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Marine Sciences Research

The Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences offers specialization and research programs in the four fundamental disciplines of Oceanography (Physical, Chemical, Biological, and Geological) as well as in the emerging area of marine meteorology, to explore the processes and dynamics of our global oceans — both present and past.

NC State University is a member of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a Washington, D.C.-based association whose members represent the nucleus of U.S. research and education in ocean science.

Benthic Studies: Biogeochemical cycles in continental margins, transport of carbon and related elements from terrestrial watersheds to the marine environment, biogenic methane production and transport, stable and radioisotope studies, animal-sediment interactions, sediment transport, benthic ecology. Profs. Chris Osburn, Dave DeMaster, Dave Eggleston, Lonnie Leithold, Bill Showers.

Coastal Ocean Initiatives: Air-sea interactions and their role in dictating coastal ocean circulation patterns and coastal weather fronts between cold-air outbreaks and larval fish recruitment; upwelling systems forced by Gulf Stream fronts; relationships between water-column chemistry and benthic habitats of shallow carbonate depositional regimes; physical, geological and geochemical investigations of some of the world's largest dispersal systems; phytoplankton behavior and physiology in the upper ocean; larval behavior, transport, and recruitment; coastal upwelling systems; surface and bottom boundary layer dynamics, shelf-break frontal dynamics and exchanges processes; tides; design and Implementation of coastal ocean observing system and data assimilative ocean models. Profs. Lian Xie, Ping-Tung Shaw, Ruoying He

Estuarine & Coastal Processes: Determining the effects of multiple stressors on marine ecosystems, testing landscape ecological theory in seascapes, fisheries stock assessment and enhancement, experimental evaluation of marine protected areas; behavioral ecology; predator-prey interactions in estuaries using behavioral biotelemetry; chemical modeling of carbon diagenesis in coastal wetlands and shallow marine ecosystems; 3-D models of estuarine and coastal circulation; shallow and finite depth wind-wave generation; tidal-inlet dynamics; sea-level change and its impact on coastal processes/environs; physiological ecology of estuarine and terrestrial crustaceans; transport and settlement of planktonic larvae; recruitment dynamics of temperate and tropical fish and invertebrates; estuarine and coastal hydrodynamics and nutrient dynamics, sediment transport, and related depositional regimes; inter-tidal and shallow subtidal ecosystem dynamics. Profs. Dave Eggleston, Ruoying He

Global Biogeochemical Cycles of Carbon and Silica: Animal-sediment interactions. Benthic food webs. Methane production. Diagenetic transformations of organic carbon. Profs. Dave DeMaster, Carrie Thomas, Chris Osburn

Harmful Algal Blooms: field, laboratory and modeling studies of toxic dinoflagellates including Karenia brevis in the Gulf of Mexico and Alexandrium fundyense in the Gulf of Maine. Field effort includes deployment of behaving mimics; laboratory effort uses 65 gal mesocosms; modeling effort uses individual based as well as 3-dimensional coupled biophysical modeling approaches. Profs. Dan Kamykowski, Ruoying He

Marine Ecology and Conservation Program (MarECo): The overarching goals of MarECo are to conduct: (1) ecological research in marine ecosystems that address both basic ecological theory and important management issues so that results can be applied to conservation and sustainable resource use, and (2) educational outreach activities that promote scientific literacy, provide hands-on examples of the scientific method, and promote conservation of marine resources and ecosystems. Prof. Dave Eggleston

Marine Geophysics and Underwater Acoustics: Mapping of the seafloor and shallow subsurface using active source acoustic methods within the coastal ocean and mid-ocean ridge environments; Passive underwater acoustic studies with applications to marine seismology, ocean noise and explosion monitoring. Profs. Del Bohnenstiehl, Paul Liu 

Paleoceanography: Cenozoic climate change; carbon and oxygen stable-isotope stratigraphy, phoshogenesis and related authigenic mineralization associated with ancient upwelling systems. Prof. Bill Showers

Riverine/Estuarine Nutrient Dynamics: Profs. Dave DeMaster, Bill Showers

Sea-level Change, Land-Ocean Interactions: Late Quaternary sea-level changes and their paleo-climatic and pale -environmental implications. Flux and fate of river-derived sediment in the marginal sea. Riverine sediment dispersal, transport, and accumulation in different continental margin environments, in particular those deltaic and clinoform deposits from the large rivers. Profs. Paul Liu, Lonnie Leithold

Watershed, Estuarine and Coastal Waters Modeling: Assessment of land use, sediment budget, total maximum daily load (TMDL), water quality, ecosystem, coastal erosion and barrier islands protection and development. Prof. Paul Liu

World Ocean Temperature-Derived Nutrient Patterns: Spatial analysis of world ocean nitrate, phosphate and silicate using satellite-based and historical sea surface temperatures (SST); relationships to iron derived from atmospheric dust, satellite-derived ocean chlorophyll, phytoplankton community structure, and global climate change. Prof. Dan Kamykowski

Galapagos Oceanography: Hydrographic, optical and biological characterization of the waters throughout the archipelago; modeling studies of the currents and water mass influences on the archipelago. Profs. Dan Kamykowski, Lian Xie.

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