Teaching Overview

FIU Biology Department

FIU Marine Biology

last updated: March 29, 2007

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General Course Information

OCB 4996C - Oceanography at Sea II is a 3-credit combined lecture/lab course intended to introduce majors of Marine Biology (and Biology, if places are available) to the specificities of working at sea. This course entails participation in a 6-10 days research cruise on the Florida Institute of Oceanography's research vessel Suncoaster. Students will experience first hand how it is to live and work on a research vessel. They will experience working on an ever moving platform, scheduling sampling around the clock and working in shifts, living in confined spaces with limited privacy inherent to any ship. More information on the research vessel Suncoaster can be found on this Internet link.

This course satisfies an upper division elective requirement for the Marine Biology B.Sc. degree.

Time and Location: The course will comprise a student teaching/reseach cruise from May 6 - May 13, 2007. In addition, students will meet for a cruise planning meeting, will participate in sample and data analysis after the cruise, and will meet for a final meeting at the end of the summer A term.

The student teaching/research cruise 2007 will be on the R/V Suncoaster. We will leave Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale, in the early evening of May 6 and will return to Port Everglades in the afternoon of May 13. All students need to meet at FIU/BBC, Marine Sciences building, for loading equipment into the Marine Biology truck by 10:00 a.m.. Therefore, all students need to schedule to be at the university at this time. Students also must participate in unloading the ship upon return to port on May 13. Please allocate sufficient time.

Students will also meet for a cruise planning meeting on May 4, 2007, 10:00 a.m. in MS 150. During this meeting, we will discuss: general cruise plan; scientific programs to be followed and sampled during the cruise; equipment needed for our scientific program; scheduling and planning of shipboard work; safety regulations and precautions; personal living conditions aboard the ship (i.e. what to bring, what to wear, and what better not to do).

After the cruise, students will participate in sample analysis and data compilation. Lab work, in collaboration with the instructor or graduate students in the faculty's research lab, will be scheduled according to personnel availability and specific needs of sample analyses. Aside the participation in the cruise, students are expected to participate in sample and data analysis to write up a cruise report (for specific sub-projects of the cruise). All students will meet for a final meeting towards the end of the summer A term, which will be scheduled in consultation among all cruise participants. During the final meeting, students will present their cruise report as a short oral presentation and participate in a written final course examination. Written cruise reports will be distributed to all participants.

Enrollment in this course requires instructor permission numbers. Students need to apply by email. For summer 2007, 7-8 undergraduate students can be admitted to the course/cruise (total science personnel aboard = 12). Successful completion of OCB 3043 "Marine Biology & Oceanography" or special recommendation is prerequisite for this course. If more students than available spaces apply, grades in OCB 3043 and special recommendations will be considered to choose cruise participants. Selected students will receive an instructor's course permission number to their registered FIU email account, which students can use to enroll.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of OCB 3043 Marine Biology & Oceanography, BSC 1010 General Biology I, BSC 1011 General Biology II; physical ability to swim and to work at sea; medical fitness to remain at sea for an extended, uninterrupted period of time.

Textbook: No textbook is required for this course.

Course Expectations and Grades: Students are expected to participate actively in the pre-cruise planning meeting, the teaching/research cruise, and post-cruise sample and data analysis. Students are expected to write up a cruise report on their specific, assigned research topic, which will count towards their final grade. This cruise report can be prepared in student groups, with every involved student receiving the same grade. Students (or groups) are expected to present their cruise report as a 10 minutes PowerPoint presentation during the final course meeting. Students will take a written final exam during the final course meeting.

Course grades will be computed from: Participation and performance at sea (20%); written cruise report (40%); cruise report presentation (10%); final exam (30%).