Course Syllabus & Outline

Instructor: MT Staff, as assigned
Office Hours: As posted on office door, as scheduled, by appointment. Additional/Alternate times by appointment


This course covers the skills necessary to live and work safely aboard oceangoing research vessels. Emphasis is placed on the unique safety requirements aboard oceangoing vessels and the skills needed for oceanographic work. Upon completion, students should be able to safely live and work aboard an oceanographic research vessel conducting offshore scientific operations.

Course Hours per Semester:

1 Credit Hour , 48 hours of Lab




Be a full time Marine Technology student or permission of the Department Chair


None required. Reference books are on the vessel.

Course Objectives:

  1. MSC 110 provides a four-day training cruise to aquaint the marine tech student with living and working conditions aboard a research vessel. 
  2. Shipboard Safety: Each student should learn immediately their emergency station numbers and their assignments for use during fire drills and/or abandon ship drills. Students should also know where their life vests are located and have one on during any emergency drills. 
  3. Shipboard Vocabulary: Each student is to locate and name all spaces on the ship. Parts of the ship are to be defined and described by the end of the cruise. Each student will turn in this sheet at the end of the cruise. 
  4. Biological Station Assignments: Students are expected to work from 0600 [6am] to 1800 [6pm] daily. This work is described on the biological collection sheet. Students who are not present when it is their time to work a station will be graded down. 
  5. Post Cruise Work: Much work is necessary once the ship is back in port.
    • Carrying samples back to lab.
    • Setting up aquaria with water and animals collected on cruise.
    • Cleaning the ship.
    • Cleaning the lab.
    • Do not leave until all work is completed and you have been released by your Cruise Supervisor.


Class Attendance: According to CFCC policy, a student must attend at least 80% of the scheduled class hours in order to receive credit for the course. Attendance is marked at the beginning of the cruise. Those not present at that time will be marked absent. Tardies will be marked any time a student is late for a roll call or assigned watch assignment. Watch assignments missed may constitute absences if conditions warrant such action.

Withdrawal: A student wishing to not participate on a cruise should withdraw before the cruise date. This will be recorded as a W with no grade penalty applied. If a student departs the cruise, absences will be logged and a grade of "F" will be entered after the 10th hour missed (20%), after which a student may not withdraw passing (WP) if prior arrangements have not been made with the instructor.

Conduct: At all times cruising students will conduct themselves in a mature and safe manner. While on liberty they should remember they are representatives of CFCC and the Marine Technology program and should continue to behave accordingly. The ship's Captain and your Cruise Supervisor will discuss additional safety rules to be followed while aboard the ship. This will be done prior to departure from the dock and/or during the safety drills.

Safety: Students must follow safety requirements. Students who ignore or violate safety requirements will be subject to discipline, which may include dismissal from the course. The ship's Captain and your Cruise Supervisor will discuss additional safety rules to be followed while aboard the ship. This will be done prior to departure from the dock, during the safety drills and/or while on station. Students are required to wear proper footgear (no barefeet, sandals or open-ended shoes) at all times while on deck. Work vests and hard hats will be worn at all times when performing over the side operations.

Evaluation Criteria/Areas:

  • Students must stand all assigned daily watches throughout the duration of the cruise and must satisfactorily complete all work assigned in conjunction with these watches.
  • Student's ability to work with others aboard ship.
  • Attention to manipulative and mental skills necessary for safe working habits.
  • Correct implementation of various oceanographic, meteorological and navigational duties.
  • Reduction and display of data, as assigned.
  • Timely accomplishment of duties.


A grade for MSC 110 will be based on the aforementioned criteria as shown below.
Performance of Scientific watch standing duties and assignments
Performance of Navigation/Weather watch standing duties and assignments
Attitude, aptitude and overall participation [by Ship's Captain]
Attitude, aptitude and overall participation [by Cruise Supervisor]
A minimum average grade of 68% is required to receive credit for MSC 110
The following grading system will be used for this class.
Numerical Equivalency
Quality Points per Sem. Hr.
92 - 100
Superior 4
84 - 91
76 - 83
68 - 75
0 - 67

[Student failed to complete required course assignment due to extenuating circumstances]

Withdrawal Passing  
Withdrawal Failing, computed as a Failure on transcripts


A: Outstanding performance by student. Exceeds all basic requirements. Student demonstrates high level of competency in course material. Student capable of independent work in field
B: Above average performance by student. Student exceeds some requirements. Student demonstrates good competency in field.
C: Average performance by student. Student meets basic course requirements. Student demonstrates adequate level of competency in field. Students can work in field with supervision.
D: Below average performance by student. Student barely meets course requirements.
F: Unacceptable performance by the student. Student fails to meet course requirements. Student does not demonstrate proficiency in field.


As a field/lab practicum for skills acquired in other Marine Technology courses, this course has no structured outline of instruction. Skills to be covered include: Safety aboard an oceangoing research vessel, living and working aboard an oceangoing research vessel, scientific watch standing duties, proper use of various types of biological sampling gear, collection of biological samples, identification & preservation of biological samples and filling out biological log sheets.

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