Students complete 31 credits during the MIMSUP program. Western Washington University (WWU) operates on a quarter system; one credit earned at WWU is equivalent to two-thirds of a semester credit. Students are responsible for arranging with their home institution for transfer of credits earned during MIMSUP. Course descriptions shown below are from the WWU catalog.
During winter quarter, MIMSUP students enroll in the following 4 courses.
- Oceanography (ESCI 321, 4 credits). Prereq: two quarters of biology; CHEM 115 or 121; MATH 115; physics recommended; GEOL 340 recommended. Principles of oceanography, with emphasis on a description of the marine environment as an entity. Physics, chemistry and biology of the ocean.
- Oceanography Lab (ESCI 322, 2 credits). Pre- or coreq: ESCI 321. A laboratory course supplementing lectures in oceanography, especially ESCI 321 and GEOL 340. Emphasis on the coastal ocean as ecological habitat, and physical oceanography - waves, tides and currents.
- Current Trends: Marine Science (ESCI 497O, 5 credits). Prereq: permission of instructor. Theory and application of modern field and laboratory technique through hands-on training. Includes workshops with research instrumentation, study and discussion of the primary literature, and guest seminars. Course emphasizes training in computer technology and proficiency in spreadsheet, graphics, statistics, and presentation software. Diversity of professional activities and venues is introduced through site visits to potential employers.
- Research in Environmental Science (ESCI 497P, 5 credits). Prereq: permission of instructor. Working closely with a faculty advisor, students course design and execute a marine research project. Emphasis is on using modern instrumentation and computer support to complete meaningful research. Research results are presented at a regional or national science conference.
During spring quarter, all program participants enroll in the Scientific Communications course. They then choose 10 additional credits from other marine-related courses taught at the Shannon Point Marine Center. Choices are limited by class space and course schedules.
- Scientific Communications (ESCI 497Q, 5 credits). Prereq: ESCI 417A. Development and strengthening of communication skills with particular attention to accepted scientific formats. These include written journal articles, oral presentations, and scientific posters. Students use results of independent research as the basis for written, oral, and poster presentations. Students present results at a regional or a national science meeting. This course, which requires multiple drafts and writing revisions, fulfills the WWU Writing Proficiency/Writing Intensive course requirement.
- Marine Invertebrates and their Environment (ESCI 426, 5 credits). Prereq: BIOL 206 or equivalent. Classroom and field study of marine invertebrates and adaptation to their environment. Emphasis on identification and study of the diverse Puget Sound marine fauna.
- Marine Ecology (BIOL 407, 5 credits). Prereq: BIOL 325 and 326. The structure and function of marine ecosystems with an emphasis on processes in shallow-water and benthic habitats. Investigative field and laboratory studies of local marine and estuarine systems.
- Algae (BIOL 456, 5 credits). Prereq: BIOL 203. Physiology and ecology of macroalgae and phytoplankton; including identification, collection and culture of major algal groups. Laboratory focus on research techniques which are then applied in student independent projects.