Coastal Environments

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Coastal Environments

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Ecology, Environmental Studies, Oceanography

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Pre-requisites:
    1014SCG Statistics OR1003ENV Statistics OR 1003EAS Statistics OR 1203EAS Statistics OR 1605SCE Engineering Mathematics and Statistics AND 1042SCG Genetics and Evolutionary Biology OR 1602ENV Botany and Zoology OR 1602EAS Botany and Zoology Incompatible: 2804EAS Coastal Environments

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

    10
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course gives students a thorough grounding in the physical and biological processes occurring on the coastline and in near shore marine habitats, especially sandy beaches and rocky headlands, the habitats that dominate the south-eastern Australian coastline. Anthropogenic threats to these habitats will also be discussed. The course can be taken on its own or in conjunction with other marine biology courses as part of the Marine Biology major. Assessment involves an essay, laboratory report, an end-of-semester written examination and presentation of group project work.
    Course Introduction
    Australia is an island nation, and amongst the most "coastalised" of developed societies. Our coastline stretches for about 35,000 km, and more than 80% of the population lives with 50km of the coast. Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have been using this coastline and its resources continuously for over 50,000 years. Therefore, it is important that we develop the knowledge and tools to understand and manage our use of the coasts' intertidal and near-shore marine environments into the future.
    This course aims to provide the students an understanding of the structure and function of major intertidal and near-shore marine habitats, and the threats faced by them. The habitat types examined include sandy beaches, sand and mud flats, mangrove, saltmarsh and seagrass communities, rocky shores, nearshore continental shelf and coral reefs. We examine both physical and ecological processes and their influence on the plants and animals that live there.
    This course will lay the foundation for students who are interested in pursuing further training in marine biology. It is a core course for the marine biology major.
    Course Aims
    This course gives students a thorough grounding in the physical and biological processes occurring on the coastline and in nearshore marine habitats, especially sandy beaches and rocky headlands, the habitats that dominate the southeastern Australian coastline. The course aims to provide the students an understanding of the structure and function of major nearshore marine habitats, and the threats faced by them. Topics include the morphodynamics and fauna of sandy beaches, and ecology of invertebrates on rocky headlands. Processes such as sand deposition, wave action, and erosion are examined with regard to their influence on the plants and animals that live there. Important ecological as well as physical processes underpinning community structure and function will be discussed. The manipulative experimental approach of studying shore community structure and function will be emphasised throughout the course. Identification and ecology of the dominant plants and animals, and management of pollution and human activities, are also covered. The course can be taken on its own or in conjunction with other marine biology courses as part of the Marine Biology major.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 identify dominant plants and invertebrates of major nearshore marine habitats such as sandy beaches, sand and mud flats and rocky headlands
    2 have a working awareness of sampling and experimental methodologies for studying plants and animals of nearshore marine habitats
    3 have demonstrated experience in being able to conduct scientific research into practical topics, and in being able to present results scientifically
    4 have focussed in detail on a particular project topic in coastal ecology, and written about that topic in an authoritative manner
    5 have a thorough grounding in the many physical and ecological processes in nearshore coastal habitats such as sandy beaches, sand and mud flats and rocky headlands

    Assessment Task

    Weighting/Marked out of

    Assignment - Laboratory/Laboratory Report
    Field Trip Report(s)

    10%/10

    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Literature Review

    15%/15

    Presentation - technical or professional
    Group Research Project

    30%/30

    Exam - selected and constructed responses
    Final examination

    45%/45

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.