The oceans harbour a greater diversity of life than any other biome of the planet. In this course you will learn about the diversity of marine habitats, the species inhabiting them, and the physical and chemical factors influencing marine ecosystems. We shall explore rocky shores, sandy beaches, estuaries, mangrove wetlands, reefs and open-water ecosystems. We will emphasise the seminal contributions that marine ecology has made to the broader field of ecology, and teach you fundamental skills in the scientific investigation of marine and coastal ecosystems.
|Learning materials – Learning materials that provide fundamental knowledge about how the ocean works and how coastal ecosystems are structured and function. Learning materials typically include online videos of varying length, readings and quizzes.||1hr||Week 1||13 times|
|Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On-campus workshops support learning materials, introduce the content to be covered on field trips and support students in completing the major assessments.||2hrs||Week 1||8 times|
|Fieldwork – Fieldtrips support key concepts presented in both the learning materials and tutorials, and provide opportunities for students to apply their skills in a field setting||8hrs||Week 4||2 times|
Ocean currents, winds and tides, estuaries, seagrasses, mangroves, reefs, seaweeds and kelps, climate change impacts, marine conservation ecology.
500 Level (Advanced)
|Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to...||Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...|
|1||Communicate effectively and professionally to informed audiences.||
|2||Demonstrate and apply knowledge of major marine ecosystems and the forces that shape marine biodiversity.||Knowledgeable|
|3||Critically analyse and evaluate field data to investigate basic ecological patterns in coastal ecosystems.||
Creative and critical thinker
Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.
Enrolled in program SC523
Standard Grading (GRD)
|High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).|
Online quizzes will be available throughout the semester in class, whereby students can submit answers to questions and receive formative feedback on current understanding of the material.
|Delivery mode||Task No.||Assessment Product||Individual or Group||Weighting %||What is the duration / length?||When should I submit?||Where should I submit it?|
|All||1||Literature Review (or component)||Individual||40%||
max. 3000 words (excl. references)
|Week 5||Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check|
|All||2||Literature Review (or component)||Individual||40%||
max. 1500 words (excl. references) or 10 minutes
|Week 9||Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check|
20 minutes and fewer than 30 slides
|Week 12||Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check|
|All - Assessment Task 1:Ecological Concept Synthesis|
Students will be provided with publications that are considered to be of seminal influence for the discovery and development of a particular ecological theme in coastal and marine science. Under the course coordinator’s guidance, students will further identify additional literature to form a focused and up-to-date collection of literature pertaining to a particular field, question, or environmental issue. Based on this, students will create a concise summary of the literature that provides a penetrating and modern view of critical scientific developments, pivotal ecological processes, and challenges of a particular topic (Note: themes will generally be related to contemporary management and conservation challenges in the coastal and nearshore environments of the region and beyond)
|Product:||Literature Review (or component)|
The written synthesis will generally mimic a literature review published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the field of coastal and marine ecology (teaching staff will give you a few examples).
|All - Assessment Task 2:Fact Sheet or Video Vignette|
To produce a precis of an ecological process or structure. The precis will be educational and aimed at a broad audience. The coverage of the topic must be objective, and any conclusions drawn must be balanced and accurately reflect the ambit of information contained in the global, peer-reviewed literature.
|Product:||Literature Review (or component)|
Students can choose to produce a short video or write a more conventional fact-sheet. Irrespective of the format, the emphasis must be on a visually-attractive piece that conveys key messages effectively and accurately.
|All - Assessment Task 3:Seminar|
To create and deliver a talk (oral presentation) that sketches the key features and characteristics of an ecological structure/system/process. The presentation should be brief enough to keep the audience engaged whilst expansive and detailed enough to cover the aspects that are essential for an understanding of the key messages.
Whilst the ‘standard’ form of presentation that is widely used in science and business is a f2f talk, supported by a suite of PowerPoint slides, here we are flexible: we have catholic tastes when it comes to communication and the arts (check with the course coordinator first). Thus students are free to choose any format as long as it is practical, professional, and respectful. For formal talks, students should aim for a maximum duration of 20 minutes (shorter is better) and limit their supporting slides to fewer than 30.
A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.
Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.
Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation. It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline. This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.
Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person. You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.
In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin. This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.
Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying: The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4% The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct
There is a 1% penalty for every day a submission is late.
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