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Course Description

The course provides a comprehensive overview of marine ecosystems, emphasizing the diversity of life inhabiting them. The physical, chemical and ecological features of the marine environment are reviewed and the evolutionary adaptations that allowed marine organisms to survive are emphasized. Although the overall focus will include ecosystems found in both tropical, subtropical, temperate and arctic regions, many of the practical examples will be drawn from the rich ecosystems of the central California coast and labs will provide hands-on experience of the diversity of life forms found in this area. Practical exercises will include viewing of specimen in the laboratory, short documentaries followed by discussion and field trips to coastal locations within the Monterey Bay and vicinity to view and explore specific ecosystems such as kelp forests, the intertidal, and estuarine areas, as well as learn about local marine species such as birds and mammals.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the scientific method and demonstrate its application to critical thinking.
  • Discuss the physical constraints of the marine environment and describe how organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with these constraints;
  • Describe how communities of organisms interact with each other and their physical environment;
  • Demonstrate basic laboratory and field skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate coincisely and scientifically using the English language

Last modified: November 25, 2014
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800