The marine environment encompasses 99% of the Earth's biosphere and contains an incredible diversity of microbial, algal, and animal life forms. This course examines the biology of these organisms and the abiotic (e.g., salinity, nutrients, water currents and tides) and biotic factors (e.g., competition, predation, symbiosis) that influence their distribution and abundance. Specific topics include primary and secondary production, rocky intertidal biodiversity, estuaries, subtidal communities, coral reefs, pelagic and deep sea communities, impacts of humans on the ocean, and conservation. Lecture periods include discussions of primary literature and student presentations. Laboratory sessions involve field work, laboratory analyses, report writing, and multimedia presentation of project results.
Prerequisites: BIOL 111, 112, and 211. GEOL 105 recommended.