ENV BIOL 3010 - Marine Ecology III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    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
    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 Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Sean Connell

    PROFESSOR SEAN CONNELL
    PROFESSOR BRONWYN GILLANDERS
    PROFESSOR IVAN NAGELKERKEN

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On 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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    3, 4

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    1, 2, 3

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    The 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 Modes
    This 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.
    Workload

    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
    revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Students 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;

    Early life-histories;

    Habitats – mangroves, saltmarsh and estuaries;

    seagrass and nursery habitats;

    coral reefs;

    Fisheries biology; and;

    Marine Protected Areas for Fisheries and biodiversity management

    Application of scientific techniques and approaches:



     

    Specific Course Requirements
    The 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. 
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment task

    Type of assessment

    Percentage of total assessment

     

    Hurdle

     

    Learning Outcomes being assessed / achieved

    Approximate Timing of Assessment

    Field trip seminar

    Formative & Summative

    20 %

    No

    1-2, 3

    Week 5

    Field trip report 

    Formative & Summative

    30 %

    No

    1-4

    Week 12

    Exam

    Summative

    50 %

    No

    1-2, 4

    End of semester exam period

    Assessment Detail
    Seminars (20%)

    Students will provide seminars that will be prepared as a group presentation (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 and 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. *



    Submission
    Late Submission
    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.
    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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