Marine Biology (Section 1)

1559-501:
Discipline: Biology
Instructor: Dudgeon
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1300
End: 1415
Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesday, 11 November | Brazil Download Syllabus

This course provides a general introduction to the diversity of life in the world’s marine habitats.  The oceans and seas cover 70% of the surface of the earth and are home to a vast array of organisms that have adapted to diverse habitats, including coral reefs, estuarine systems, open oceans and the deep sea.  During the course students will be introduced to the major taxonomic groups found in these habitats as well as the chemical, physical, geological and astronomical features that influence their environments.  Interactions between humans and the marine environment will also be investigated.  Special attention will be given to migratory marine organisms, the tools and techniques used to study them and the conservation and management issues surrounding animals that cross international borders.

Field Work

Country: Brazil
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 11 November

The coastline of Brazil is an important feeding, breeding and nesting region for five species of sea turtle.  As a heavily populated state, sea turtles in Brazil are subjected to many conservation concerns including loss of suitable habitat, disturbance to nests and direct damage to the turtles from boat strikes among other impacts. This field lab will be composed of two parts:

  1. Students will visit the TAMAR Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre where they will meet with and hear talks from conservation workers and researchers and tour the facilities to view sick and injured turtles.  This opportunity will enable students to learn about the various functions played by the TAMAR Centre including research and conservation programs, public education, tourism management and sea turtle recovery.
  2. To investigate the ecological and biological requirements of sea turtles, students will explore a coastal environment close to the TAMAR Centre.  They will use this time to record the habitat features of this environment, how sea turtles use this environment and the types of threats the turtles experience.
Prior to the lab, students will choose a particular report topic, formulated as a testable hypothesis. During the field trip they will collect data to address this hypothesis in the form of independent observations; collecting data through published, printed and posted sources and by interviewing staff members and visitors.  Students will write up this field lab as a guided scientific report. Academic objectives:
  1. To understand the diversity of sea turtles in Brazilian waters and their threats.
  2. To Investigate the ecological and biological requirements of sea turtles.
  3. To discover the role and history of the TAMAR facility for sea turtle conservation and research.