To pre-register for the Fall 2023 semester, please let us know that you intend to enroll in our fall in-person classes through this survey: Fall 2023 DUML Undergraduate

Course Registration

The fall semester is an ideal time to be at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort. Duke students will register in DukeHub as they do for Duke courses in Durham. All undergraduate students live on campus in our dorms (cottages). If students have academic questions about Marine Lab courses, please contact Katie Wood ( Residential Information will be provided after registration. 

The Fall 2023 semester will feature a Duke Immerse program, Oceans, Human, and Environmental Health, with a 10-day travel component to the Galapagos. The required courses associated with the Duke Immerse program are: Coastal and Marine Pollution, Oceans in Human and Environmental Health, Sensory Physiology of Marine Animals, and Research Independent Study. Students must register for each course to participate. These courses are also available to students enrolling in the fall semester outside of Duke Immerse. Students should apply to Duke Immerse by April 1, 2023.

Important update:  Visiting students, including Duke Kunshan students are eligible to apply for the Marine Lab's Duke Immerse program. The application will be available on the Duke Immerse website soon. Questions? Contact Katie Wood (


    August 28 - December 15, 2023
    The Marine Lab's fall semester start/end dates and residence hall move-in/move-out dates may differ from the Duke academic calendar. Please consult the Duke Marine Lab Academic Calendar for important fall semester dates.

    Fall 2023 Courses


    • Instructor: Zackary Johnson
    • Curriculum Code: NS, STS, W
    • Credit: 1.0 course (3 credit/semester hours)
    • DukeHub Listings: MARSCI / ENVIRON 319A.
    • Course Travel?: No

    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 considerations.  Investigation of alternative approaches and potential future areas for aquaculture expansion as well as social, economic and technical barriers to implementation.


    Exploring Links Among Ecological, Social and Personal Resilience (2022-2023) 

    Marine Conservation Evidence and Synthesis (2022-2024)

    Pilot PlanktoScope for Climate Change Research (Fall 2022- Spring 2023)

    Enhancing diversity in STEM careers through mentored training (2022-2023)

    Learning from whales: oxygen, ecosystems, and human health

    Contact: Tom Schultz


    • Instructor: Tom Schultz 
    • Curriculum Code: NS
    • Credit: 1.0 course (4 semester hours)
    • Course Travel?: No
    • Pre-requisite: Chemistry 21, 21L, 101DL, 110DL, or 201DL.

    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 the structure of cells, metabolism and energetics. Integration of physical and quantitative principles to molecular biology. Relevance to human diseases and the biotechnology industry. Laboratory includes an introduction to recombinant DNA technology. Not open to students who have taken or are currently enrolled in Biology 203L. Taught in Beaufort at Duke Marine Lab. 


    • Instructor: Josh Osterberg
    • Curriculum Codes: NS, R
    • Credit: 1.0 course (4 credit/semester hours) 
    • DukeHub Listing: MARSCI/BIOLOGY/ENVIRON 377LA

    An introduction to the biodiversity represented by major marine invertebrate groups, with emphasis on the diversity of body forms and behaviors and on anatomical structures and functions. Field trips primarily by boat allow students to explore invertebrates characteristic of a variety of coastal habitats in North Carolina, including mud flats, sandy beaches, salt marshes, oyster reefs, piers and docks, and the water column. Live invertebrates maintained in the laboratory serve as models for detailed study of form and function.


    • Instructor: Lee Ferguson
    • Curriculum Codes: STS, NS
    • Credit: 1.0 course (3 semester hours) 
    • DukeHub Listing: MARSCI/ENVIRON 573A
    • Duke Immerse Course Listing: MARSCI/ENVIRON 390A

    Sources, fate, and effects of organic, inorganic, and particulate pollutants in the marine environment. Topics include oil spills, coastal eutrophication, marine debris, harmful algae, sewage contamination, dredging, and emerging contaminants. Methods for measuring pollution in the marine environment and consequences for human and ecological health will be discussed. Case studies of impacted marine environments will be highlighted. Short local field trips possible. Taught in Beaufort at Duke Marine Lab. Recommended prerequisite: introductory chemistry and biology, or consent of instructor. This course is one of the required courses for the Duke Immerse program, but registration will be available to all students registered at the semester for the Duke Marine Lab. 


    • Heather Vermeulen
    • Curriculum Codes: SS, CCI, EI
    • Course Travel: No 
    • Credit: 1.0 course 
    • DukeHub Listing: MARSCI  390SA

    Learn to practice intersectional analyses of the verbal & visual vocabularies employed in scientific studies of marine life and how information is represented in popular media. We will read scholarship focused on race/racialization, gender, sexuality, disability, class, indigeneity, diaspora, and migration—research that ostensibly pertains to “human” subjects—alongside scientific studies, newspaper articles, and documentaries focused on “nonhuman” marine life. Art and readings from fields such as Environmental Humanities, Animal Studies, and Science & Technology Studies will offer examples of transdisciplinary inquiry, but the aim is to bring critical frameworks emerging from “the humanities” (e.g., Gender & Sexuality Studies, Disability Studies, and Indigenous Studies) directly to bear on scholarship emerging from “the sciences.” In turn, we will explore how the latter might trouble and reframe the methods, vocabularies, and representational strategies employed by the former. The specific focus of assigned readings will be tailored to enrolled students’ research. Marine sciences vocabulary under consideration may include: colony, harem, native, invasive, sustainability, adaptation, predation, toxicity, sex, reproduction, evolution, intelligence, charismatic, symbiotic, and parasitic. Marine life may include: lionfish, anglerfish, octopuses, oysters, coral, sealions, orcas, dolphins, sea urchins, jellyfish, worms, and pteropods. Taught at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort.


