Courses I Teach


Introduction to Oceanography
MNS 307 (Austin) 3 credits – Core Course of Marine Science

The primary goal of this course is to foster an appreciation for the ocean and its precious resources. Additionally, by enhancing their knowledge of ocean processes and marine resources, students can think critically about the important environmental issues facing our society including climate change, overfishing, and water pollution. This course is designed for non-science majors as an introductory and multi-disciplinary exploration of the marine environment. We will explore the physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes that influence ocean characteristics and discuss how the ocean directly influences human society including its connections with climate and coastal economics. We use i-clickers in the class.
– taught at 2006 Spring/Fall, 2008 Spring/Fall, 2009 Fall, 2010 Fall, 2011 Fall, 2012 Fall, 2013 Spring/Fall, 2014 Spring, 2016 Fall, (2017 Fall) semesters
– note: MNS307/GEO307 cross-listing system has changed to MNS307-only system as of Fall 2013

(Syllabus – 2014 Spring: PDF)


Humans and a Changing Ocean
MNS 308 (Austin) 3 credits – Core Course in Marine Science (prerequisite: MNS 307)

This is a second marine science course offered for non-science major students. The students who took both Introduction to Oceanography and Humans and a Changing Ocean courses can fulfill their Science & Technology I core course requirement in marine science track. The main purposes of this class are (i) to develop deeper understanding of marine science and human impacts on global ocean environments and ecosystem, and (ii) to improve their communication skills with general public on marine and environmental science issues. This course covers the scientific principles, science communication, economic values of ecosystem, consequences of human-induced alteration of the marine environment including ocean warming, acidification, de-oxygenation, eutrophication, pollution, impacts on fisheries, climate variability and ecosystem changes, marine plastic debris, and international collaborations. The course is primarily intended for upper-level non-science majors.
– taught at 2013 Spring/Fall, 2014 Spring, 2017 Spring

(Syllabus – 2014 Spring: PDF)
Some of the Students’ Reflections & Messages on the Course
Letters to the Editor
Final Group Projects
Some class photos


Fundamentals of Marine Science

MNS 310 (Austin) 3 credits – for science majors (prerequisites: BIO 311D and CH 302 or 302H)

This course is primarily designed for science majors as an introductory and multi-disciplinary exploration of the marine environment.  We explore in depth the physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes that influence ocean characteristics and discuss how the ocean directly influences human society including its connections with climate, ecology, and coastal economies. By completing this course, students will be able to (i) identify and demonstrate fundamental principles and key concepts of marine science with real examples, (ii) express clear view on global to regional scale marine and environmental issues based on scientific facts, (iii) identify and describe the actual oceanographic data in various graphic formats, (iv) demonstrate new insights gained for the complex yet sophisticated and interconnected marine systems and organisms, and (v) think critically about important environmental issues facing our society including climate change and ocean acidification. These may help them to make informed decisions in their daily life experiences beyond this class.

-taught at 2016 Fall (, 2017 Fall)


Marine Ecology

MNS 320 (Austin) 3 credits – for upper-division science majors (prerequisites: BIO 311D and CH 302 or 302H)

The primary goals of this course are (1) to gain broad view of marine ecology including interactions among organisms, habitats, and physical and biogeochemical processes, (2) to acquire strong foundation in basic ecological principles, and (3) to develop mechanistic understanding of how marine ecosystems are structured and how they function.

-taught at 2016 Fall, 2017 Spring, (2017 Fall)


Lab Studies in Marine Ecology
MNS 120L (Port Aransas) 1 credit

This course is taught in Port Aransas and is NOT offered over the video link. Application of the principles of marine ecology to the study basic principles and habitats/ecosystems in the coastal environments. This is taught over two separate weekend trips to Port Aransas for each section during the semester.
– taught at 2013 Spring/Fall, and 2014 Spring

(Syllabus – 2014 Spring: PDF)
Course blogs – 2014 Spring
Course blogs – 2013 Spring


Marine Environmental Science
MNS 354Q (Port Aransas) 3 credits

This course is taught in Port Aransas and is NOT offered over the video link. Application of the principles of marine science to the study of environmental issues: toxicology, biogeochemical cycles, and biological and ecological impacts of zenobiotic materials in the coastal zone. I will be primarily responsible for the lab component of the course.
– taught at 2011 and 2012 Summer

(Syllabus – 2012 Summer: PDF)
Course blogs – 2012 Summer
Course blogs – 2011 Summer


Coastal Environmental Science in Texas Bays
MNS 152T (Port Aransas) 1 credit

Practical studies of Texas coastal environments with various analytical and observation methods to better understand the health and functioning of coastal ecosystem. Specifically, the main foci of the class would be understanding of (i) primary productivity, (ii) redox condition, and (iii) carbon system, and (iv) gaining better insights of relevant environmental issues of the local bays and estuaries. The course will address analysis and measurement techniques of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other environmental parameters, field sample collections, utilization and interpretation of data.Two boat trips and one kayak survey.
– taught at 2008, 2009, and 2010 Summer semesters

