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Marine Biogeochemical Cycles & Environ. Change

Interactions of marine life and ocean chemistry and geology

The production, consumption, and alteration of chemical and geological materials by aquatic organisms are central to the functioning of marine systems. Marine organisms are responsible for the production of about half the oxygen in our atmosphere and are key to the ocean’s role as a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuel burning.

The supply and recycling of nutrients and trace metals is an important control ocean biological productivity. Marine organisms also play a central role in the formation, breakdown, and transport of both dissolved and particulate materials in the oceans, which affect all chemical cycles in the oceans.

As a student in this program, you will develop an understanding of biogeochemical signatures in ocean waters, and how these can be used to better understand marine ecosystems and how they are changing. You will also study the impact of human activity on ocean biogeochemical cycles on local, regional and global scales.

Related areas of study

  • Familiarity with fundamental concepts in chemistry, geology, biology, physics, and math
  • General knowledge of ecology and marine science

Learning outcomes

  • Develop a fundamental understanding of major marine biogeochemical cycles
  • Understand the interaction of the marine biogeochemical cycles and the physical and biological components of the system
  • Develop an understanding of how different types of human activity influence marine biogeochemical processes
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