Fall Semester

August 27-December 14, 2018

Fall semester at the Duke Marine Lab highlights courses include natural science, social science, humanities, and interdisciplinary offerings that emphasize hands-on, experiential learning in an enriching academic environment. Students from every major are welcome to study at the Duke University Marine Lab! Scroll down the page for the complete list of fall course options including our fall break travel courses to Panama and California. 

Don't have a car? Not to worry, the Marine Lab recently acquired an Enterprise Car Share that undergraduates can use while studying in Beaufort. 

For help with courses or registration issues, email gwendy.womble@duke.edu.

Undergraduate registration officially opens on 7 April, but you can pre-register by sending us an email

Enrollment information is available here >


fall courses

BIOLOGY 201LA. Gateway to Biology: Molecular Biology

Introduces major concepts in biology through the lens of molecular biology. Molecular mechanisms that comprise the Central Dogma and variants. DNA structure and function, replication, transcription, and translation. Protein synthesis, folding, structure and function. Supporting topics related to...
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BIOLOGY 202LA. Genetics and Evolution

Introduction to principles transmission genetics and evolution. Includes Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance, quantitative genetics, genetic mapping, evidence for evolution, natural selection, genetic drift, kin selection, speciation, molecular evolution, phylogenetic analysis. Relevance to...
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BIOLOGY 273LA. Marine Ecology

Factors that influence the distribution, abundance, and diversity of marine organisms. Course structure integrates lectures, field excursions, lab exercises and an independent project. Lecture topics include physical characteristics of marine systems, adaptation to environment, species interactions...
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BIOLOGY 293. Research Independent Study

Individual research in a field of special interest, under the supervision of a faculty member, the major product of which is a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Open to all qualified students with consent of...

BIOLOGY 376A. Marine Mammals

The biology of cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians, and sea otters. Topics covered include the diversity, evolution, ecology, and behavior of marine mammals and their interactions with humans. Detailed consideration given to the adaptations that allow these mammals to live in the sea. Evaluation of the...
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BIOLOGY 377LA. Marine Invertebrate Zoology

Structure, function, and development of invertebrates collected from estuarine and marine habitats. In this course, we will explore biodiversity through explorations of marine invertebrate life. Emphasis will be placed on relationships between form and function, phylogeny, adaptations to the...
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BIOLOGY 570LA-1. Experimental Tropical Marine Ecology (Panama)

Distribution and density of marine and semi-terrestrial tropical invertebrate populations; behavioral and mechanical adaptations to physical stress, competition, and predation using rapid empirical approaches and hypothesis testing. Offered only at Beaufort, with preparation for fieldwork before...
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ENVIRON 286A. Marine Policy

Policy and policy-making concerning the coastal marine environment. History of marine-related organizations, legislation, and issues and their effects on local, regional, national, and international arenas. Use of theoretical and methodological perspectives, including political science, sociology,...
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ENVIRON 287A. Marine Conservation Service Learning

Introduction to marine conservation biology emphasizing community outreach at local middle schools. Material focuses on issues in marine conservation and how they are addressed. Lectures cover principles of conservation, biodiversity, extinction risks, genetic tools, fishery bycatch, over-...

ENVIRON 319A. Aquaculture and the Environment

The major environmental, social and economic drivers of increasing global aquaculture, with a focus on marine systems. Quantitative evaluation and comparison of the range of species for aquaculture, locations where operations occur, operational aspects including environmental impacts and management...
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ENVIRON 383LA. Marine Molecular Microbiology

Introduction to microbiology from a marine perspective. Topics include microbial phylogeny, evolution, symbiosis, biotechnology, genomics, and ecology. Laboratory will employ modern molecular techniques to investigate the ecology and evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. Prerequisite:...
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ENVIRON 393A. Research Independent Study

Individual research in a field of special interest, under the supervision of a faculty member, the central goal of which is a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Open to students with approval of a research advisor...

ENVIRON 445A. Marine Climate Change

Explore the science of climate change with a focus on climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and inhabitants - specifically ocean acidification, warming and sea level rise. Students will learn about factors causing climate change, and how those vary spatially. The class will critically examine...
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ENVIRON 476A. Data And Time Series Analysis In Marine Sciences

Analysis of environmental time-series and other data sets. Topics include discrete sampling issues, data rejection and interpolation, coordinate rotations and principal axes, curve fits, regression, error and propagation of uncertainty, bootstrapping, filtering, spectral analysis, harmonic analysis...
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ENVIRON 501. Environmental Toxicology

An introduction to the field of environmental toxicology. Study of environmental contaminants from a broad perspective encompassing biochemical, ecological, and toxicological principles and methodologies. Discussion of sources, environmental transport and transformation phenomena, accumulation in...
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EOS 393A. Research Independent Study

Individual research in a field of special interest under the supervision of a faculty member, the central goal of which is a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Open to students with approval of a research advisor at...

PHY 141LA. General Physics

First part of a two-semester, calculus-based, physics survey course for students planning study in medicine or the life sciences. Topics: kinematics, dynamics, systems of particles, conservation laws, statics, gravitation, fluids, oscillations, mechanical waves, sound, thermal physics, laws of...