MAST 311
Marine Ecology Spring 2022 (also offered Fall 2021)
Division III
Cross-listed MAST 311 / BIOL 231

Class Details

We have explored only a fraction of the ocean, with about 10% of marine species classified and 20% of the ocean mapped. Many discoveries remain to be made, and marine ecology is one technique to uncover new insights. The field of marine ecology, rooted in the theory of evolution, describes the mechanisms and processes that drive the diversity, abundance, and distribution of marine organisms. The goal is to document natural patterns and make predictions about how species will respond to environmental changes by investigating the relationship between the abiotic environment and biotic interactions. This course will take a deep dive into the unique challenges to life in the ocean. You will compare and contrast different marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and the deep sea. You will also practice a marine ecologist’s skillset as you design, carry out, and analyze your own research project, which will improve your scientific writing, data analysis, and communication skills. Importantly, you will connect your research and course topics to larger marine conservation issues and broader societal impacts.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory; including coastal and near-shore field trips, 10 days offshore, and a laboratory or field research project
Limit: 16
Expected: 12
Class#: 3759
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two tests, a research project, and a presentation
Prerequisites: BIOL 101 or GEOS/MAST 104, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: none
Unit Notes: This course is only offered through the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program located in Mystic, CT. satisfies the distribution requirement for the Biology major.
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MAST 311 Division III BIOL 231 Division III
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives
EVST Living Systems Courses
EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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