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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture


Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology (MEFB)


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Professor: David L. Berlinsky, James F. Haney, Larry G. Harris, W. Huntting Howell, Leland S. Jahnke, Marianne Klauser Litvaitis, Arthur C. Mathieson, Subhash C. Minocha, Christopher D. Neefus, Stacia A. Sower, Paul C. Tsang, Charles W. Walker, Winsor H. Watson III
Research Professor: Christopher W. Glass, Raymond E. Grizzle, Stephen H. Jones, Michael P. Lesser, Frederick T. Short
Associate Professor: Alan L. Baker, Jessica A. Bolker, Anita S. Klein, Jonathan R. Pennock
Research Associate Professor: David M. Burdick, Gregg E. Moore
Research Assistant Professor: Elizabeth A. Fairchild
Clinical Assistant Professor: Inga F. Sidor
Extension Professor: Kenneth J. La Valley, Jeffrey A. Schloss
Extension Assistant Professor: Erik Chapman

The marine, estuarine, and freshwater biology (MEFB) B.S. program is designed to provide a broad background for undergraduates interested in marine, estuarine, and freshwater biology, aquaculture, and fisheries. The program integrates theoretical and practical (hands-on laboratory and field) courses. Students are encouraged to become involved in one or more of the numerous undergraduate research opportunities available in the marine, estuarine, and freshwater sciences.

UNH is located on a seacoast that provides an extraordinary diversity of marine and estuarine habitats. It is also only a short distance from mountain streams, rivers, marshes, bogs, ponds, and lakes. All of the habitats provide outstanding resources for field courses and research. The marine, estuarine, and freshwater faculty are spread across all three departments of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. UNH is a Sea Grant university and has an international reputation for teaching and research in aquatic sciences. UNH has aquaculture facilities, and coastal and estuarine research laboratories. In collaboration with Cornell, UNH jointly administers the summer undergraduate programs at the Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island, seven miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine.

Academic Requirements
To receive the B.S. degree in marine, estuarine, and freshwater biology, students must complete 128 credit hours with a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average. Courses must include all UNH Discovery Program requirements, the biological sciences core curriculum requirements, MEFB 401, MEFB 525, MEFB 527, PBIO/ZOOL 503, three flexible MEFB major requirement courses, and three MEFB electives. One capstone experience, supervised and approved within the major, is required of all seniors. The capstone explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning. The capstone requirement may be satisfied through a course, created work or product, or some form of experiential learning (e.g., honors thesis, mentored research project, and other special student activity). Departments are responsible for certifying that graduating seniors have met the capstone requirement for their majors. A minimum grade of C- is required in all biological science courses that are counted toward the requirements for a degree in MEFB. Students who expect to compete successfully for post-baccalaureate programs should attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of the sophomore year and maintain it at that level.

MEFB Core Curriculum
The MEFB major uses a core curriculum similar to the biology B.S. core. It constitutes an integrated sequence of courses imparting basic knowledge of biology to expose students to the breadth of knowledge inherent in the biological sciences. The core allows a student to obtain a broad background in biology and related physical sciences and math, and prepares them for upper-level courses in marine, estuarine, and freshwater biology.  

Biological Sciences Core Curriculum Courses
BIOL 412, Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology
BIOL 411, Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular
BIOL 541, General Ecology
BMS 503, General Microbiology
GEN 604, Principles of Genetics
CHEM 403 & 404, General Chemistry
CHEM 545/546, Organic Chemistry 
BMCB 658/659, General Biochemistry
MATH 424B, Calculus for Life Sciences, or 425, Calculus I
BIOL 528, Applied Biostatistics I, or BIOL 555 Experimental Design and Analysis Lab
PHYS 401 and 402, Introduction to Physics

Typically, students take MEFB 401; BIOL 411 & 412; CHEM 403-404; and Calculus 424B in the first year, and then complete the remainder of their core requirements during the sophomore and junior years.

MEFB Requirement Courses
In addition to the MEFB core curriculum, students must complete MEFB 401 (Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Seminar); PBIO/ZOOL 503 (Introduction to Marine Biology); MEFB 525 (Introduction to Aquatic Botany); and MEFB 527 (Aquatic Animal Diversity); plus one course selected from each of the three MEFB major requirement categories and three MEFB electives. A complete list of approved courses in each category is available from the student’s adviser, the Department of Biological Sciences office, and the MEFB website at Corequisite lecture and lab courses count as one course. Courses listed in more than one category will satisfy requirements in only one category.

Note: It is strongly recommended that students participate in an exchange semester at another university or in a field-oriented program or internship. There are many exchange opportunities available in which a full semester of credits toward the major may be earned. In addition, students should explore the courses at the Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML), which provides an excellent setting for several “field-oriented” courses during the summer. Often there is financial support available for the SML programs (see the SML website for details or the Cornell web site at It is further recommended that students explore possibilities of one or more semesters of independent investigation (research projects). For details, students should contact their adviser. Financial support is available for most of these programs.

One 600 or 795 experience totaling three or more credits or any two 795 experiences of two credits each can fulfill one course requirement in any category with adviser approval. A Petition for Academic Variance approved by the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences is required to count 795 experiences for more than one major required course. Students should check the MEFB website (, and the UNH online catalog for updates and current course offerings.

Pre-health Professional Program
MEFB majors who wish to pursue postgraduate degrees in the health care professions should visit the premedical advising office in Room 102, Hood House for additional information on requirements for specific professional schools. Call (603) 862-7740 or visit the program’s web page at The following elective courses will be helpful in preparing for admission to post-baccalaureate programs in the health professions and for their required aptitude examinations: BMS 702, ZOOL 518, ZOOL 625/626, BMCB 605, BMCB 751/752, ANSC 511/512.

Students interested in the marine, estuarine, and freshwater biology (MEFB) B.S. major can contact the Department of Biological Sciences, (603) 862-3205.

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