Marine Biology and Oceanography
     Courses at Pierce College

 
 

                            WEEKDAY SEMESTER COURSES

SEE BELOW FOR WEEKEND AND SUMMER STUDY COURSES
AND SUMMER COURSE TO BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES

Marine Biology (Biology 121 - 3 credits)  Course homepage
    A comprehensive course that introduces students to the marine organisms, from microbes to whales, the myriad marine communities and the effects of man's activities on the oceans.

Laboratory and Field Studies in Marine Biology (Biology 122 - 2 credits)  Course homepage
    The laboratory studies introduce students to the biology of plankton, marine plants, invertebrates, fishes and marine mammals.  The strong field emphasis includes oceanographic sampling cruises on the CSU research vessel, R/V Yellowfin and field studies of the rocky intertidal, coastal wetland and kelp forest communities of Southern California.  Additionally students are introduced to marine environmental monitoring and the commercial fisheries of Los Angeles.

Introduction to Oceanography  (Oceanography 1 - 3 credits)
    Introduces the student to the general field of oceanography, including a study of the features of the sea floor, the chemical and physical properties of sea water, currents, tides, waves and their effects on marine organisms.  Special reference is made to the Southern California environment and problems of man and the sea.

Physical Oceanography Laboratory  (Oceanography 10 - 2 credits)
    Offers an opportunity to learn skills and techniques of the oceanographer through laboratory, beach and dockside field work, and cruises aboard a research vessel.  Includes the study of nautical charts, instrumentation, and oceanographic processes such as sedimentation, effects of winds, currents, tides, and determination of water quality.
 

    FIELD STUDY - TWO WEEKEND MEETINGS

(STUDENTS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS CAN REGISTER AT PIERCE
FOR THESE
CLASSES PRIOR TO THE COURSE START DATE
CONTACT DR WELLS FOR ADD SLIP)

Biology 11A, B and C are UC transferrable and together satisfy the
CSU laboratory credit requirement.

Marine Ecology: The Kelp Forest Community of Catalina Island (Biology 11A)
    This specialized two-day class is an introduction to the ecology of kelp forests.  It  is especially useful to teachers, scuba divers and others interested in understanding what they see in kelp forests.  The campus meeting is from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, in Center for the Sciences (CFS) 91008. There is an introductor lecture covering the concepts of community ecology and kelp forest ecology along with a discussion of logistics, rental equipment and questions. An online assignment is done during the week in course guides purchased at the meeting. The second meeting is a day-long snorkeling trip to Catalina Island aboard the Dive Charter Bottom Scratcher - a comfortable 80 foot dive boat.  Three hot meals are provided - starting with breakfasat. Students have the opportunity to dive in a number of locations near the Isthmus area of Catalina Island.  Wetsuits and necessary shorkeling gear can be rented locally for around $20, the course guide is $10.  More information on equipment is provided at the first meeting on campus.  Homepage for Biology 11A

Marine Ecology - the Marine Biology of the Rocky Intertidal Community of the Punta Banda, Baja California - International Studies (Biology 11B) - Taught Fall semesters
    A study of the of the invertebrates, fishes, plants of several rocky intertidal communities around this unique area of Baja just south of Ensenada.  A half-day lecture and laboratory session on campus is followed two weekends later by a two day field study in Mexico.  Students are expected to arrive at the accommodations in Mexico on Friday evening for an orientation.  All day Saturday and half of Sunday is spent exploring the local intertidal communities.  Accommodations in Mexico at the Estero Beach Hotel are arranged by a travel contractor at a cost of approximately $135 per person.  The fee  includes two nights at the hotel. Food and transportation are the responsibility of the participants.   Homepage for Biology 11B

Marine Ecology - the Marine Biology of the Wetlands of the Punta Banda, Baja California - International Studies (Biology 11C) - Taught Spring semesters
    A study of the of the invertebrates, fishes, plants and birds of the wetlands, marshes and sand spit communities of this unique area of Baja just south of Ensenada.  A half-day lecture and laboratory session on campus is followed two weekends later by a two day field study in Mexico.  Students are expected to arrive at the accommodations in Mexico on Friday evening for an orientation.  All day Saturday and half of Sunday is spent exploring the marsh, mudflat and fine sand beach communities.  Accommodations in Mexico at the Estero Beach Hotel are arranged by a travel contractor at a cost of approximately $130 per person.  The fee  includes two nights at the hotel. Food and transportation are the responsibility of the participants.   Homepage for Biology 11C

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                     FIELD STUDY - SUMMER 2016

Biology 123: Marine Biology of the Gulf of California in Bahia de los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico.
    A two week field course to Bahia de los Angeles.  This course focuses on the marine biology of the central Gulf of California - or Sea of Cortez.  The Bahia de los Angeles region has long been recognized by marine biologists for its tremendous diversity of tropical and temperate species.  The emerald bay with its many islands and coves is met in dramatic contrast by the biologically diverse desert.  It is well know for its beauty and unique combination of whales, dolphins, sea lions, tropical fishes and invertebrates.  Most of the field study is by snorkeling off the many islands in warm tropical water.  The field study and lectures cover general concepts in marine biology, island habitats, the unique communities of the region, fish and invertebrate behavior, and the ecology of seabirds and marine mammals.  In addition some aspects of the archeology and local fisheries are discussed.

    The class stays at the marine biology station "Estacion del Mar de Cortez" situated on the shore of the bay.  While at the station lodging, food and small boats are provided.  A hotel stay on the trip down is  included.

    Summer session, dates July 16 - July 29, 2016.  See the Biology 123 link and contact Dr. Wells for more information.