Nova Southeastern University
Programs in Marine Biology, Coastal Zone Management,
Marine Environmental Sciences, and Oceanography
Dania Beach, Florida 33004

Nova Southeastern University was chartered by the State of Florida in 1964 and now, with nearly 19,000 students, is the largest independent university in Florida. The main campus is situated on 227 acres in Davie, Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale.

M.S. graduates find positions in city, county, and state governments or private industry, including consulting companies. Graduates also go on for further education and enter Ph.D. programs.

The Community
The Center is located in Dania Beach, Florida, just south of Ft. Lauderdale, on a 10-acre site on the ocean side of Port Everglades and is easily accessible from I-95 and the Ft. Lauderdale airport. The Center has a 1-acre boat basin, and its location affords immediate access to the Gulf Stream and the open sea, the Florida Straits, and the Bahama Banks.There are 97 students enrolled in the M.S. programs and 5 students enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

Programs of study and degree requirements
The Oceanographic Center through the Institute of Marine and Coastal Studies offers the M.S. degree in marine biology, coastal zone management, and marine environmental science; the joint M.S. degree in marine biology/coastal zone management/marine environmental science; and the Ph.D. degree in oceanography and marine biology. The M.S. and Ph.D. programs contain a common core of five marine courses: concepts in physical oceanography, ecosystems, geology, chemistry, and biostatistics. Specialty and tutorial courses in each program provide depth. The Oceanographic Center operates on a quarter-term system with twelve-week courses.

Classes for the M.S. programs meet one evening per week in a 3-hour session. Capstone Review and Thesis tracks are offered. The Capstone Review Track requires a minimum of 45 credits, which includes thirteen 3-credit courses and a 6-credit paper. The paper is usually an extended literature review of an approved subject, which the student defends before the Advisory Committee. The Thesis Track requires a minimum of 39 credits, including ten 3-credit courses and at least 9 credits of master's thesis research. The number of research credits depends upon the time needed to complete the thesis research, typically a minimum of three terms. The thesis is formally defended before the committee. All students admitted to the program are placed in the Capstone Review Track. To enter the Thesis Track, students must have approval of the major professor and complete an approved thesis proposal.

The joint M.S. degree in marine biology/coastal zone management/marine environmental science requires a minimum of 51 to 54 credits, depending upon the student's track—Capstone Review or thesis research.

The Ph.D. program consists of upper-level course work and original research on a selected topic of importance in the ocean sciences. Requirements include general core courses as well as tutorial studies with the major professor. The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate; at least 48 credits must consist of dissertation research and at least 42 credits must consist of upper-level course work, usually tutorial studies with the major professor. The student must successfully complete the Ph.D. comprehensive examination and defend the dissertation before Oceanographic Center faculty members. Students are expected to complete the Ph.D. program in nine years or less, a minimum of three years of which must be in residence.

Facilities & Resources
The center is composed of three main buildings, several modulars, and a two-story houseboat that contains a student center and ten student offices. The main buildings contain a conference room, a classroom, a warehouse bay staging area, an electron microscopy laboratory, a darkroom, a machine shop, a carpentry shop, an electronics laboratory, a computer center with ready room, a wetlab/classroom, a coral workshop, a filtered seawater facility, eight working biology laboratories, and twenty-four additional offices.

The William Springer Richardson Library contains 2,700 books as well as 80 active and 33 inactive periodicals. Audiovisual equipment is available as well as computer-assisted CD-ROM and Internet database searches. A general library facility is maintained on the main campus in Davie.

The computer center operates a multinode OpenVMS cluster consisting of DEC AXP workstations, with high-resolution color monitors, DAT tape drives, and CD-ROM readers. Also available are two networked HP 4SiMX PostScript printers, a networked Tektronix Phaser 550 color laser printer, a color flatbed scanner, and imaging hardware and software. The center also operates a LAN consisting of approximately forty PCs for faculty and staff member and student use that is connected to the Internet via a T-1 link.

