Chair, Associate Professor RÓNADH COX

Advisory Committee: Professor: ART*. Associate Professor: COX**. Assistant Professors: GILBERT, TING. Associate Deans: GERRY, TOOMAJIAN.

The oceans cover almost three-quarters of the globe, and understanding them is of increasing importance in this era of climate change, sea-level rise, fisheries crises, and the internationalization of the high seas. We encourage students to investigate our WaterWorld from a variety of perspectives. Maritime Studies is an interdisciplinary, cross-divisional program that examines the literature, history, policy issues, and science of the ocean. Candidates for the concentration in Maritime Studies must complete a minimum of seven courses: the interdisciplinary introductory course (Geosciences 104 Oceanography), four intermediate core courses (at Williams-Mystic), an elective, and the senior seminar.

Students who have completed other study-away programs that emphasize marine studies should consult with the program chair about the possibility of completing the Maritime Studies concentration.


Introductory course:

Maritime Studies 104(S) Oceanography

Core courses (Williams-Mystic at Mystic Seaport):

Maritime Studies 231(F,S) Literature of the Sea

Maritime Studies 311(F,S) Marine Ecology

Maritime Studies 351(F,S) Marine Policy

Maritime Studies 352(F,S) America and the Sea, 1600-Present1

(NOTE: Students who take Maritime Studies 211 Oceanographic Processes at Mystic can substitute an extra elective in lieu of Geosciences 104)

Senior seminar:

Maritime Studies 402(F) Syntheses: Senior Seminar


Elective courses are listed based on either a clear maritime statement in the course description or broad practical/theoretical applicability to maritime studies. Concentrators will take a minimum of one course from the list below. If concentrators find other courses in the catalog that they believe meet the requirements for a MAST elective, they may bring them to the attention of the chair.

Biology 414 Life at Extremes

Biology/Environmental Studies 424T Conservation Biology

Economics 213 Economics of Natural Resource Use

Economics 221 Economics of the Environment

Economics/Environmental Studies 386 Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management

Environmental Studies307/Political Science 317 Environmental Law

Environmental Studies/English 405 The Arctic: Memory, Landscape, Tradition

Environmental Studies/History 371 American Environmental Politics

Geosciences/Environmental Studies 103 Global Warming and Natural Disasters

Geosciences 302 Sedimentology

Geosciences 304T Paleoecology

History 124 The Vikings

History 127 The Expansion of Europe

History 249 Caribbean, Slavery to Independence

History 321 History of US-Japan Relations

Political Science 202 World Politics

Political Science 223 International Law

Political Science 229 Global Political Economy

Political Science 334 Political Theory and the Environment: How Deep is Your Green?


Candidates for honors in Maritime Studies will complete a thesis in their senior year. The project will involve original research (archive, museum, field, or laboratory) followed by on-campus analysis and writeup of results. This could be either a one-semester project, or a full year (two semesters plus winter study). In either case, data collection during the summer before the senior year may be necessary. In some cases, the thesis project may be a continuation and expansion of the student's Williams-Mystic research project. Honors will be awarded if the thesis shows a high degree of scholarship, originality, and intellectual insight.