Marine Biology CP

  • Course Description

    Marine biology is the scientific study of plants, animals, and other organisms that live in the ocean. In addition to examining the chemical, physical, and biological components of the sea, there is an ecological focus on the interplay between humans and aquatic ecosystems. Special attention is given to studying Santa Monica Bay habitats and biota. The Santa Monica pier and beach are used for field observations and sampling from the marine environment. The laboratory portion of this course will cover the physical and chemical properties of seawater, specimen observation/collection and analysis, as well as the taxonomy and physiology of marine fauna and flora. Students have multiple opportunities to engage in the class themes of conservation and stewardship by attending diverse community events, taking part in real research, and/or conducting service learning and civic engagement projects. Students will complete at least one longer term inquiry-based project related to the ocean and sustainability. Field trips include some or all of the following: local aquaria, tide pools, sandy beach and pier walks, whale watching, camping trips to Morro Bay, monitoring marine protected areas, and grunion runs.


    First Semester:

    I. Scientific Method and History of Marine Biology
    II. Marine Chordates II
    III. Marine Chordates I

    Second Semester:

    IV. Higher Invertebrates
    V. Lower Invertebrates
    VI. Marine Prokaryotes, Algae, Fungi, & Plants

    Additional Topics::

    Anthropogenic Impacts
    Ocean Geology and Geography
    Chemical & Physical Oceanography