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BIOL 497B

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Biological Oceanography

PSU 497B, Section 001

Fall 2014

Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:15-5:30 pm, 218 Thomas

Dr. Mónica Medina – mum55@psu.edu

Office hours: by appointment

 

COURSE OVERVIEW

This course is an introduction to different aspects of ocean sciences that deal with living beings.

 

COURSE GOALS

Students will understand and integrate concepts in oceanography with the biology of marine organisms

Students will study and discuss journal club articles

Students will continue to develop their ability to give scientific oral presentations

Students will continue to develop their ability to write scientific papers

Students will learn to write a scientific blog

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Synthesize relevant material from textbook, classroom and primary literature to understand current topics in biological oceanography

Review articles from the primary literature, summarize research findings, and present to the rest of the class.

Locate and cite relevant primary literature on specific topics

Prepare scientific presentations that report on methods and approaches used to carry research in biological oceanography.

Write clear and concise scientific reports with appropriate primary literature citations and no grammatical errors.

Write about scientific findings for the layperson using online dissemination media.

 

BOOK

Biological Oceanography. An Introduction. Second Edition. Carol M. Lalli & Timothy Parsons. The Open University. ISBN 978-0-7506-3384-0.

 

Course Schedule

 

Wk.

Date

Topic

Reading

1

Tu, Jan 13

Introduction

Chap 1

 

Th, Jan 15

History of oceanography

Chap 1

2

Tu, Jan 20

Abiotic environment

Chap 2

 

Th, Jan 22

Abiotic environment

Chap 2

3

Tu, Jan 27

Origin of Earth & Oceans* (Bishoy Kamel)

 

 

Th, Jan 29

Phytoplankton

Chap 3

4

Tu, Feb 3

Phytoplankton

Chap 3

 

Th, Feb 5

Review

 

5

Tu, Feb 10

First exam

 

 

Th, Feb 12

Zooplankton

Chap 4

6

Tu, Feb 17

Zooplankton

Chap 4

 

Th, Feb 19

Benthic communities

Chap 7,8

7

Tu, Feb 24

Ann Budd’s seminar – Mueller 8

 

 

Tu, Feb 26

Benthic communities

Chap 8

8

Tu, Mar 3

Review

 

 

Th, Mar 5

Second exam

 

 

Tu, Mar 10

Spring Break

 

 

Th, Mar 12

Spring Break

 

9

Tu, Mar 17

Environmental gradients* (Dr. Carlos Prada)

Chap 8

 

Th, Mar 19

Energy flow and mineral cycling

Chap 5

10

Tu, Mar 24

Nekton and fisheries

Chap 6

 

Th, Mar 26

Nekton and fisheries

Chap 6

11

Tu, Mar 31

Human impacts on marine biota

Chap 9

 

Th, Apr 2

Human impacts on marine biota

Chap 9

12

Tu, Apr 7

Current topics in biological oceanography* (Dr. Chuck Fisher)

 

 

Th, Apr 9

Review

 

13

Tu, Apr 14

Third exam

 

 

Th, Apr 16

Current topics in biological oceanography

 

14

Tu, Apr 21

Student presentations

 

 

Th, Apr 23

Student presentations

 

15

Tu, Apr 28

Student presentations

 

 

Tu, Apr 30

Student presentations

 

 

 

 

 

*guest lecturer

 

Assignments

Topic

Dates

Points

 

 

 

3 Midterm Exams

Feb 10, Mar 5, Apr 14

300

Quizzes

Weekly

100

Final Exam

TBD

400

Participation

Weekly

150

Ann Budd’s seminar

February 24th

50

Oral presentation

Topic selection: Jan 27th

200

Final Report

Apr 30

200

Blog

Until Apr 30

100

 

Total Class Points: 1500

 

 

Grading Breakdown

 

Points

Grade

92%

A

90%

A-

87%

B+

82%

B

80%

B-

77%

C+

70%

C

60%

D

<60%

F

Exams

You will have 3 in class exams that will include class and textbook content. Exams will include multiple choice and open essay questions. There will be no make up exams. If you miss an exam you will get the average of the two other tests, but you will need to provide a medical excuse for missing the test.
The final exam will be comprehensive.

Quizzes

You will have weekly short minute quizzes on course/textbook content.

Class Participation

We will have weekly discussions on current literature in the topic being covered in class to supplement the textbook material. You will be expected to report on an article of choice from the primary literature. Some of the sessions will be in debate format.
Journal Club: We will have 4 journal clubs. On Jan 22nd (abiotic factors) & Feb 17th (zooplankton) we will read from 5 articles that I will post on the subject and discuss them in class. On Feb 3rd (phytoplankton) & Feb 26th (benthic communities) each student will read an article on the topic listed in the syllabus and will give a brief description (~2 minutes) of what the article was about.
Debates: On Mar 26th (Nekton & Fisheries) and Apr 2 (Human impacts on marine microbiota) the classroom will be divided in 4-6 groups and debate on 2-3 relevant subjects on the topic in the syllabus. We will choose together the final subjects from a list proposed by all.

Oral presentation

Teams of 2 students will choose a topic in biological oceanography and report to the class. Online resources can be used for images but any conceptual framework needs to come from the peer reviewed scientific literature. You will have 12-15 minutes for your presentation with 5 additional minutes for questions. There will be time for updates and class input on your topic throughout the semester. You need to decide your topic by Tuesday January 27th.

Final Report

Your team report should be 3,000 words in length (citations excluded).  Please provide at least 10 citations from the peer review literature. Due on April 30th.

Blog

You will be expected to write a blog on your oral presentation topic. Details on blogging will be discussed in class. Blogs of outstanding quality may be published on the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Ocean Portal or No Bones websites and receive extra credit (50 points).

Academic Integrity

Unless specifically directed otherwise, all assignments must be completed without assistance from others, except for guidance from Dr. Medina and/or guest instructors, and must represent your own work.
For further information: PSU's Academic Integrity Policy
PSU’s Code of Conduct addresses personal conduct issues for students and their interface with the law, including harassment, sexual misconduct, drugs, alcohol, forgery, and misrepresentations of person.  See point 10 for academic integrity.
Our College, the Eberly College of Science (ECoS) has also adopted a “Code of Mutual Respect and Cooperation”.

Students with disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site.
In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines). If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.