An introduction to the basics of marine science and conservation, brought to you with the help of sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and many more of the most compelling creatures in the ocean.
Week 1. Getting Started
- Welcome to Marine Megafauna - some basic introductions are in order!
- Cracking the code: How to read a PLOS ONE journal article. Students will learn how to approach reading a PLOS ONE article.
- Ocean Basics. Students will learn the basics about the ocean(s).
- Origins of Marine Megafauna. Students will learn the evolutionary origins of the major groups of megafauna that live in the sea.
Week 2. Introductions to Marine Megafauna - Diversity and Taxonomy I
- Introduction to Sea Turtles. Students will learn basics about sea turtle diversity, biology and ecology.
- Introduction to Seabirds. Students will learn basics about seabird diversity and ecology with a focus on colonial living.
- Introduction to Penguins. Students will learn basics about penguin biology and ecology.
Week 3. Introductions to Marine Megafauna - Diversity and Taxonomy II
- Introduction to Marine Mammals. Students will learn basics about diversity of marine mammals.
- Introduction to Large Fishes. Students will learn basics about diversity, biology and ecology of large fishes.
- Introduction to Marine Mega-Invertebrates. Students will learn basics about mega-invertebrate diversity and ecology.
Week 4. Adaptations to life in the ocean I
- Ecophysiology of large marine animals. Students will learn about physiological challenges posed by living in the ocean: thermoregulation, pressure, osmoregualtion and more.
- Functional morphology and diving physiology. Students will learn about adaptations that allow animals to move efficiently and dive.
- Movements, migrations, and behaviors. Students learn about movements of animals in the ocean - vertical migrations, latitudinal trips and ontogentic descents.
Week 5. Adaptations to life in the ocean II
- Foraging and Feeding in the sea. Students learn about how animals forage and feed in the ocean.
- Bioenergetics and the challenges of ocean living. Students learn about energy flow in individuals and populations.
- Trophic ecology/foraging theory. Students learn about trophic structures and the complexity of marine food webs.
- Life history and reproductive strategies. Student learn basics of life history and reproductive approaches in marine animals
Week 6. Oceanography and Deep Sea Biology - Robots and Subs
- Oceanography techniques. How we study ocean currents and water properties.
- Deep sea biology and ecology. An introduction to the ecology of deep sea systems.
- Chemosynthetic life in the ocean. How life exists without light.
- ROVs, AUVs, Ocean Gliders and manned submarines. An introduction of the use of robots and subs to study marine systems.
Week 7. Marine Conservation I
- What is marine conservation biology? A description of conservation and how conservation conflicts proceed.
- The role of individuals and science in conservation. An overview of how individuals shaped the terrestrial conservation movement and how science fits into the overall process of sustaining marine resources.
- Marine Acoustic Ecology. Introduces students to ocean acoustics and why sound is so important to animals in the sea.
- Anthropogenic noise. Provide an overview of the most pressing issues in marine bioacoustics: seismic, shipping, sonar.
Week 8. Marine Conservation II
- Seals, Fisheries and coastal conflicts. Provides an overview of the classic marine predator problem in marine systems - the recovery of pinnipeds from persecution/exploitation and how that may affect coastal communities.
- Bycatch. Students learn about bycatch and how it affects marine systems.
- Whales and whaling conflicts. Students learn about historical commercial whaling and the current conflicts surrounding it.
- Climate change. Students learn about the basics of climate change and how it affects marine species.
- David Johnston - Division of Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment
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