Classes at RSMAS

UPMC students whose schedule is flexible enough can take classes at RSMAS. Classes at RSMAS are largely offered as full semester courses. A typical course is ~2.5 contact hours/week for a full semester (3 credits). Several of the courses offered are lab/field based or contain components of field/lab work.

Students in their first year of Masters at UPMC can spend the second semester at RSMAS. This will be considered equivalent to the second semester at UPMC and will be validated for your Masters degree. To complete the semester in RSMAS, you need to take 2 to 3 classes (preferably 3) and perform an internship, as you would do in France. You need to pick classes offered during the spring semester (see below) and to contact RSMAS faculty to set up the internship, in a way similar to what should be done for internships for the second year of Masters.

Classes start early in January so, because of VISA constraints, you need to prepare your application very early in the year (ideally, everything should be set by early October).

You will receive a stipend to cover some of your expenses (airfare, visa, and a monthly allowance). It will probably not cover all the cost of a full semester abroad but should make it equivalent to spending that semester in Paris.


RSMAS harbours six distinct graduate programs: Applied Marine Physics (AMP), Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry (MAC), Marine Affairs and Policy (MAF), Marine Biology and Fisheries (MBF), Marine Geology and Geophysics (MGG), Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (MPO). Course offered in all these programs are available for the visiting students as part of this partnership but courses within AMP, MPO and MBF are likely to be the most relevant for students visiting from UPMC.

The full list of classes is available in the download area. Classes taught this year are listed on RSMAS' website (the list for the Spring semester is updated sometime in the fall but it pretty consistent from year to year). Here are the general calendar and the classes schedule for the Spring 2014 semester.

Of particular interest within the scope of physical-biological interactions are the following courses:

Ocean Measurements (Intro: 3 cr., Advanced: 2 cr.)
Instrumentation, automatic data acquisition and analysis. Time series analysis, signals and noise, filtering
Underwater Acoustics (Introduction: 3 cr., Advanced: 3 cr., Applied: 3 cr.)
Sound wave and pulses harmonic analysis, sound propagation, acoustic measurements of marine life, geometrical acoustics, effect of oceanic variability, ocean bottom interactions; sonar systems, acoustic telemetry
Physics of Remote Sensing (3 cr.)
Basic physical principles of remote sensing: sampling issues, fundamental laws of electromagnetic waves, satellite sensors
Applied Ocean Hydrodynamics (3 cr.)
Basic hydrodynamics equations, vorticity, stream function, ideal fluid flow.
Wave Propagation in the Ocean Environment (Intro: 3 cr., Advanced: 3 cr.)
Wave models, gravity waves, elastics waves; dispersion, diffraction, radiation transport laws; wave spectra, transformation in shallow water
Analytical Methods in Marine Physics (3 cr.)
Linear algebra, least squares, optimal estimation, vector and tensors analysis, Fourier analysis and orthogonal expansions, variations, integrals, dynamical systems
Environmental Optics and Electromagnetic Wave Propagation (3 cr.)
Optical and microwave measurements in the context of geophysics.
Air-Sea Interaction (3 cr.)
Fluxes of momentum, heat, moisture and salt, surface waves, mixed layers, large scale interactions
Numerical Modeling in Applied Marine Physics (3 cr.)
Application of numerical modeling in sound propagation or surface wave propagation
Coastal Ocean Circulation (3 cr.)
Wind-, tides- and buoyancy-driven flow over variable topography, with density stratification; numerical models
Transport and Mixing Processes in the Marine Environment (3 cr.)
Fundamental equations for heat and constituent transport and mixing; conditions, laminar and turbulent convection, radiation; tidally-driven mixing
Physical Oceanography (3 cr.)
Properties of seawater, instruments and methods; general ocean circulation
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics I (3 cr.) and II (3 cr.)
Basic equations of state, continuity and motion; wave motion; stranded fluids and internal waves; turbulence. Effects of stratification, interaction between large-scale circulation and mesoscale eddies, Rossby waves, barotropic and baroclinic instability.
Large Scale Ocean Circulation: Models and Observations (3 cr.)
Theoretical models of the oceanic current systems: wind-driven and thermohaline circulation
Statistical Analysis of Geophysical Data (3 cr.)
Statistical description of wage fields, signal processing methods, time series analysis, objective analysis, empirical spectral analysis.
Statistical Modeling of Geophysical Fields (3 cr.)
Modeling, analysis and assimilation of geophysical data; emphasis on practical applications, computer software and non-standard techniques
Computer Models in Fluid Dynamics (3 cr.)
Numerical techniques of dealing with dynamic problems in oceanography, dynamic prediction models, initial data conditioning, computational stability
Biometrics in Marine Science (Intro: 3 cr., Advanced: 3 cr.)
Applied statistical analysis: descriptive statistics, probability distributions, analysis of variance, regression. Multiple and non-linear regression, multiple partial correlation, ANCOVA, GLIM, GAM, multivariate statistics. Lectures and labs with SAS, SPLUS, MATLAB
Tropical Marine Biology (Field Course: 3 cr., Short course: 2 cr.) and Tropical Marine Ecology (3 cr.)
General survey of the flora and fauna or tropical marine ecosystems; concepts in island biology and geology; physical environment and biotic adaptations
Ecology and Physiology of Coral Reef Systems (3 cr.)
Coral reefs are examined from geological, ecological, and biological perspectives; role of global end local environment fluctuations and biotic interactions; physiology of the symbiosis
Plankton (3 cr.)
The drifting organisms, their central role in the economy of the sea; the influence of the environment upon them and their adaptations to it
Introduction to Ecological Modeling (3 cr.)
Mathematical foundations; holistic and structured population models, demography, density-independent and -dependent models; linear and nonlinear systems; community composition, competition, and succession
Environmental Biology of Fishes (3 cr.)
Ecology, dispersal and modes of life of fishes. Adaptations by larvae and adults to various habitats. Effects of man on fish faunas
Biological Oceanography (3 cr.)
Energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, planktonic and benthic ecosystem structure, evolutionary ecology and adaptations of marine organisms, paleoceanography
The Physical Environment of Marine Organisms (3 cr.)
The fluid environment of the sea, influences of growth, distribution, and survival of marine organisms
Marine Population Dynamics (3 cr.)
The concepts of stocks sub-populations and populations as biological systems in the marine environment. Quantitative studies of growth, mortality, recruitment and abundance of marine populations
Marine Phytoplankton and Primary Productivity (3 cr).
Ecology of marine phytoplankton and overview of major taxa, including cyanobacteria. Distribution and magnitude of primary production in the sea


Once you have pre-selected classes and have a contact for an internship, please email for more information. The go through the description of the procedure for internships for the second year of Masters and follow along since the procedure is almost exactly the same.