Application of Remote and In-situ Ocean Optical Measurements to Ocean Biogeochemistry

The major theme of this three-week, cross-disciplinary, graduate-level course in Optical Oceanography is the application of remote and in-situ ocean optical measurements to ocean biogeochemistry. The underlying rationale is that optical measurements serve as proxies for important biogeochemical entities – including marine phytoplankton, dissolved organics, and suspended sediment particles. The course will provide students with a fundamental knowledge of ocean optics and sensor technology that will enable them to interpret optical data in context of ocean biogeochemistry. The course is sponsored by NASA and the University of Maine with the goal of preparing a new generation of oceanographers trained in the use of optics to study the oceans.

Course elements include:

  • lectures on the basic theory of the light interaction with matter in aquatic environments, inversions of ocean color remote sensing, sensor design and function, and ocean biogeochemistry;

  • laboratory hands-on sessions using both optical instrumentation and radiative transfer software;

  • critical discussions of concepts and key papers;

  • field sampling of optical and biogeochemical variables in the environmentally diverse waters of coastal Maine;

  • analysis of optical and biogeochemical data sets; and

  • collaborative student projects.


  • Dr. Emmanuel Boss (University of Maine)

  • Dr. Mary Jane Perry (University of Maine)

  • Dr. Collin Roesler (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences)

  • Dr. Curtis Mobley (Sequoia Scientific, Inc.)

Teaching Assistants:

  • Michael Sauer (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences / University of Maine)

  • Wayne Slade (University of Maine)

Course Syllabus
Textbooks and References
Ocean Optics Links
2007 Optics Class FTP site

Class List

At and around the Darling Marine Center:

Directions to the Darling Marine Center
Map of the Darling Marine Ceter Campus
Darling Marine Center Facilities

Tide charts for Walpole, ME
Darling Center chlorophyll and PAR time series

Housing and Meals:

  • Keys will be posted on the Visiting Scientists check-in board in front of the Horse Barn.

  • Dormatories are located in the Brooke Hall conference center on lower campus.

  • Dorm rooms will be ready for Saturday arrivals.

  • Dorm room must be vacated by noon on Saturday, July 21.

  • Breakfast at 8:00 AM, lunch at 12 noon and dinner at 6 PM.

Darling Marine Center
University of Maine
193 Clark's Cove Rd.
Walpole, Maine 04573 – 3307, USA
(207) 563-3146