Former Undergraduate Researcher at University of San Diego
almost 2 years ago
The coursework is rigorous, and highly prepares you to take on research around your sophomore or junior year. In fact, most faculty will recommend that you finish your lower-division requirements of the major before pursuing research, since this knowledge is crucial for any Marine Science related research. One of the best features about conducting research is the reality of research itself. By this I mean, all the labs within the courses have each procedural instruction laid out, the results you should obtain, and a statement of why you are doing that lab. However, in "real" research, you have the opportunity to develop a question you'd like to address, develop a procedure that will inevitably have to be redesigned to ensure it answers what you have asked and your question is measurable, and interpret the results yourself.
In short, the major courses provide the foudational skill set and knowledge required for any Marine Science related research endeavor. However, the advantage of conducting research lies in the real-world application of unteachable skills learned through actually going through the scientific method and process.