Marine Life: Marine Organisms and Their Environments


Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Taught by

oceanography, marine biology
marine science, zoology, ecophysiology


At least two quarters of college chemistry with labs, two quarters of college biological sciences with labs, and ability to work easily with numbers and equations.

This program focuses on marine life, the sea as a habitat, relationships between the organisms and the physical/chemical properties of their environments, and their adaptations to those environments. Students will study marine organisms, elements of biological, chemical and physical oceanography, field sampling methods with associated statistics and laboratory techniques. Throughout the program, students will focus on the identification of marine organisms and aspects of the ecology of selected species. Physiological adaptations to diverse marine environments will be also be emphasized. We will study physical features of marine waters, nutrients, biological productivity and regional topics in marine science. Concepts will be applied via faculty-designed labs/fieldwork and student-designed research projects. Data analysis will be facilitated through the use of Excel spreadsheets and elementary statistics. Seminars will analyze appropriate primary literature on topics from lectures and research projects.

The faculty will facilitate identification of student research projects, which may range from studies of trace metals in local organisms and sediments to ecological investigations of local estuarine animals. Students will design their research projects during winter quarter and write a research proposal that will undergo class-wide peer review. The research projects will then be carried out during spring quarter. The culmination of this research will take the form of written papers and oral presentations of the studen't work during the last week of spring quarter.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

marine science, environmental science and other life sciences.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Required Fees

Winter $310 for an overnight field trip to San Juan Island; Spring $140 for an overnight field trip to the Olympic Peninsula.

Upper Division Science Credit

All credit will be designated upper-division science for those students successfully completing all the coursework demonstrating the ability to apply quantitative methods (e.g. statistics), critically evaluate the scientific primary literature and design/complete research.


Date Revision
February 10th, 2014 Spring fee has increased from $85 to $140.
October 23rd, 2013 Erik Thuesen is replacing Trisha Towanda as faculty.
June 3rd, 2013 Trish Towanda has joined the faculty team.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 20093

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Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 30073
Jr - Sr (1-16 credits): 30715

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