ENV BIOL 3010 - Marine Ecology III
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 3010 Course Marine Ecology III Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 2 hours per week, plus a 4 day field camp Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Incompatible ENV BIOL 3500 Assumed Knowledge ENV BIOL 2502 Course Description This course aims to provide an understanding of the patterns of abundance and diversity of marine plants and animals and the processes that structure these patterns. Emphasis is placed on the challenges in understanding the complexity of marine systems and the solutions to quantifying them. In addition, throughout the course students should gain an understanding of the use of coherent logical procedures and rigorous experimental design to provide practical evidence for the development of theory and solutions to environmental and conservation problems in coastal habitats. The habitats and organisms used to illustrate lectures are derived from ecological studies of subtidal rocky and coral reefs, intertidal rocky reefs, mangrove forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, urban structures and pelagic habitats. The field camp in the mid-semester break combines these components in a practical setting.
Course Coordinator: Professor Sean ConnellPROFESSOR SEAN CONNELL
PROFESSOR BRONWYN GILLANDERS
PROFESSOR IVAN NAGELKERKEN
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.PLEASE CONSULT THE COURSE PLANNER WEBPAGE
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course students should be able to:
1 Demonstrate knowledge of processes that shape the abundance of marine organisms 2 Demonstrate the effect of humans as drivers of marine ecosystem change and its biogeographic contingencies 3 Demonstrate scientific communication skills, including the conventions in technical writing, the structure of scientific
papers and graphical methods for presenting data
4 Demonstrate team-oriented management of projects, especially communication with peers.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1, 2 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
1, 2, 3, 4 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
3, 4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
1, 2, 3, 4 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
1, 2, 3 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Recommended ResourcesThe recommended text assigned to this course is:
Connell SD & Gillanders BM 2007. Marine Ecology. Oxford University Press, 630p. ISBN: 9780195553024
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course demonstrates marine theory and practice through the direct exposure of logic, experimental design and experience of the natural environment. Class activities are supported through field-based observation. Theory and practical aspects will be built from 1 x2-hour lectures per week for 11 weeks. Scientific method, derivation of hypotheses from theory, designing experiments to test hypotheses, collecting data, analysis and synthesis, and presentation of results will then be practiced during the scheduled small group projects during the 4 day field camp (mid-semester break) in which students apply all of these skills and orally present
each iteration of their intellectual development with feedback to analyse and write a scientific paper. Each component is approached systematically so that at the end of the course all components are brought together through individual reports, group reports and seminars.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This
includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and
Learning Activities SummaryStudents learn about how to approach some of the key challenges that face the discipline of marine biology. The difficulty and
solutions to understanding marine phenomena and solving their practical and theoretical problems across multiple spatial and temporal scales are explained in lectures. Small group learning provides students practical situations to grapple with the logical approach to formulating theory form which hypotheses are derived. This small group leaning connects students to the reality of understanding how to design rigorous observational and experimental research programs, their costs and benefits of simple through complex programs, their relative practical and logistical difficulty and strengths and weakness in providing solutions to managers, government and the general public.
Topics include but are not limited to: experimental design, how to test for species interactions, how to test for abiotic stressors,
experimental designs for categorical data, experimental designs for continuous data, pulse and press experiments.
Lecture topics include:
Physical forcing in marine environments; Spatial scales and seascapes;
Positive and negative biological interactions in the ocean;
Top-down and bottom-up ecology and its marine management;
Ecosystem stability and thresholds of instability;
Local stressors in the ocean – nutrient pollution and sedimentation;
Global stressors in the ocean – climate change, temperature and acidification;
Habitats – mangroves, saltmarsh and estuaries;
seagrass and nursery habitats;
Fisheries biology; and;
Marine Protected Areas for Fisheries and biodiversity management
Application of scientific techniques and approaches:
The practical component of this course will be completed on the compulsory mid-semester field camp at the University’s field station at Coobowie on the lower Yorke Peninsula or Cape Jervis or Port MacDonnell. This field camp brings together all aspects
of the course; from identification of a problem for scientific solution, development of theory, derivation of hypotheses, experimental design and analysis, interpretation and refinement of the theory. Small group learning and exposure to alternate marine environments with contrasting spatial patterning provides a diversity of challenges within in which students will learn the need to be open to new ways of applying method and the limits of scientific inference.
Specific Course RequirementsThe course involves field trips for local field work and a camp to a remote field station. Students will be informed of the relevant Environmental Health and Safety procedures at the beginning of the course.
Small Group Discovery Experience
Students learn about how to approach some of the key challenges that face the discipline of marine biology. The difficultly
and solutions to understanding marine phenomena and solving their practical and theoretical problems across multiple spatial and temporal scales are explained in lectures.
Small group learning
Provides students practical situations to grapple with the logical approach to formulating theory form which hypotheses are derived. This small group leaning connects students to the reality of understanding how to design rigorous observational and experimental research programs, their costs and benefits of simple through complex programs, their relative practical and logistical difficulty and strengths and weakness in providing solutions to managers, government and the general public.
Topics include but are not limited to:
experimental design, how to test for species interactions, how to test for abiotic stressors, experimental designs for categorical data, experimental designs for continuous data, pulse and press experiments.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Type of assessment
Percentage of total assessment
Learning Outcomes being assessed / achieved
Approximate Timing of Assessment
Field trip seminar
Formative & Summative
Field trip report
Formative & Summative
End of semester exam period
Assessment DetailSeminars (20%)
Students will provide seminars that will be prepared as a group presentation for 15 minutes each. Seminar content will explain the logical structure of investigation, present findings and solutions, pose new models to account for the original patterns or processes. In addition, each student will explain their social responsibility and strengths and weakness they bring to teamwork and how the team functions as a whole.
Field Trip Report (30%)
Students will be required to submit a report on scientific activities on the compulsory mid-semester field camp. This report will take the form of a scientific paper aand will have strict guidelines that will be announced in class and posted on MyUni. The report will be written in the same groups that complete the research project on the camp. All students within the group will receive the same mark for the report. Students who do not attend the field camp will be required to write an essay that requires comparable intellectual and temporal investment as expended by students on the camp. Details about the essay guidelines will be provided in class.
Final Exam (50%)
Assessment involves all material covered. The answers will be essay type. *
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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