Course Syllabus

Honors Marine Science

Spring 2017

Kara Thompson

Contact Information:

Extra Help is available most mornings from 7:15 to 7:45, or afternoons by appointment

Marine science is designed to give a challenging and in-depth study of marine biology, marine ecology and the impact of humans on the marine environment. 

Prerequisites include: Biology 1 Honors/CDM, Earth Science Honors and a Physical Science Course

Course Expectations:

  • Develop the understanding and knowledge of the nature of science, its unifying concepts and connections to other disciplines
  • Develop natural curiosity and inquiry skills
  • Develop critical thinking and communication skills
  • Develop the ability to reflect on personal learning experiences and assess development as a learner
  • Demonstrate advanced proficiency and concept mastery of marine science topics
  • Develop global content knowledge and skills necessary for successful completion of college and university work

These will be achieved through:

  • Displaying a constructive and optimistic learning attitude
  • Continuous collaboration with students and teacher
  • Daily participation in classroom discussions and activities
  • Designing and completing laboratory investigations and dissections and research projects that address ocean literacy questions and concepts
  • Reading analyzing and reporting on key scientific discoveries and recent research in science

My expectations:

  • Work to accomplish the expectations listed above
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Participate in discussions
  • Come prepared for class, labs, tests, and activities
  • Use and develop critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Have high expectations of me! If I am doing something that does not help you learn, talk to me about it!
  • Make learning your responsibility – I cannot force you to learn but I can help you with the content of this course.

I will do my best to provide a positive environment so that you can be successful and learn.  I am excited to begin this learning experience with you!


Course Outline:

            ** Subject to change as needed to accommodate every learner

Part one:

Overview, history, geology, chemistry, and physics of marine science

Part two:

Bacteria and plankton; plants and seaweed

Marine invertebrate zoology

Fish part I and part II

Marine reptiles, birds, and mammals

Part three:

            Marine mammals (continued)

            Coral reef ecology

            Benthic environments

            Review and final exam

Course Grading:

            Each graded assignment will have a specific point value (for example, a 100 question test might be worth 100 points or a 30 question quiz might be worth 50 points).  To calculate your grade on the assignment you would do the following:

            Total points earned / total points possible = Your Grade

** No credit will be given for plagiarism (school policy will be followed), shared work, or assisting others in completing individual assignments.

To help prevent plagiarism work will be completed in a variety of ways and submitted in a variety of ways as well. 

Absence Policy:

            When a student has a lawful absence, per MRSH policy, two days will be allowed for each day absent, for students to have ample time to make up missed work.  The student is responsible for obtaining those missed assignments.  If you do not make arrangements to make up work, no credit will be given for those assignments.

Late work:

            Late work will be accepted with a 20% deduction for the first day and 10% deduction for each day thereafter.  It is important to me that you are learning the material, but it is equally important that you demonstrate responsibility and complete and return the assignments.

Classroom Rules:

  • Be in class on time, with materials needed and ready to learn when the bell rings
  • Raise a hand when you want to make a comment or ask a question
  • Do not interrupt others while they are learning
  • Follow all verbal, written, and laboratory instructions
  • Follow school rules, regulations, and policies of MRHS and UCPS
  • Not following these rules will result in a warning, and if behavior continues, parents will be notified and consequences as set by the school will occur

Laboratory Rules:

  • No food or drink in the laboratory area
  • Closed toe shoes must be worn during certain lab activities. This will be communicated in advance.
  • Long hair, ties, loose clothing must be tied back or secured while working in the lab. Any loose jewelry must be removed.
  • Always read labels and directions before using any items in the lab. If labels or directions are unclear or confusing, ask!
  • Always wear safety goggles, lab aprons and gloves when necessary in the lab. 10 points will be deducted from your grade each time you are not wearing your safety equipment.
  • Always clean your work area and wash your hands when the lab is complete. 20 points will be deducted for failure to do this.

Material needed for this class:

  • Pens/pencils, paper and Chromebook
  • A notebook or three ring binder to hold notes and classwork/papers
  • Gloves for dissecting (specimens are preserved in Carosafer solution)—choose gloves made without latex
  • Wish list --- Tissues, wet ones or wipes for lab tables after labs

Course Summary:

Date Details