Majuto C. Manyilizu
The course of M.Sc in Applied Marine Science-2008 was well organized. It covered different marine fields, providing wide knowledge to students. But habitable planet was quite wide and nice course covering biological, chemical and physical oceanography. The quantitative physical oceanography seemed to be boring/difficult to some students. It is better if quantitative physical oceanography course will be introduced dealing with equations and laws governing the oceanic dynamics for students doing physical oceanography. This will help for those students in physical oceanography to advance their knowledge.
I shall be lecturing and doing different oceanic physical researches at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. But finishing my master’s studies will give opportunity to think about further studies (Phd) too.
Marine science is a huge scientific field and has many sub disciplines within it, it is impossible to know all of these fields in detail but a basic understanding is essential. The AMS course provides students with the necessary material to acquire the basic understanding of many of these sub disciplines. Whilst it does not allow extensive research it does prep students for further studies and research. The course is intensive, an amazing amount of studying is crammed into half the year and the remaining half is open for research. It wasn’t really possible to begin working on our research topics until most of the modules and exams were out of the way, which I think was a shame. Much was learnt during the first six months of the course, but I cannot help but feel that a more practical approach would have been more beneficial. Also, it was difficult concentrating on topics when we had to juggle four to five modules at once. Inevitably things have to be prioritised. Maybe this is a good thing, prepares us for the working world? If you want to do research, do an MRes, if you can’t make up your mind and want broader strokes, do the taught MSc AMS course. As for 2009, I really want to do is cycle from Cape Town to the UK and document it. If I manage that then maybe continue my studies or find some other project to keep me busy.
The course has been informative and resourceful. I would like to see more field work and a hands-on approach with more data collection, analysis and report writing where applicable. It has, however, equipped me with more knowledge and tools to pursue my goal of undertaking further research on the field of ocean-atmosphere interaction with emphasis in the wider global change perspective as my doctorate work, while attending to my office work.
As a whole I am very impressed with this course and I have learned a lot since I started. The marine and environmental law, fisheries and EAF and Multivariate Analysis courses were some of the most interesting and helpful courses I have encountered. This course has given me some great skills that will help me complete my project in 2009.
I come from Nairobi, Kenya. I completed his Bachelors of Science at Moi University, Eldoret in 1995, with major in Physics. I then completed my post graduate Diploma in Meteorology at the University of Nairobi in 2001 sponsored by the Kenya Meteorological Services, the current employer. Upon graduating, I intend to return to his home country and try and establish an ocean modelling capability for the Kenya Meteorological Service.
My Comments on AMS Course: The entire course was quite informative, with a well structured timetable for the individual courses. I especially liked the seminars and workshops that were organised and co-hosted by the UCT, in particular I learned a great deal from the SAMSS and IGBP congress. I made acquaintance with scientists from other Universities and South African institutions such as the MCM and the Centre for High Performance Computing. I found the field trips, which formed part of the AMS programme, to be thoroughly educational. The Ocean Modelling workshop held in March 2008, taught me a great deal in the field of ocean modelling.
The highlights of the AMS 2008 course were the Marine Environmental Law, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Integrated Coastal Zone modules. I gained a good understanding of the theory and had a chance to learn practical techniques relating to the marine environment. I intend to work in the South African marine and coastal management field next year. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Generally found the course ok. As the degree states, it is a course in Applied Marine Science, most of the modules did well to teach skills that would be useful in this line of work. As for plans for next year finish off my thesis, and maybe a PhD but no fixed plans as yet.
The applied marine science masters course fitted in nicely with my desire to study marine biology in a beautiful city. Having spent three years traveling after finishing my undergrad degree the course proved to be a useful refresher for many of the topics which will are of key importance in following a career in marine science. I was particularly happy with the marine law module which was fascinating and thought provoking. I would recommend the course as a precursor to a phd or continued research.
Coming from a background in engineering and computer programming, the AMS course was a great opportunity to get a solid grounding in marine sciences. I was fortunate to be able to take the senior undergrad courses in oceanography and marine ecology to fill in some of the gaps in my theoretical background, and both courses were excellent. The balance of coursework and research gave me an opportunity to get through a substantial amount of theory before doing the thesis component, and also allowed me to explore various potential aspects of marine science before settling on a research project. Other highlights of the coursework included Marine Law, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Decision Analysis.
My thesis involved using models to explore ecosystem dynamics in the southern Benguela. I’m now doing a PhD through the University of Melbourne, also in ecosystem modelling.
During my undergrad and Honours years, I never quite found my niche, as so many of my friends seemed to do without any difficulty. I had no idea what the working world was about and how the years of theoretical training could be applied. But I also knew that I wasn’t an academic and I certainly didn’t want to carry on studying just for the sake of it … so I started working. What the five years of working taught me was that my interest lies more in the application of research in a practical sense, than in the research itself. Of course, you can never place a worth on theoretical knowledge but, when combined with experience and practical application, I believe it is truly priceless. This is what appealed to me most about the Applied Marine Science course … it wasn’t all about the research but also focussed on its application. An integral part of the course was the Friday field trips, which gave us insight into how what we were studying might play out if we were to remain in the marine conservation field.
Modules of special interest to me were Marine Policy and Law, Coastal Zone Management, Living Marine Resources Management and Marine Ecology. The skills I learned during the AMS course are ones that I am putting to full use in my current position as a Programme Officer for the Sustainable Fisheries Programme within the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), where my work focuses on the conservation of South Africa’s marine resources, and conveying the issues around seafood sustainability to consumers and fishermen alike. I believe in the work that I am involved with through the Sustainable Fisheries Program and I see the AMS course as integral to my career, as well as personal, path.
I found the Applied Marine Science course very rewarding. The different modules on offer gave me the opportunity to gain more in depth knowledge of the marine environment as a whole. This course also gave me an opportunity to explotre fields such as Marine Environmental Law, Integrated Coastal Zone management and Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries which is not always on offer at an undergraduate level. Coming from a background in Zoology this course gave me the opportunity to delve more into the realm of oceanography. This course have also paved the way for my PhD in Physical Oceanography by equipping me with some of the much needed skills for this daunting endeavour.