Overview | Interdisciplinary Minor in Coastal and Marine Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Coastal and Marine Studies showcases the courses, research, and expertise in Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences in close partnership with Integrated Coastal Programs. The minor prepares students with a broad understanding of coastal and marine resources, science, and management 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 all majors, offers a core knowledge of oceanography and coastal-marine resources, and provides avenues for specialization. Our faculty welcome students into the classroom and the field, with one of the most unique features being the opportunity to engage in the Semester Experience at the Coast at ECU’s Outer Banks Campus. 

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 are 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, take one (or more!) of these next steps:

  • Take a course! Oceanography (GEOL 1550) is a great introductory course and it is offered fall, spring, and usually in summer, too! You can even choose to take the laboratory course (GEOL 1551) which will help you meet your general education science laboratory requirement at ECU. Another great course that counts towards the minor is Survey of Coastal and Marine Resources (COAS 2025).
  • Talk to your major advisor more about your degree plan and adding the minor in Coastal and Marine Studies.
  • Set up a virtual meeting with Dr. David Lagomasino, a professor in the Department of Coastal Studies and the coordinator of this minor. He can help you align your commitments and experiences at ECU with the COAS minor and your career goals!
  • Check out the Semester Experience at the Coast to learn more about how to take courses and engage in research at ECU’s Outer Banks Campus.

Exploring and Declaring the COAS Minor

Students are encouraged to discuss the minor with their major advisor, the Coordinator of COAS, 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 Coordinator 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