Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BI 142
Course Title:
Habitats: Marine Biology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines marine environment and the ecology, physiology, and morphology of marine plants and animals, emphasizing Oregon. Laboratory focuses on identification and environmental testing. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

1. Fieldwork Statement

Fieldwork is a professional competence in many areas of Biology. Standard field practices include measurements of abiotic and biotic components. Fieldwork includes use of all the senses to make observations in natural and built environments. Field training may include developing skills in site characterization, measurement and data collection, application of key terms and concepts, species identification, and observation. Certain protocols may require use of equipment, chemicals, and expensive gear. Field training is experiential often leading to unique sets of observations/data in particular locations. Fieldwork may include inherent risks (uneven terrain, off-trail work with map & compass, variable weather, insects, environmental irritants, travel, stress, etc.). Fieldwork can be physically challenging and may require overland travel on foot or unusual means to field points, carrying field equipment (as well as food, water, and safety equipment), taking measurements under duress (learning new protocols, requiring remaining in an unusual posture or position for a length of time, timing pressures for certain procedures, holding organisms, variable weather, etc.), survival skills, orienteering, and so on.

2. Evolution Statement

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Biology Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.

  1. Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
  2. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).

Biology instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

A student will collaboratively and independently:
A. Use basic ecosystem principles, identify and understand the biology of various marine phyla to characterize marine habitats.
B. Use scientific techniques to quantitatively describe parameters of marine habitats and understand the relationship of physical parameters to distribution of
C. Use an understanding of research, laboratory and/or field experiences to organize data to illustrate and articulate basic ecological principles.
D. Use critical thinking to evaluate human impacts on marine ecosystems and consider how local consumer and policy decisions can be
informed by an understanding of the interconnectedness of marine habitats and the critical relationship of the sea to human cultures.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Essay and multiple choice exams
  2. Maintain a detailed field and laboratory notebook
  3. Weekly applications of laboratory and field experiences
  4. Self-assessment of group dynamics

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes:

  1. Biodiversity of marine ecosystems
  2. Energy relationships and environmental systems
  3. Fundamentals of ecology
  4. Land and ocean interactions, and atmospheric and marine interactions
  5. Structure and function in marine organisms
  6. Human Impacts

Process Skills (Competency skills):

  1. Read
  2. Write
  3. Apply scientific method
  4. Lab techniques and equipment
    1. Dissection
    2. Use of taxonomic keys
    3. Structure and function within and between taxa
  5. Locating and accessing information
  6. Think critically
  7. Collaborate with peers -- Work effectively within groups
  8. Present conclusions logically