Marine Ecology Field Research Methods

Students apply internationally recognized field research methods in an inquiry-driven approach to understanding tropical marine ecosystems. The course focuses on training students in field observation, data collection, record keeping, and data analysis in order to study coral reef, seagrass and mangrove communities. During the course, students conduct fieldwork using SCUBA and are involved in ongoing research projects in collaboration with the Bonaire National Marine Park. Equipment commonly used includes: compasses, transect lines, quadrats, underwater video cameras, fish survey T-bars, writing slates, benthic corers, light meters and secchi disks. Students will become familiar with photographic equipment, underwater housings, and image software. In addition to this, students learn to organize, test, and evaluate data sets and present their findings. While the course introduces students to research diving knowledge and techniques with broad applications, it focuses on using scuba research techniques to better understand coral reef, seagrass and mangrove communities. Contact hours: 45. Recommended Credit: 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours. Instructors: dr. Franziska ElmerĀ and Zac Kohl, ms

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