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MARINE ECOLOGY BEN304

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn to better manage the ecology of marine environments.

It's easy to enrol...

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Learn to:

  • Understand marine ecology
  • Manage marine environments

COURSE CONTENT

This course has ten lessons as follows:

1. Scope and Nature of Marine Ecology 

  • Introduction
  • Different Marine Ecosystems
  • Coral Reefs
  • Types of Coral Reef - fringing reefs, atolls, barrier reefs
  • Purpose of a Coral Reef
  • Rocky Shore
  • Kelp Forest
  • Seagrass meadow
  • Mangrove
  • Estuary
  • Salt Marsh
  • Tundras
  • Open Ocean
  • Deep Ocean

2. Biodiversity of Marine Environments

  • Measuring Biodiversity
  • Why Biodiversity Matters - species richness, genetic diversity
  • Marine Protists and Plant Life
  • Bony Fish
  • Sharks and Rays
  • Whales
  • Microscopic Invertebrates
  • Worms and Worm Like Animals
  • Corals and their Relatives
  • Molluscs and Echinoderms
  • Microbe - bacteria, fungi, marine viruses
  • Microbial Loop
  • Carbon Cycling and Dissolved Organic Carbon
  • Biodiversity in a Reef
  • Food Webs
  • Declining Biodiversity

3. Environmental Factors of Marine Environments

  • Introduction
  • Types of Water - sea, fresh, brackish
  • Oceanography
  • Oceanic circulation
  • Longitudinal Circulation
  • Southern Oscillation (El Nino, La Nina Effect)
  • Ocean Gyres
  • Ocean Zones
  • Pelagic Zone
  • Abiotic Factors - light, temperature, salinity, density, dissolved gases
  • Climate

4. Climate Change & Other Anthropogenic Pressures

  • How humans create Biodiversity Threats
  • Agricultural Runoff (into estuaries)
  • Fresh water Pollutants - sediments, agricultural chemicals, other
  • Salinity Changes
  • Oil Spills
  • Disturbed Food Chains
  • Overfishing
  • Climate Change
  • Ocean Warming and Sea Levels
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Testing pH
  • Coral Bleaching

5. Restoration of Natural Marine Ecosystems

  • Microplastics
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Eutrophication
  • Erosion
  • Flood Prevention
  • Restoring Coral Reefs
  • Coral Reef Threats- agricultural runoff, seaweed/kelp, sand, sunscreen, climate change, predators.
  • Restoration through Coral Transplantation
  • Restoration through Micro fragmentation
  • Coral Nurseries
  • Planting out Corals and Substrates
  • Regeneration using Natural Reed Beds to Purify Waste Water

6. Managing Threatened Species (Practical and Regulatory Approaches) 

  • Introduction to Invasive Species
  • Managing Invasive Species
  • Population Surveys and Monitoring
  • Census of Marine Life
  • Managing a Threatened Species via Conservation Practices
  • Conservation of Threatened Species
  • Where to Start
  • Conservation of Habitat
  • Ecological Gap Analysis
  • Reference Sites
  • Breeding Programs
  • Keystone Species
  • Predators
  • Ecosystem Engineers
  • Mutualists
  • Intervention Types - Regulation
  • Case Study 

7. Managing Fisheries in Marine Ecosystems 

  • Introduction
  • Case Study - Overfishing Orange Roughy
  • Stock Identity
  • Stock Assessment
  • Stock Biomass
  • Stock Management Methods
  • General Techniques for Managing Fisheries - habitat restoration/closure, seasonal closure, closed waters, protected Statius, Limits, Catch Quotas, Fishing
  • methods. Licences/Permits, Education Programs, Aquaculture
  • Responding to human Food Needs
  • Aquaculture/ Mariculture
  • Extensive Production Mariculture
  • Intensive Production Mariculture
  • Classification of Systems
  • Disease Management for Fisheries

8. Marine Resources and Sustainability 

  • What is a Marine Protected Area
  • How are MPA's Used
  • The AICHI Biodiversity Targets
  • Marine Protected Area Agency Partnership
  • International Guidelines for Designating and Managing MPA's
  • Designating an MPA
  • Field Work
  • Analysis of Existing Resources
  • Conservation and Monitoring of MPAs
  • Working Outside Marine Protected Areas
  • Sustainable Development
  • Preserving Environments
  • Pollution Prevention

9. Technology 

  • Introduction
  • Platforms in Oceanography
  • Ocean Robots and ROV's
  • Satellites 
  • Biodiversity
  • Other Devices
  • Digital Photography
  • High Tech Tagging
  • Biotech - DNA Barcoding and Phylogenetic Analysis
  • Microarray 
  • SNP array
  • Removal of Ocean Debris and Human Waste
  • Broad Considerations in Marine Research

10. Data in Marine Management

  • Introduction 
  • Ethics in Data
  • Principles of Measurement
  • Variables
  • Measurement Scales
  • Measurement Error
  • Bias and Consistency
  • Making Observations
  • Developing skills in observation
  • Samples and Sampling
  • Choosing a basic method of sampling
  • Using Statistics to Analyse Probability
  • Probability Parameters
  • P-Values
  • Statistics show Relationship
  • Knowing what to Ask about Data - Question types

 

WHY DO WE NEED TO MANAGE MARINE ENVIRONMENTS?

Marine environments may have largely looked after themselves for millenia, but the activities of man have increasingly threatened their stability and sustainability.

Significant man made risks to marine environments include:

  • Agricultural runoff 
  • Oil spills
  • Salinity changes
  • Overpopulation (as seen in fish farming)
  • Overfishing, overexploitation, and bycatch
  • Increase in invasive species
  • Climate change
  • Pollution 
 
Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!