This course is a survey of multiple techniques used in marine field science. Coursework will consist of academic discussions and field work designed to introduce students to the methodologies and equipment commonly used for marine field research, especially those involving coral reefs. It will also introduce the principles of statistical analyses and how to carry out many of the most useful statistical tests. During this course, students will craft a scientific question, generate a hypothesis to test, and conduct a small-scale study using one or a combination of techniques. They will analyze data from the study and then draft, review, refine, and present their findings to their peers. Students will collect data for a larger study on coral reef biodiversity using multiple approaches, focusing mainly on video transects and associated collection methods, to contribute to a larger dataset on Curaçaoan reef health.
- Practice field-based marine ecosystem survey methods and techniques, especially those for coral reefs, with an emphasis on transects
- Develop knowledge of statistical analyses used in biological and ecological sciences
- Learn about coral reef ecology and the common threats, both natural and anthropogenic, to reefs of the Caribbean and specifically Curaçao
- Gain exposure to conservation efforts being implemented to restore coral reef systems in Curaçao and worldwide