Expenses and Aid
Costs: Tuition costs were $735 per credit hour for students enrolled in the M.S. programs and $4,645 per term for students enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

Financial Aid: There is limited financial aid available in the form of undergraduate laboratory teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships. The Office of Student Financial Aid helps students finance tuition, fees, books, and other costs, drawing on a variety of public and private aid programs. For more information, students should call 800-541-6682 Ext. 7411.

Housing/Living Expenses: All full-time students are eligible for main-campus housing, which is located 12 miles due west of the Oceanographic Center. Furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments are available. For more information, students should call 800-541-6682 Ext. 7052. Numerous apartments, condominiums, and other rental housing are available in Hollywood, Dania, and Ft. Lauderdale.

How to Apply
When applying, students must submit an application form, application fee, transcripts from other schools attended, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. Applicants interested in the M.S. program in marine biology should hold a bachelor's degree in biology, oceanography, or a closely related field, including science education. Due to the discipline's diversity, applicants with any undergraduate major will be considered for admission into the M.S. program in coastal zone management or marine environmental science. However, a science major is most useful, and a science background is essential.

Who to Contact
Nova Southeastern University
Oceanographic Center
Institute of Marine and Coastal Studies
8000 North Ocean Drive
Dania Beach, Florida 33004
Telephone: 954-262-3600
Fax: 954-262-4020


The Oceanographic Center pursues studies and investigations in biological oceanography and observational and theoretical oceanography. Research interests include: modeling of large-scale ocean circulation, coastal dynamics, ocean-atmosphere coupling, surface gravity waves, biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, coral reef assessment, Pleistocene and Holocene sea level changes, benthic ecology, marine biodiversity, calcification of invertebrates, marine fisheries, molecular ecology and evolution, wetlands ecology, aquaculture, and nutrient dynamics. Regions of interest include not only Florida's coastal waters and the continental shelf/slope waters of the southeastern United States, but also the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Antarctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.


  • Richard E. Dodge: Coral reefs and reef-building corals, effects of pollution and past climatic changes.
  • Charles Messing: Systematics of crinoids and macroinvertebrate communities.
  • Andrew Rogerson: Ecology of eukaryotic microbes (the protists) in the cycling of carbon and nutrients in coastal waters, particularly the amoeboid protozoa.
  • Russell Snyder: Development of instrumentation for remote monitoring of the wave field.
  • Richard Spieler: Fish chronobiology, artificial reefs, and habitat assessment.
  • James Thomas: Marine biodiversity, invertebrate systematics.

Associate Professors

  • Patricia Blackwelder: Calcification and distribution of marine microfauna, a historical record of the past.
  • Curtis Burney: Dissolved nutrients and marine microbes, especially bacteria.
  • Edward Keith: Structure, function, and evolution of milk and tear proteins; physiological ecology of terrestrial and marine mammals; molecular phylogenetics and evolution of marine mammals.
  • Alexander Soloviev: Measurement and modeling of near-surface turbulence and air/sea exchange.

Assistant Professors

  • Veljko Dragojlovic: Isolation, characterization, and synthesis of natural products.
  • Joshua Feingold: Coral reef ecology.
  • Sean Keenan: Physical oceanography.
  • Mahmood Shivji: Conservation biology, biodiversity, evolution, molecular ecology, and population biology.
  • Alexander Yankovsky: Wind- and buoyancy-driven currents on the continental shelf and slope, their meso-scale variability, and adjustment to realistic shelf topography.

Adjunct Professors

  • Bart Baca, Director of Aquaculture Programs: Wetlands ecology, marine botany, aquaculture.
  • Robert Baer: Public policy and marine archeology.
  • Mark Farber: Biostatistics.
  • Nancy Gassman: Marine biology, coastal zone management, and marine environmental sciences internships.
  • Gary Hitchcock: Marine plankton.
  • Stephen King: Coastal law.
  • Donald McCorquodale: Microbiology, marine chemistry.
  • Stacy Myers: GIS and remote sensing, coastal zone management.
  • Brian Polkinghorn: Environmental dispute resolution.
  • Keith Ronald: Marine mammals.
  • Alan Sosnow: Ports and harbors.
  • Thomas Thompson: Environmental health.
  • William Venezia: Coastal dynamics.

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