Core Seminar I
(MARS 500)
Fall 2012

Ron Kaufmann
Office: Shiley Center 274; x5904; or
Office Hours: Monday 12:30-1:30, Tuesday 2:30-5:00, Friday 12:30-2:00, or by appointment



Sep 6


Introduction to Marine Science Graduate Program & MARS 500

Sep 13


Use of library resources; Meet Amy Besnoy (Copley Library)
Assignment: Select two papers on topic of possible thesis interest

Sep 20


Meet Marine Science Graduate Faculty (ST232)
Assignment: Brief written summary for each graduate faculty member

Sep 27


Writing scholarship & grant applications; Meet Traci Merrill (Office of Sponsored Programs); ppt, ppt
Assignment: Identify appropriate scholarship or grant and write application (due by end of semester)

Oct 4

Field Trip: Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute; Meet HSWRI researchers
Assignment: Brief written summary for each researcher

Oct 11

Discuss papers and scholarship/fellowship/grant application, peer review; Guidelines for thesis proposal
Lead class discussion

Oct 18


Field Trip: Tijuana Estuary; Meet Dr. Jeff Crooks
Brief written summary for Dr. Crooks

Oct 25


No Class Meeting

Nov 1


Field Trip: Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Meet NMFS & IATTC scientists
Assignment: Brief written summary for each scientist

Nov 8


Discuss papers
Write outline for thesis proposal

Nov 15


Class discussion of outlines
Assignment: Revise outline

Nov 22


Thanksgiving - No Class Meeting

Nov 29


Class discussion of revised outlines
Assignment: Select papers for class discussion; Expand thesis outline to preliminary proposal

Dec 6


Class discussion of papers
Assignment: Continue to work on preliminary proposals

Dec 13


Class discussion of preliminary proposals
Assignment: Continue to work on preliminary proposals

Dec 21


Preliminary proposals due by 11:59 pm


     Speaker Reviews
50 points
     Scholarship/Grant Application
100 points

     Preliminary Thesis Proposal
200 points

100 points

450 points


Course Objectives
    This course serves as an introduction for new graduate students to the Marine Science Graduate Program. During the semester you will

    At the end of this semester you should have a very good idea of what it means to be a Marine Science graduate student at USD, and you should have a preliminary draft of your thesis proposal. The thesis proposal will be expanded and refined during MARS 501 in the spring semester.


Learning Outcomes
    After taking this course, you should be able to

Academic Integrity
    The use of information from published sources can create some confusion about proper use and referencing of material that you did not generate yourself.  Here are some guidelines to help you use but not misuse information produced by others.  For writing assignments in general, it is expected that you will read publications and incorporate into your papers some of the findings and ideas contained in those published works.  When you refer to information generated by someone else, it is important to credit the source of that information.  Commonly, that credit comes in the form of a parenthetical citation.  For example:

    Global climate change has been implicated in the decline of zooplankton biomass in the eastern Pacific during the second half of the 20th century (Roemmich and McGowan, 1995).
    This sentence contains a conclusion described by Roemmich and McGowan in a paper published in 1995.  It could be appropriate for you to include a sentence like this in one of your papers, but since you didn’t perform the research that led to this conclusion you need to cite the people who did.
    Neglecting to properly cite another person’s work is a form of plagiarism, the practice of reporting someone else’s work as your own.  There are other forms of plagiarism as well, including: copying portions of text verbatim from published sources (including the internet), receiving unauthorized assistance on papers, and drawing material from similar papers written by other students.  Plagiarism constitutes a serious breach of professional ethics as well as a violation of the University of San Diego’s academic integrity policy.  If an instructor has reason to believe that an act of plagiarism has occurred, an academic integrity report must be filed with the dean of the college and an academic integrity hearing may be convened.  If the academic integrity hearing committee determines that plagiarism has occurred, disciplinary action may range from loss of points or a grade penalty to expulsion from the university.  Bottom line: do your own work and don’t copy the work of others.  Any questions about acceptable procedures for sharing of data, exchange of ideas, citation of sources, or any other academic integrity issues should be addressed to your instructor.  Better safe than sorry!


This page copyright 2005-2012 by Ron Kaufmann
All rights reserved
Last modified 14 Dec 2012 by Ron Kaufmann