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Marine Ecology of the Olympic Peninsula


 

Marine Ecology of the Olympic Peninsula

 N635 SN-031

Peninsula College

Spring Quarter, 2005

 

 

Course Syllabus

 

Instructor:  A. Coke Smith                 

Phone:  (360) 565-0151/565-1593

Class Dates and Time:  04/12/05 to 06/07/05, Wednesdays, 3:30PM to 5:30PM

 

Our incredible Olympic Peninsula is packed full of seemingly endless varieties of habitats ranging from the moist temperate rainforests to the high sub-alpine. Perhaps one of the least observed and understood of all of our ecosystems is our marine habitats. Join expert naturalist, Coke Smith, for a series of discussions on the habitats and the numerous species of the Olympic marine intertidal communities. This course will also offer three field trips to local wildlife-viewing hotspots where we will have unique opportunities to observe the amazing biodiversity and ecological interactions on our peninsula.

 

Course Schedule

 

Apr 12: Introductions, Syllabus

 Marine Ecosystems – general overview

Factors in Ecosystems- Tides, Waves, Habitat

 

April 19:  Crash Course in Nomenclature and Classification

Critter Survey from the Simple to the Complex

 Plankton – Zooplankton and Phytoplankton

 Phylum Porifera (sponges) and the “Minor Phyla”

                                   

Apr 26: Cnidaria (Jellies and kin!), Worm Phyla, Mollusks!

 

Apr 29:  Field Trip #1!  Today the class will meet at Salt Creek County Park (more specifically Tongue Point) to investigate the coastal ecology of the north Olympic Peninsula during a nice -1.6 tide.  We will meet promptly at 9:00AM to be sure to enjoy the low tide at its peak at 9:09AM.  Be sure to dress accordingly – good gripping shoes (rubber boots or waders are even better!).  You will most likely get wet so a change of clothes would be advised as well.  We will start at the lowest point of the tide pools and work our way back with the tides.

 

May 03:Echinoderms (sea stars and kin), chordates (higher critters from tunicates to fish to birds to marine mammals).

 

May 10: This class will not meet during the normal, Wednesday meeting time. 

 

May 17: This class will not meet during the normal, Wednesday meeting time. 

 

May 24:  Catch up day!  Today we will be discussing any of the groups that we have not had time to cover completely. 

 

May 28: Field Trip #2!  Today the class will meet at Salt Creek County Park (more specifically Tongue Point) to investigate the coastal ecology of the north Olympic Peninsula during a nice -2.2 tide.  We will meet promptly at 9:00AM to be sure to enjoy the low tide at its peak at 9:20AM.  Be sure to dress accordingly – good gripping shoes (rubber boots or waders are even better!).  You will most likely get wet so a change of clothes would be advised as well.  We will start at the lowest point of the tide pools and work our way back with the tides. This day will provide us a peek at some critters and habitats we were not able to see on our previous excursion.

 

May 31: This class will not meet during the normal, Wednesday meeting time. 

 

June 07: This class will meet at the parking lot of the Three Crabs Restaurant located near the Dungeness Spit.  Here we will investigate tidal flats habitats as well as the avian fauna that comprise our marine ecosystems on the Olympic Peninsula.  We won’t be getting as wet as the other days out in the field, but do dress for winds and chill.  Definitely bring your binoculars or a spotting scope!  We will meet at Three Crabs at 3:30 PM.

                                   

                 

 

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