EOSC 315 (3 cr): The Ocean Ecosystem – Jan 2011

EOSC 315

Please note: This course outline applies to the online version of EOSC 315. The course is offered online starting January 2011.

Course Description

This course introduces students to life in the oceans. It will explore life in the ocean and show the interconnectivity between all the different organisms from the smallest phytoplankton to the largest of the whales and the types of ecosystems they inhabit.

Not for credit in the Faculties of Science or Applied Science. No background in science or mathematics is required.

Intended Student

This course will be of interest to those who want to broaden their understanding about the biological organisms and interactions of the Earth’s ocean environment. This course is suitable for the non-science student who wants a survey of the marine ecosystem.

Students do not need to have any previous scientific background. The course is generally not open to first year students. This course provides a 3-credit senior science elective that may fulfill certain Arts degree program requirements. EOSC 314 The Ocean Environment is a companion course that is not a prerequisite.

Course Objectives

  • To introduce the science of biological oceanography.
  • To demonstrate how various elements of the living marine environment interrelate and are part of the complex system we know as the worlds’ oceans.
  • To increase awareness about human impact on the marine environment.
  • To provide basic tools for understanding the marine biological environment and the role it plays in our lives.

Course Content Overview

The course is divided into 6 lessons:

  • Lesson 1 – Basics of the Ocean System
  • Lesson 2 – Members of the Ocean Realm
  • Lesson 3 – Near Shore Communities
  • Lesson 4 – Epipelagic Communities
  • Lesson 5 – Deep Sea Communities
  • Lesson 6 – Global Issues


Six Lesson quizzes (one per lesson): 60 %
Invigilated Final Exam: 40 %
Total: 100 %

In addition, you must PASS THE FINAL EXAMINATION with an exam mark of at least 50 %.

Course Materials

  1. Course Notes available online on EOSC 315 Course web site.
  2. Required Textbook, available for purchase from the UBC Bookstore:
    Castro, P. and M.E. Huber, 2010. Marine Biology, 8th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 480 pp.
    Two copies of this textbook are available in WOODWARD LIBRARY stacks. No Call number assigned.

Students must access the EOSC 315 WebCT Vista course web site where students can view announcements and course-related information, submit assignments and receive feedback from the instructor, and participate in class discussions on content.

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