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This course is an overview of the marine environment and the different systems and processes of which it is composed. It introduces to the main physical, geological and chemical processes and characteristics that are relevant to understand marine biology and functioning of marine ecosystems. Hence, it constitutes a pre-requirement for the courses later on in the study program.

Some of the key concepts include: Marine geology, geomorphology and sediments, chemical and physical properties of seawater, ocean circulation, physics interactions with biology, biogeochemical cycles, global change and anthropogenic impacts and regional oceanography.