Overview of Course
Are you ready to join in an unforgettable exploration of coastal environmental ecology? Sandy beaches. Rocky shorelines. Kelp forests. Coral reefs. Rhodolith beds. Wetlands. These nearshore coastal regions can be majestic, teeming with marine life, and provide ecosystem services from food to balancing a global carbon budget. As these same habitats are often an economic boon (think fisheries, tourism, petroleum, development, etc.) or attractive locales to call home, many of them can, and have, become threatened. The interplay between the resources coastal environments provide and the pressures we apply as humans is a delicate balance that often tips towards the side of overexploitation. These themes are ripe for exploration aboard the MV World Odyssey during class discussions, comparative studies, and as you become immersed in the culture of many coastal communities. Our shipboard observations will provide a view of diverse ecosystems as we sail above and alongside. In country exploration and subsequent reflection will provide the lens to better understand ecosystem function, the diverse use/abuse of marine resources, and the extent to which countries protect and conserve coastal ecosystems.