Marine Environments: Organisms and the Ocean

Winter 2022
Spring 2022
Junior - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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This program focuses on marine organisms, the sea as a habitat, the relationships between the organisms, and the physical/chemical properties of their environments and their adaptations to those environments. Students will study the biology and ecology of marine organisms, and physical and chemical oceanographic concepts as they apply to those organisms. The program will offer students the opportunity to refine their field sampling skills and associated statistics and laboratory techniques. Throughout the program, students will focus on the identification of major groups of marine organisms, key aspects of the ecology of selected species and marine habitats, and develop their understanding of contemporary impacts on the marine habitat. Physiological adaptations to diverse marine environments and the evolutionary history of life from the sea will be also be emphasized.

We will study physical features of marine waters, nutrients, biological productivity, and regional topics in marine science. Concepts will be applied in faculty-designed experiments and student-designed research projects both in the lab and in the field. Data analysis will be facilitated through the use of Excel spreadsheets and elementary statistics. Seminars will analyze appropriate primary literature on topics from lectures and research projects.

Winter quarter will emphasize laboratory techniques and fundamental principles. Spring quarter will emphasize the application of techniques and principles to research projects as well as guide students in the appropriate collection, analysis and reporting of their own project results.

The faculty will facilitate identification of student research projects, which may range from studies of water quality to ecological investigations of local estuarine animals. Students will design their research projects during winter quarter and write a research proposal that will undergo class-wide peer review. The research projects will then be carried out during spring quarter and, at the end of spring quarter, students will document their work in written research papers and oral presentations.



At least two quarters of college chemistry with labs, two quarters of college biological sciences with lab or fieldwork, and ability to work easily with numbers and equations (precalculus or equivalent).”

Winter 2022 Registration
Spring 2022 Registration

Academic details

Preparatory For

marine science, environmental science, and other life sciences

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$500 in winter for an overnight field trip to Friday Harbor Laboratories. Fee includes all lodging, food, and transportation. 

Upper Division Science Credit

Upper division science credit may be awarded upon successful completion of all program requirements and sufficient demonstration of upper division level work. Standard level credit will be awarded for completion of work below the expectations of Upper Division work.

Credit will be awarded in Marine Biology, Biological Oceanography, independent research, and scientific methodology (which would include statistics and data analysis).

Research Opportunities

Spring quarter will include a required independent group research project. Research projects will be locally-based scientific research on marine environmental study questions developed and designed by students.


In Person or Remote
In Person (W)
In Person (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule