Academics | Introduction to Marine Biology

Course Code: OCB 1001

3 Credits - 45 Contact Hours


Course Overview:

This course is designed to introduce students to the diversity of marine life and integrate current issues and practical activities to teach biological and ecological concepts. Topics covered include the basics of ecology and evolution, the marine environment, taxonomic classification of marine organisms, a survey of major marine ecosystems, and marine conservation. The material will be delivered in interactive lectures, and many will be reinforced with practical activities. Ecosystems and taxonomic groups that are found locally will receive special emphasis. Many topics will also be addressed through written assignments followed by class discussions. This course is appropriate for both non-science majors and science majors.

Course Objectives:

  • To provide an overview of marine diversity and the evolutionary processes that led to this diversity
  • To present major marine ecosystems, including trophic relationships of their inhabitants and adaptions for various environmental conditions
  • To increase awareness of anthropogenic impacts in the marine environment and potential solutions

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to…

  • Define basic concepts of evolution and diversity
  • Describe the major taxonomic groups of marine organisms, including adaptations to their environment
  • Recognize the evolutionary relationships between groups of marine organisms
  • Describe the physical characteristics, dominant organisms, and trophic relationships in major marine ecosystems
  • Identify reef invertebrates and fishes common in the Caribbean (or where the course takes place)
  • Read primary scientific literature in marine biology and synthesize key points on a given topic

Academic Materials:

All required course materials are provided by Sea|mester throughout the voyage.

  • Introduction to Marine Biology, 4th edition. Karleskint, G., Turner, R., and Small, J.W., 2013. Oxford University Press. 563pp. ISBN10: 1133364462
  • The Reef Set; Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral (3 Volumes). Deload N and Humann P. 1250 pp. ISBN-10: 1878348337

Student Handbook

For complete course overviews and syllabi, download the Sea|mester student handbook