(Syllabus – 2010 Summer: PDF)


Concepts in Marine Conservation Biology Laboratory
MNSf152L (Port Aransas) 1 credit

(Syllabus) – 2007 Summer


Undergraduate Seminar in Marine Science
MNS f152S (Port Aransas) 1 credit

This course is taught in Port Aransas. This course on current topics in marine science will include weekly seminar talks by distinguished experts in their fields of research followed by a group session to current faculty members and visiting scientists. The topics to be covered will range from biology or physiology of marine organisms to their chemical-physical interactions with the marine environment. The students will be required to write a short summary (1 page) describing main objectives/questions addressed in each talk and what they learned from it. The topics covered during the session will be diverse because of the broad range of research interests of the speakers.

(Syllabus – 2012 Summer: PDF)
Seminar speaker interviews by students (2012-Summer)
Seminar speaker interview by students (2011-Summer)


Seminar in Marine Science
BIO101C (Austin)

– each fall semester


UTMSI REU Program – Ethics Workshop

– 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Summer in Port Aransas, TX


Supervised Teaching in Marine Science
MNS398T (Austin) 3 credits

The overarching goal of this course is to promote effective teaching. While the course content has immediate relevance with respect to being an effective TA, the course is also designed to support professional development. The course prepares the students for future teaching career (whether formal or informal). At the same time, the course promotes active learning skills and hands-on practices to improve the students’ teaching skills through various iterative feedback processes in the class. The course is designed for the new MSI graduate students. One of the class activities is creating an e-portfolio for each student’s professional online presence. Students will give reflect on their biography, CV, teaching and research statements for their career development.
– taught at 2012 Fall, 2013 Fall

(Syllabus- 2013 Fall: PDF)  (Student E-Portfolios)


Coastal Processes
MNS383 (Port Aransas & Austin, Video-Linked) 3 credits

Physical and biogeochemical processes in coastal and offshore regions in the Gulf of Mexico and other sites. The course addresses various physical, biological and geochemical processes, and transformations of carbon and nutrients in various types of coastal environments including beaches and tidal flats, mangroves and salt marshes, seaweed and seagrass ecosystems, coral reefs, and the coastal oceans. The first one half of the course, focusing on physical and chemical aspects, coastal observation, and climate change impacts is taught by Dong-Ha Min. The second one half of the course focusing on biogeochemical transformations of carbon and nutrients in shallow coastal environments, and their interactions with global change is taught by Wayne Gardner. The students will have an opportunity (1) to delve into coastal process related issues with a broad and deep perspective, (2) to participate in active discussion sessions through leading as well as evaluating roles, and (3) to develop their own research ideas based on the topics addressed in this course.

(Syllabus – 2007 Fall)


Seminar in Marine Science: Student Research Presentation
MNS 191 (Port Aransas) 1 credit

The purpose of this class is to improve scientific communication skills of graduate students. It is critical for graduate students to learn and develop effective professional communication skills to be able to materialize their potentials, deliver core messages to the world, and ultimately be successful in their academic careers. The research communication is, however, not merely limited to oral or poster presentation, but it also includes other activities such as publications, portfolios, or blogs. I will try to help students to develop their senses in some of these aspects in research communications with emphasis on ‘reflection.’ Students will engage in group learning through various online interactions, present their research presentations in short 5-min storytelling format for general public, construct their career development profiles, and develop their professional e-portfolios.

(Syllabus – 2012 Spring: PDF)
Research presentations by storytelling


Seminar in Marine Science: Science Ethics
MNS 191 (Port Aransas) 1 credit

The course was designed for the students to (1) review scientific writing and ethics issues, (2) provide the students of opportunity to perform presentation and abstract writing, (3) evaluate the peer’s work with constructive comments, and (4) delve into scientific ethics issues by studying some real cases. The students produced the ethics conduct statement and information poster for the Marine Science Institute.

Syllabus – 2006 Spring

*** ‘Guidelines for Ethical Research Conduct’ proposed by the class is now formally accepted by MSI, and the guideline is widely distributed (see guidelines).


Courses I can teach:

Introduction to oceanography, human impacts to the marine environments, climate change, global (or marine) environmental science, global biogeochemistry, marine ecology, supervised teaching, professional development, science ethics, and field courses in marine/environmental science.

Courses I am interested in developing:

Introduction to earth science, global sustainability, climate change communication, environmental science policy, environmental ethics, marine pollution, naval history, research methods, honors/capstone thesis research, and study abroad course in marine/environmental science.