    • Jim Hench 
    • Curriculum Code: NS
    • Course Travel: No 
    • Credit: 1.0 course 
    • DukeHub Listing: MARSCI 204A 

    The oceans and life within it form complex multidimensional systems. Understanding the dynamics of how marine systems work requires an integrative approach. This course will focus on using first principles, following the flow of energy, carbon, and nutrients, to reveal the mechanisms underlying the structure and function of marine ecosystems. The first half of the course will introduce foundational concepts from physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, while the second half will provide synthetic applications. Recommended prerequisites: Math 111L, Physics 141L, and Chemistry 101DL (or equivalent courses). 


    • Instructor: Joel Fodrie
    • Curriculum Code: NS, R, W
    • Credit: 1.0 course (4 semester hours)
    • Course Travel?: No – In the fall, this course is taught in Beaufort (i.e., not a travel course like the spring course)
    • DukeHub Listings: MARSCI / BIOLOGY 273LA. / ENVIRON 273LA. / ECS 374LA.
    • Prerequisites: AP biology, introductory biology or instructor consent

    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, biogeography, larval recruitment, and biodiversity and conservation of communities found in rocky shores, tidal flats, beaches, marshes, mangrove, coral reefs, and subtidal areas.


    • Instructor: Andrew J. Read
    • Curriculum Code: NS, STS
    • Credit: 1.0 course (3 semester hours)
    • Course Travel?: No
    • Cross Listing: BIOLOGY 376A. / ENVIRON 376A.
    • Prerequisites: AP Biology, introductory biology, or permission of instructor.

    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 scientific, ethical, and aesthetic factors influencing societal attitudes toward these animals and of their conservation management in light of domestic legislation and international treaties.


    • Instructor: Grant Murray
    • Curriculum Code: EI, SS, STS
    • Credit: 1.0 course or 3 units (3 semester hours)
    • Course Travel?: No
    • DukeHub Listings: MARSCI 286A. /ENVIRON 286A. / PUBPOL 281A. 

    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, and economics.


    • Instructor: David Gill
    • Curriculum Codes: EI, STS 
    • Credit:1.0 course
    • Course Travel: No
    • DukeHub Listings: MARSCI 203A, MARSCI 203

    Efforts to understand, predict, or manage change in marine systems often fail due to an underappreciation of the tightly coupled relationship between people and the oceans. Correspondingly, identifying sustainable and just solutions to today’s major ocean challenges requires an understanding of the values, processes, and systems that shape ocean connections and uses. Through the eyes of social scientists from various disciplines, this course will introduce students to the concepts and approaches social scientists use to understand major ocean sustainability problems (e.g. climate change, food production) and identify sustainable and just solutions to address them. This course will be taught in Durham and Beaufort in the fall semester. 


    • Instructor: Dana Hunt
    • Curriculum Code: NS, STS
    • Credit: 1.0 course (3 credit/semester hours)
    • Course Travel?: No
    • DukeHub Listings: MARSCI / ENVIRON / GLHLTH / BIOLOGY  308A.

    Focus on the concept of “One Health” that the health of the environment and the people who live in it are linked.  The basis (from a biological perspective) of threats facing the marine environment and interactions between environmental and human health and their role in global health disparities.  For example, in discussing fisheries and aquaculture, the course will cover environmental impacts of these extractive industries and their importance in human and societal well-being.  This course will embrace immersive field experiences in North Carolina that will contextualize classroom learning and develop connections with practitioners and residents. This course is one of the required courses for the Duke Immerse program and registration will be limited to those students accepted into the Duke Immerse program. 


    • Instructor: Doug Nowacek 
    • Curriculum Code: NS, STS
    • Credit: 1.0 course (3 credit/semester hours)
    • Course Travel?: No
    • DukeHub Listings: MARSCI / ENVIRON / 323A

    Offshore renewable energy development requires unique considerations as an oceanic venture. Offshore renewable energy (wind and hydrokinetic) operation requires unique strategic preparation and considerations. This course will take a holistic approach to evaluating offshore renewable energy development: benefits and challenges of traditional vs. renewable offshore energy including concerns for wildlife (ocean noise generated by industrial activity, ship strikes, and a range of potential habitat changes); development of environmental impact statements; permitting processes; consultations with industry, government and other stakeholders; and legal implications. Taught in Beaufort.


    • Instructor: Most DUML teaching faculty offer Research Independent Study course options
    • Curriculum Codes: Varies by Department
    • Course Credit: 1.0 course 
    • DukeHub Course Listing: BIOLOGY, ENVIRON, MARSCI, ECS 


    • Instructor: Dan Rittschof
    • Curriculum Codes: R, W, NS
    • Course Credit: 1.0 course
    • DukeHub Course Listing: MARSCI/ENV/BIO 373LA/NEURO 381LA

    Sensory physiological principles with emphasis on visual and chemical cues. Laboratories will use behavior to measure physiological processes. Taught in Beaufort at Duke Marine Lab. Prerequisite: AP Biology or introductory biology or consent of instructor and Chemistry 101DL. This course is one of the required courses for the Duke Immerse program, but registration will be available to all students registered at the semester for the Duke Marine Lab. 


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