SRJC Course Outlines

6/13/2024 10:41:14 PMBIO 27 Course Outline as of Fall 2016

New Course (First Version)

Discipline and Nbr:  BIO 27Title:  BIOLOGY MARINE MAMMALS  
Full Title:  Biology of Marine Mammals
Last Reviewed:4/8/2019

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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Introduction to the biology, natural history, evolution, behavior, anatomy, physiology and population ecology of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, pinnipeds, otters, manatees and dugongs.

Completion of ENGL 100 or higher (V8) OR Course Completion of EMLS 100 ( or ESL 100)

Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Introduction to the biology, natural history, evolution, behavior, anatomy, physiology and population ecology of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, pinnipeds, otters, manatees and dugongs.
(Grade or P/NP)

Prerequisites:Completion of ENGL 100 or higher (V8) OR Course Completion of EMLS 100 ( or ESL 100)
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 2016
Natural Sciences
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 B2Life ScienceFall 2016
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 5BBiological SciencesFall 2016
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2016Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2016Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Describe the features of the class mammalia and compare and contrast the characteristics of the orders and families of marine mammals.
2. Summarize key physical features of the marine environment including light, temperature, pressure, and nutrient distribution.
3. Compare and contrast primary and secondary production levels in major areas of the ocean and explain how these impact the distribution, population size, and migration patterns of marine mammals.
4. Explain systematics and cladistics, and apply these concepts to marine mammals.
5. Synthesize the concepts of evolutionary mechanisms, adaptation, and  speciation, and apply these concepts to marine mammal evolution.
6. Explain mammalian homeostasis and energetics and the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations made by marine mammals for life in the sea.
7. Compare and contrast capabilities and uses of the sensory systems of different marine mammal  groups.
8. Compare and contrast the various feeding mechanisms of marine mammals as they relate to social structure, physiology and morphology.
9. Compare and contrast the mating and social systems of marine mammals and analyze the role of habitat and evolution in shaping these systems.
10. Summarize past and present threats and analyze the effectiveness of current laws regulating marine mammal populations.
11. Recognize and describe the marine mammal species found along the California coast and describe their ecology, natural history, and world population status.

Topics and Scope
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I. Science as a Process
   A. Scientific method
   B. Techniques used with marine mammals
II. Marine Mammals- The Group
    A. Mammalian characteristics
    B. Taxonomy, systematics, general characteristics and evolution
       1. Cetacea
       2. Sirenia
       3. Pinnipeds
      4. Sea otters
III. The Marine Environment
    A. Pressure
    B. Light and temperature
    C. Density and stratification
    D. Stability and turnover
    E. Upwelling and El Nino Southern Oscillating (ENSO) events
IV. Marine Ecology
    A. Primary and secondary production distribution patterns and causes
    B. Food chains, food webs, and trophic hierarchies
V. Evolution of Marine Mammals
    A. Basic genetics including DNA structure, mutations, and heredity
    B. Mechanisms of evolution including natural selection, sexual selection, gene flow and genetic drift
    C. Speciation
VI. Homeostasis and Adaptations For Living in the Marine Environment
    A. Functional morphology  
    B. Thermoregulation
    C. Osmoregulation
    D. Diving physiology
VII. Sensory Systems and Communication Between Marine Mammals
    A. Vision in air and water
    B. Sound and hearing in air and water
    C. Taste and smell in air and water
    D. Tactile abilities and communication
    E. Communication within and between species
VIII. Food and Feeding Habits of Marine Mammals
    A. Food and the distribution of marine mammals
    B. Feeding mechanisms
    C. Ecology and evolution of body size
    D. Impact of marine mammal feeding on various marine habitats including a discussion of keystone predators
    E. Migration
IX. Reproduction, Development and Behavior of Marine Mammals
    A. Mating systems
    B. Physiological and behavioral adaptations for gestation, nursing, and weaning
    C. Development of offspring
X. Population Biology
    A. Distributions
    B. Population growth and limiting factors
XI. Interactions With Humans
    A. Hunting of marine mammal species, past and present
    B. Pollution and biological magnification
    C. Habitat loss
    D. National and international regulations
    E. Marine mammals in captivity: research, entertainment, and military uses
    F.  Conservation efforts

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Assignments may include:
1. Reading scientific papers, handouts, and text assignments (10 - 20 pages per week)
2. Homework: written and problem sets (5-10 sets)
3. Research paper (8-10 pages)
4. Lecture exams (2-4), 1 comprehensive final exam, quizzes including identification quiz for local marine mammals

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
20 - 50%
Written homework including analysis of readings; research paper (8-10 pages) that shows topic coverage and critical analysis
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
10 - 30%
Homework problems
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 20%
Animal identification (photo based)
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
40 - 70%
Essay, short answer, multiple choice, matching items, animal ID (photo based)
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 10%
Participation: class discussion

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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An Introduction To Marine Mammal Biology And Conservation, 1st edition,  E.C.M. Parsons, Jones and Bartlett, 2012
Return To The Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals, 1st edition, A. Berta, J. L. Sumich and C. Buell, University of California Press, 2012

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