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Classic Readings in Oceanography

Download syllabus here.

  • Instructor: James J Pierson
  • Office: Morris Marine 1101B
  • Phone: x8218
  • Email:

  • Time: TBD
  • Location: AREL Conference Room

The objective of this course is to read and discuss classic papers in biological oceanography alongside current updates on the original ideas. The first four classes will be used to address specific topics chosen by the instructor, and the remainder of the courses will be led by students, who will choose the papers for discussion each week (subject to instructor approval), and lead the discussions. Classic papers to be read for the first four weeks include (but are subject to change):

  1. Sverdrup 1953. On Conditions for the Vernal Blooming of Phytoplankton. Journal du Conseil. 18: 287-195.
  2. Hutchinson 1961. The Paradox of the Plankton. American Naturalist. 95: 137-145.
  3. Purcell 1977. Life at Low Reynolds Number. American Journal of Physics. 45: 3-11.
  4. Azam et al. 1983. The Role of Microbes in the Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 10: 257-263.

Subsequent papers will be suggested by the instructor to the students, and "modern" companion papers to each "classic" paper will be chosen and distributed at least four days before each class.

James J. Pierson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

2020 Horns Point Rd.
Cambridge, MD 21613


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