- Code BIOL3116
- Unit Value 6 units
Marine ecosystems play a crucial role in the health and function of our planet - from tiny plankton that shape global patterns of carbon and sulphur cycling, to massive coral reefs that support enormous biodiversity and feed millions of people. Once thought to be indestructible and inexhaustible, we now know that such marine communities are fragile and easily disturbed. In this course we will use both old and new concepts in marine ecology to explore how healthy marine ecosystems can be conserved in the face of human harvesting, habitat modification and climate change. Taking a problem-based approach, this course will examine key issues facing marine ecosystems (e.g., climate change, overfishing, biodiversity loss, ecosystem phase shifts) through lectures, hands-on practicals, workshops and assessments. Students will gain first-hand experience in the quantitative methods used to describe and assess approaches to marine conservation, as well as skills in science communication via novel assessment items such as the role-playing press conference and graphical abstract design.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Think critically, analyze and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments concerning marine environmental issues
- Collect, analyze and present marine ecological data
- Write scientific articles, environmental status reports and media releases
- Work and communicate as part of a research team
- Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
- Provide effective peer review of your colleague’s work
- Research current issues, interpret relevant legislation and frame solutions to problems facing Australia's marine resources
Assessment will be based on:
- Scientific Report (20%): You will collect data as a class, make your own analysis and evaluation of the data-based evidence, then present your findings in the style of a scientific article (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Graphical Abstract (20%): You will select a current scientific article in marine ecology and design a graphical abstract that illustrates the main findings of the paper in a single picture that is understandable to a broad audience (LO 1, 5). You will also provide effective comments to help your fellow students design their Graphical Abstracts via an anonymous peer review process (LO 6).
- Environmental Brief (15%): You will research current scientific information and relevant legislation on a current marine ecological issue, and present your findings and recommendations in a plain-English written report (LO 1, 3, 5, 7).
- Press Conference (15%): Working as a team, you will present your findings from your environmental brief as a media release and field questions from a role-playing audience in a staged press conference (LO 3, 4, 5).
- Final Theory Exam (30%): You will be asked to think critically, analyse available information and present a logical argument on questions concerning marine ecological systems (LO 1, 7).
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WorkloadTwo lectures and one practical/workshop per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Recommended Text: Connell SD, Gillanders BM (2007) Marine Ecology. Oxford University Press, Oxford
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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