EOSC 315 (3 cr): The Ocean Ecosystem

EOSC 315

Mode of Delivery

This is a print-based, correspondence course.

Course Description

Student Profile

Ian Law, 4th year Commerce student

Ian Law

“With the professor, we were able to discuss class topics and issues through email.”

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This course introduces students to life in the oceans. It will explore ocean evolution, primary producers and their links to the environment.

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 functionings of Earth’s ocean environment. This course is suitable for the non-science student who wants a survey of the marine ecosystem.

Students need not 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.

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 7 lessons:

  • Lesson 1 – Basic biology
  • Lesson 2 – Plants: the Primary Producers of the Oceans
  • Lesson 3 – Animals of the Oceans
  • Lesson 4 – Marine Communities
  • Lesson 5 – Fisheries Oceanography
  • Lesson 6 – Other Living Marine Resources
  • Lesson 7 – Global Issues


There are four assignments in the course, which are worth 60 percent of the final grade. The final exam is worth the other 40 percent of your mark.

Course Materials

a. EOSC 315 Learner’s Package, available for purchase from the UBC Bookstore:

The Learner’s Package includes the Course Manual and Information Package (time-sensitive information). The course manual serves as the core for content and instruction. Each Lesson includes a set of questions that students use to assess their understanding of the concepts presented. The 4 required Graded Assignments appear at the end of Lessons 2, 4, 6, and 7. These are to be submitted to the Instructor for marking.

b. Required Textbook, available for purchase from the UBC Bookstore:

Castro, P. and M.E. Huber, 2007. Marine Biology, 7th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 460 pp. ISBN 9780077221249

Two copies of this textbook are available in WOODWARD LIBRARY stacks. No Call number assigned.

c. Students are highly encouraged to 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.

EOSC315 Textbook Order Form

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