MARN 410 Analytical Methods in Environmental Science

Target group: Graduate students and undergraduate, upper level students
Prerequisite: Introduction to oceanography, one year of chemistry

Includes marine chemistry methods employing electrochemistry, spectroscopy and chromatography. These techniques can be used for organic and inorganic analysis. Contains a lab section. Class taught fall of uneven years. Tentative days are Tuesday and Thursday. Lectures are 1 hr 15 mins and laboratories are 3 hrs 45 mins.

The class has three parts:

  • Lectures on analytical methods and theory
  • Lab section: sampling and sample work-up
  • Final report: data evaluation and discussion of results.


  • Analytical basics (separation versus detection, precision, “accuracy”, common sense, trace analysis (metal and organic), contamination, blanks, protocols, note keeping, sampling)
  • Analytical statistics (standard curves, SD, error  propagation, t-test, r, r2, ?, sample planning)
  • Overview spectrometric theory (atomic absorption, UV, IR, fluorescence, colorimetry,
  • Spectrophotometric methods in marine chemistry:  AA for metals, UV for silica and nitrate, IR detection, pH detection)
  • Overview electrodes (function, G, examples of  uses in marine chemistry: pH electrodes, microelectrodes; oxygen electrodes)
  • Overview chromatographic theory – LC and GC
  • Overview detection methods in marine chromatography
  • Shipboard equipment: CTD, reversible thermometers, salinity determinations, rosette sampler, attachable sensors.
  • Introduction to the basis of marine science – asking questions, field work and working from a boat.
  • Sampling should take place from a boat on a full one day cruise. The students determine sampling locations and replication as part of a class.  Hypothesis to be tested are formulated.

Boat excursion: Samples are collected for the  laboratory part of the course.
Shipboard determinations:

  • Salinity and  temperature with CTD and manually.
  • Calibration and functions of a CTD with rosette sampler.
  • Preserve samples for oxygen determinations

Determinations on land:

  • pH -measurement –  calibration – fresh  water versus salt water measurements and inherent problems, measurement with electrodes and spectrophotometrically
  • Oxygen determinations
  • TOC
  • Nutrients
  • Chromatographic determination