Coastal Marine Ecology Syllabus


Because we will be spending significant amounts of time in the field, it is important that you are dressed appropriately to stay comfortable. Be prepared for rain and cold weather, but hope for sunny skies; anything can happen during summer in Maine. You will need footwear that can be used in wet, slippery, muddy intertidal habitats. Cheap rubber boots are what I wear. Old tennis shoes or tevas also work if your feet don’t get too cold.  If you’d like to go for a dip, bring a swimsuit; we will provide snorkel gear if desired.  I will have a number of marine biology texts and articles available for you to look at and use, but I do not emphasize reading for this course. There is no required text. There are field guides available for purchase at the Dorr Natural History Museum on campus.  Bring whatever you will need for taking notes in the classroom and in the field. There will be the opportunity to make drawings of what you see, and I encourage you to bring along your favorite drawing materials if you like (again, not required, so don’t stress out if you feel you’re no artist). Many participants bring along a digital camera to document their experiences. A calculator will also be helpful for some of the data analysis. If you have any questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email me at


Day/Date    Time                Lectures, discussions, and activities_____                

Monday        8 AM – 1PM   Course Introduction
July 15                                  field trip, Otter Cliffs     10:09 EDT 0.56 ‘ Low Tide
                                                    Intertidal environment: physical factors;
biological patterns
                          2 – 4 PM         Plankton communities; larval ecology
                                                    Plankton tow at dock (optional snorkel);
plankton lab

Tuesday       8 AM – 1PM   Adaptations of intertidal organisms
July 16                                  field trip, Anemone Cave  10:58 EDT 0.67’ Low Tide
                         2 – 4 PM          Intertidal organisms, lab ID, us of keys and guides
                                                    Lab time with critters: observation and drawing

Wednesday 8AM – 1PM    Ecological methods: quantifying biological patterns
July 17                                  field trip, Wonderland       11:54 EDT 0.74’ Low Tide
                         2 – 4 PM          Statistics; analyze class data from Wonderland

Thursday     8 – 12 PM    Diver Ed trip
July 18       1 – 4 PM        Hands on work with marine organisms:
                                                  lab experiments

Friday            8– 11 AM     Fishes; ecology, anatomy and fish-printing
July 19      12 – 4 PM      field trip, Otter Cliffs revisited  13:57 EDT 0.49’ Low Tide


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