Marine Biology - 3rd year

An introduction to the study of the marine environment, the organisms that live there, and the ecological relationships, including human, that influence the balance of this important ecosystem.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Design and execute a simple scientific experiment to test a hypothesis, gather relevant scientific data, analyze the data, and raw conclusions related to the hypothesis;

2. Read a passage of scientific test, identify the main point, and evaluate the relevance and reliability of the supporting information. Orally present this evaluation to a group of peers;

3. Explain the types of molecules necessary for life, how individual cells convert these molecules into energy, and how autotrophic cells capture and store energy from the physical and chemical environment;

4. Describe the identifying characteristics and complexity of organization within organisms representative of the major phyla within the five-kingdom system of classification;

5. Explain how these identifying characteristics are adaptations and limitations for the organism in an environment;

6. Explain how the physical and chemical environments of a variety of ocean habitats affect life in the sea, both at the ecosystem level and at the organism level;

7. Explain the basic concepts of community ecology, such as trophic structures, and give examples of these concepts based on marine communities;

8. Use a functional approach to understand adaptations in marine organisms, and discuss some trade-offs among survival, feeding, growth, and reproduction;

9. Discuss current problems and prospects relating to human use of the sea.


Course topics will include the following:

1. The scientific method

2. The principles of marine science

3. The diversity of life in the ocean

4. Marine ecology

5. Humans and the sea

Method of Instruction:

1. Lectures/directed discussions

2. Slide presentations

3. Labs/field trips

Types of Assignments:

1. Assigned readings

2. One research project and scientific report

3. Scientific report

4. Two oral presentations

Sample Text:

1. Marine Biology by Peter Castro, et al. McGraw Hill (1997).

2. Seaside Naturalist: A Guide to Study at the Seashore by Deborah A. Coulombe. McGraw Hill (1997).