Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Apply the scientific method to marine biological investigation.
2. Apply laboratory and field techniques, including microscope use, sampling techniques, and proper note-taking, to observing, identifying, and experimenting with marine organisms and biological phenomenon.
3. Compare and contrast the cell structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and of plant and animal cells.
4. Compare and contrast the mechanisms of evolution and explain how they lead to the major evolutionary patterns and adaptations in the biodiversity of major marine taxa (domains, kingdoms, phyla, and class).
5. Integrate knowledge of physical and biological oceanography, including the distribution of nutrients and plankton in the sea.
6. Describe the concepts of zonation, ecological succession, population growth and regulation in marine ecosystems.
7. Understand the role of biotic and/or abiotic factors in the structure of biomes, ecosystems, communities, and populations, and how humans interact with these systems.
8. Compare and contrast the physical and biological structure of selected marine communities, including distribution and trophic relationships.
9. Analyze and explain the impact of human activities on marine communities and methods used to mitigate these impacts and to restore marine habitats.
I. Science as a Process
A. Scientific method
B. Techniques used specifically in marine research
II. The Ocean as a Habitat
A. Light and temperature
B. Dissolved gases
C. Pressure changes with depth
D. Salinity, temperature, and density
E. Stratification of the ocean
III. Physical Oceanography
IV. Properties of Life
A. Characteristics of life
B. Overview of cell structure: eukaryotic and prokaryotic; algal and animal
C. Overview of cell respiration and photosynthesis
V. Evolution and Systematics of Marine Organisms
A. Mechanisms of evolution
B. Diversity of marine organisms
C. Species concepts and speciation
VI. General Marine Ecology
A. Primary and secondary production distribution: patterns and causes
B. Food chains, food webs, and trophic hierarchies
C. Nutrient cycles: nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon
D. Human impacts on the nutrient cycles listed above, including climate change and eutrophication
E. Upwelling and El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events
F. Principles of population biology including the concept of carrying capacity
G. Habitat disturbance and succession
VII. Marine Organisms
A. Marine plants: the seagrasses and mangroves
B. Protists: macroalgae, phytoplankton, protozoan zooplankton
D. Bacteria: importance in primary production and nutrient cycles
E. Animals: Fish, Marine Mammals, Sea Turtles, Marine Invertebrates
VIII. Ecology of Major Habitat Types
A. Kelp forest
B. Intertidal: mudflats, sandy beaches, rocky intertidal
C. Coral reefs
E. Pelagic: Epipelagic, Mesopelagic, Deep Sea
F. Deep sea benthos: Hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and chemosynthesis
A. Maximum sustainable yield
B. Historical fisheries practices and collapses, causes and consequences
C. Current problems related to overexploitation and new methods of stock management
D. Aquaculture promise and problems including genetically modified organisms
X. Ocean Pollution
A. Sources and types of pollution
B. Impact of toxins on marine organisms including the concept of biological magnification
XI. Marine Conservation and Protected Areas
A. History of marine resource use
B. Current methods used to protect marine habitats and resources worldwide including marine reserves and marine sanctuaries.
I. Compound and Dissecting Microscope Use
II. Properties of Sea Water
III. Osmoregulation in Marine Animals
IV. Taxonomy of Marine Organisms
V. Marine Animal Groups: Anatomy, Physiology, Ecology and Field Identification including Class or Order Level Differences
A. Invertebrates including: sponges, cnidarians, mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms
B. Vertebrates including: marine mammals and birds
VI. Vascular plants: Anatomy, Physiology, Ecology, and Field Identification
VII. Macroalgae: Anatomy, Physiology, Ecology, and Field Identification
VIII. Plankton Collection, Review, and Identification
1. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic
2. Net plankton vs. nano plankton
1. Protistan vs. animal plankton
2. Mero plankton vs. holoplankton
IX. Intertidal Zonation: Zone indicators in rocky intertidal and/or mudflats
X. Human Impacts on Marine Environments
A. Fisheries and/or pollution
B. Habitat degradation and restoration ecology