Syllabus for Marine Biology/Oceanography

Each week (or set of weeks) includes a topic in both marine biology and  oceanography. In addition to weekly assignments/labs, etc, there are two major  projects per semester, plus a final project. Students will keep a combination notebook/lab book for written assignments and lab work, which should contain only high-quality work. There are no tests.

Week 1: Intro to Oceanography/ tides, waves, and currents
Weeks 2, 3: Intro to Marine Biology/ocean chemistry
Weeks 4, 5: Algae/Ocean temperatures
Week 6: Marine plants/Light and color

Week 7: (project week)

Week 8: Porifera/Ocean geography
Weeks 9, 10: Cnidaria and Ctenophora/coral reefs
Week 11: Marine worms/the deep ocean
Week 12: Bryozoa/continental shelves
Weeks 13, 14: Mollusca/beaches

Week 15: (project week)

***Shell collection due!***

Christmas break

Weeks 16, 17:Arthropoda/arctic and antarctic
Weeks 18, 19: Echinodermata/littoral zone/tide pools
Weeks 20: Tunicates/the fouling community

Week 21: (project week)

Weeks 22-24: Fish/the open ocean
Weeks 25, 26: Marine reptiles/marine exploration
Weeks  27, 28: Birds/marine archeology

Week 29: (project week)

Weeks 30, 31 : Marine mammals/ocean accoustics
Weeks 32,33:marine wetlands/careers in oceanography and marine biology
Weeks 34-36: (final project work)



  1. Great plans–I’m particularly interested in reading more about project week.

  2. Thank you so much for laying all this out for me, I love it!

  3. This is wonderful, Theresa!

  4. Theresa, I am long past high-school age but I LOVE this idea of y’all’s. I’ll be visiting and checking out what you do.

    Don’t miss Loree Griffin Burns book “Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion.” Fascinating kids’ book–would work fine for older kids like your Superboy.

    • Thanks, Susan! Please feel free to chime in at any time with additional suggestions of books to go along, especially since I know we will have at least a few younger siblings tagging along on this journey, too.

  5. Looks like fun, Theresa. Makes me wish I had older kids.

    I do have a picture book suggestion for younger siblings, since you’re collecting them: “What the Sea Saw” by Stephanie St. Pierre and Beverly Doyle. I wrote a review for my blog here. We love this beautiful book.

  6. I would love to follow along…we don’t have ocean access but lived on an island for a few years and hopefully some of the heaps of hands on stuff we did there will come back. But my daughter wants this to be her main study this year. Do you think we could some how follow along but create some other hands on projects?

    We have begun reading The Sea Around Us right now and it seems like a good ‘living book’ for a study of marine biology.

  7. Theresa, this is great. Kind of wishing we had an ocean. 😉

    I would love to hear some time about the process you went through in creating this course. My oldest wants to study evolutionary biology this year and I am having a tough time finding good resources… everything assumes that religion and science are in a fight and mutually exclusive. :-/ And I don’t like textbooks either.

    • Angel, You might want to take a look at this site: Understanding Evolution It’s a pretty good resource.

  8. Yay! You got it up! Is Scuba going to be slotted into one of the project weeks perhaps? I see you’ve got coral slotted for Oct. The water is still lovely then and Dd was just talking about diving with SB the other day.

    PS – Tracking Trash is shelved in the KW Graphic Novel section for some unknown reason.

    • Yes, Jennifer, I believe scuba will be the very first project for us!SB is itching to try it out and also to take Hal up on the offer of spearfishing.

  9. O.O This….is….AWESOME!!!! I can’t wait to start!! (wow, did I just say that out loud?) LOL.

    • LOL! Yes, you did! I am so glad you like it! And to tell you the truth I can’t wait to start, either!

  10. This is exactly what my daughter has asked me to do this year. She is 13 is she old enough?

    • Yes! My son will be 14 next month, and I know at least one 12 yo who will be joining us as well!Let me know if you decide to join us and I’ll add you to the blogroll!

  11. It’s looking so good T, Violet and I are gearing up for an Aug 10th start :)))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: