Coastal and Marine Studies Interdisciplinary Minor

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Dr. Tom Allen, Director
COAS Interdisciplinary Minor
Department of Geography, Planning and Environment
Brewster Bldg., Office A-238
Email: | Tel. (252) 328-6624


Overview | Coastal and Marine Interdisciplinary Studies

ECU’s Coastal and Marine Studies Interdisciplinary Minor prepares students with a broad understanding of coastal and marine resources, science, and management in order to understand policy dilemmas and critically assess solutions. Students are prepared to apply their COAS knowledge to augment competency and skills gained in a major field of study.  The minor is open to both science and non-science majors, offers a core knowledge of oceanography and coastal-marine resources, and provides avenues for specialization and field or laboratory experience. 

Students may be interested in the COAS Minor if they are curious about:

  • How do coastal resources reflect ecosystem health, economics, and our cultural heritage?
  • How are coastal and marine systems affected by land use and climate change?
  • What environmental management solutions can alleviate marine pollution, plastics, ocean dumping, and oil spills?
  • How important are marine fisheries to the global food supply, and what science and management techniques are necessary to sustain them?
  • What are the processes and impacts of climate and environmental change on the ocean and coast?
  • How is North Carolina and the rest of the world dealing with chronic coastal erosion, storm surges, and sea-level rise?
If these questions and related career paths are of interest, you are encouraged to seek out our courses and faculty to discover more. Consider starting with a COAS core course, such as GEOL 1550 Oceanography and/or COAS 2025 Survey of Coastal and Marine Resources. Please explore this website further to discover related programs, people, and resources available to you at East Carolina.

Exploring and Declaring the COAS Minor

Students are encouraged discuss the minor with their major advisor, the Director of COAS (Dr. Tom Allen) or any faculty advisory committee member listed below.  Requirements are found within this website as well as the undergraduate catalog. To officially declare the minor, students should request their major advisor or department to designate the COAS Minor on their academic record at the earliest possible date.  

Start taking courses with the first to include GEOL 1500 Oceanography and COAS 2025 Survey of Coastal and Marine Resources (typically offered in the fall semester.)  Formal advising is not required for the minor but course plans should be done in consultation with your major advisor. Students are encouraged to consult with the COAS Director for any necessary accommodations or special academic course opportunities (e.g., study abroad, semester experiential programs, or honors theses that could meet COAS requirements.)  

COAS Advisory Committee

A committee of faculty from different ECU academic departments oversee the COAS Minor and guide its strategic direction and semester-to-semester activities.  Students are encouraged to consult these faculty for advice within their disciplines.