Marine Biology (saylor.org)

Marine Biology (saylor.org)
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Have completed the following prerequisite courses and labs in “The Core Program” of the Biology discipline: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology; Introduction to Molecular and Cellu Lab; Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Ecology and Lab.
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Marine Biology (saylor.org)
Marine Biology is the study of ocean life. As you might expect, life in salt water is vastly different from life in a terrestrial or freshwater environment due to factors like salinity, water circulation, and atmospheric pressure. How, for example, can organisms living in salt water avoid dehydration? How do organisms living in the depths of the ocean handle the immense pressure? How do the environmental factors in marine communities affect biodiversity? How do some animals manage to alternate between the demands of terrestrial life and the demands of marine life? In this course, you will learn the answers to these questions and more. This course will touch on a number of different subfields of biological study (including biochemistry, physiology, zoology, botany, and ecology) within the context of the ocean environment.

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Please note: this legacy course does not offer a certificate and may contain broken links and outdated information. Although archived, it is open for learning without registration or enrollment.

You will start by learning about the ocean itself and its physical properties, as these properties influence the abundance, distribution, diversity, physiology, and behavior of marine organisms. You will also learn about the specific environmental challenges facing marine life as well as the physiological and behavioral adaptations that have resulted from these challenges. You will then learn about the life cycles of marine organisms—what they eat and how they reproduce—before examining in some depth a number of the most common taxa of marine species. Once you have a sense of the biodiversity of oceanic life, you will be able to examine the interrelationships between species in different marine communities. The course will conclude with a look at current research in marine biology.

This course will prepare you for further study within the field of Marine Biology, but students planning to pursue other subfields will also find this course of use in terms of learning how alternative environments affect life.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

- Compare and contrast ocean and terrestrial environments, and describe the properties of the marine environment that are associated with specific marine adaptations.

- List the members of marine food webs and, based on descriptions of specific species, identify their roles within food webs and the effects of changes in their abundance on overall food-web dynamics.

- Describe the difference between various life-history types (e.g. gonochoristic species vs. sex changers vs. simultaneous hermaphrodites; complex vs. simple life history), and identify the physiological and ecological conditions under which certain life-history traits are considered to be advantageous over others.

- List and identify phyla/species of marine organisms, and describe their taxonomic relationships and the fundamental characteristics of their groups.

- Distinguish between different marine zones in terms of their biotic and abiotic characteristics and the factors that affect their communities.

- Design a marine-protected area based on the organisms or region in need of protection.

- Explain the major types, causes, and effects of marine threats such as pollution, overfishing, global warming and ocean acidification, and invasive species, as well as describe the consequences of these threats for marine communities and organisms.

- Analyze current research in marine biology, evaluating the interpretation and results of these experiments.



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MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Free Course
Have completed the following prerequisite courses and labs in “The Core Program” of the Biology discipline: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology; Introduction to Molecular and Cellu Lab; Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Ecology and Lab.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.