement with a Scripps faculty member. Students interested in the marine science minor “Research Track” must meet with a Scripps Undergraduate Program adviser for information and policies.

Upper-Division Electives

SIO 101. California Coastal Oceanography

SIO 102. Introduction to Geochemistry

SIO 103. Introduction to Geophysics

SIO 104/255. Paleobiology and History of Life

SIO 105. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

SIO 108. Introduction to Paleoclimatology

SIO 110. Introduction to GIS and GPS for Scientists

SIO 111/Phys 111. Introduction to Ocean Waves

SIO 115. Ice and the Climate System

SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming

SIO 119. Physics and Chemistry of the Oceans

SIO 124. Marine Natural Products

SIO 125. Biomechanics of Marine Life

SIO 126. Marine Microbiology

SIO 127. Marine Molecular Ecology

SIO 128. Microbial Life in Extreme Environments

SIO 129. Marine Chemical Ecology

SIO 130. Scientific Diving

SIO 132. Introduction to Marine Biology

SIO 133. Marine Mammal Biology

SIO 134. Introduction to Biological Oceanography

SIO 138. The Coral Reef Environment

SIO 135/236. Satellite Remote Sensing

SIO 141/ Chem 174. Chemical Principles of Marine Systems

SIO 143. Ocean Acidification

SIO 147. Applications of Phylogenetics

SIO 148/248. Evolution of Earth’s Biosphere

SIO 160. Introduction to Tectonics

SIO 171. Introduction to Physical Oceanography

SIO 172. Physics of the Atmosphere

SIO 180/292. Communicating Science to Informal Audiences

SIO 181. Marine Biochemistry

SIO 183. Phycology: Biology of Marine Plants

SIO 184. Marine Invertebrates

SIO 185. Marine Microbiology Lab

SIO 188. Biology of Fishes

SIO 198. Directed Group Study

SIO 199. Independent Study

ECE 156/MAE 149/SIO 238. Sensor Networks

Other Scripps Oceanography courses may be submitted by petition.

Study Abroad

Study abroad through the Study Abroad UC San Diego (http://studyabroad.ucsd.edu) or Opportunities Abroad Program can enhance a student’s major, particularly as an opportunity for diverse field experiences. However, careful planning is important to meet all major requirements. Please contact the Scripps Office of Undergraduate Programs as early as possible if you are an earth sciences major or a marine biology major and planning to study abroad.