Marine Bio: Ecosystems

Marine Biology - Ecosystems

Welcome to the first semester of Marine Bio!
This subject is my passion and what got me into studying biology and the sciences. I'm thrilled to be able to teach you all about the ocean and its amazing ecosystems! I fell in love and became amazed by the ocean while spending my summers by the water. I wish I could bring you all to the ocean every day as we learn about its ecosystems, but we're sadly too far away. Therefore, take any opportunity you can to get to the shore! Hopefully it will help you experience and understand the power and the beauty of the ocean too.


Course Overview:


This course is designed as an introduction to marine science through the study of marine ecology and oceanography. Students will study the variety of marine ecosystems that make up 72% of our Earth, including the intertidal environments, the productive coastal ecosystems, the open ocean “desert,” and the eerie, unknown deep ocean. Human impact on the ocean will be a major theme throughout all units. A variety of class activities, lectures, projects, and class discussions will be used to provide an in depth understanding of the value and unique characteristics of our ocean’s ecosystems. 

Prerequisite: 75 or better in Biology

The units we will cover throughout the semester are:


I.     The Water Planet                                              IV.  The Open Ocean

               The study of marine science                                      The open ocean “desert”

               Water, salinity, oxygen                                               Motion in the ocean

               The water column                                                       Ocean observing systems

II.    Intertidal Environments                                          Animals of the open ocean

               Tides, tidal stresses                                      V.    The Deep           

               The rocky intertidal                                                    Bathymetry

               The sandy beach                                                         Ocean exploration & ROVs

               Estuaries and salt marshes                                        Animals of the deep ocean

III.  The Productive Coastal Waters                            Hydrothermal vent communities

               The temperate, seasonal seas

               Kelp forests                                                                

               Coral reefs & coral reef decline


Calendar:  Students will get a hard copy of their class calendar with class topics and assignments at the start of every unit. This is important to refer to daily. Please use this to help stay organized and stay on top of your work, but know it is always subject to change. Therefore, I’ve put a live version of class calendars on my website that will be updated with any changes. Please see the A block or F block calendar tabs on the left side-bar here.

Course Requirements and Grades:

Grading is on a point system. The range in points is due to an assignment’s length and importance.

         Tests                                        100 points                      Quizzes                       20-35 points

         Lab activities                           15-30 points                   Homework                  5 points

         Schoology posts                       5 points 

Tests and Quizzes:
There will be about three tests per term.  Missed tests MUST made up within 3 days of the absence. Quizzes are given once during a unit to make sure you are understanding the material as we go.

Weekly assignment on
Both terms we will have an ongoing online class on Schoology with weekly assignments. Each week an online assignment will be posted for students to respond to. We will alternate between a class discussion on a posed question and a news article assignment. The discussion question/assignment will be open Monday-Monday and students can submit their posts at any time during the week. 

Homework and class activities will always be either marked off for completion or collected & graded.  All work is due at the beginning of class.  Late work is accepted one day late for half credit. All work should be done neatly and completely.  If either is not done, points will be taken off. Remember, the point of homework is to help YOU understand the material and do better! You and your parents now have logins to the iPass grading system (iStudent and iParent). This is a great way to keep track of your grades throughout the year. I hope you use this tool to help you!

Absences & Make-up Work:
It is your responsibility to get any work you have missed due to an absence!  If you have been absent, please first check your class’ tray and then come check in with me.  You need to make up any work within 2 class periods or it will be a zero. Communication is key if you’re absent!

You are very strongly recommended to keep a three-ring binder for this class!  I will give you a lot of handouts in this class and they will not fit well in a folder.  Having a binder will help you do better. 

Class Expectations:


What you can expect of me:

-        Respect for every one of you   

-        Being prepared and ready to roll every day! 

-        Appropriate help whenever you need it 

-        Understanding and flexibility when you need it

-        Thorough and timely evaluation of your work   

-        Hard work and always striving to be a better teacher

What I will expect of you:

-        Respect for me, your classmates, and this classroom, and the class policies

-        Being prepared every day and working efficiently  

-        Being an active learner in class 

-        Doing your best work and your own work

-        Working hard, trying your best and challenging yourself!  

And I expect to have a lot of FUN with you all! 

This subject is my passion and I’m excited to share my knowledge and enthusiasm!


If you have any questions, please email me at