Coral Reef Biology, Ecology and Sustainability

Course code MARI3410Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

Coral reefs are ecologically diverse an extremely complex habitats, supporting thousands of marine species, and are considered to be the richest and most complex of all marine ecosystems. This course will examine the biological, ecological and sustainability aspects of coral reefs in order to gain a better understanding of this complex and unique environment. The students will not only gain knowledge of the corals and the reef-building process, but also a better understanding and appreciation of the numerous other marine organisms that affect and are associated with the reef and their overall role in the reef ecosystem. This course will be particularly beneficial to those students pursuing careers in Marine Science, Environmental Science and/or Sustainable Resource Management.

This course is not to be counted for credit with MARI2410,Coral Reef Experiences

The field component of this course, at Hideaway Island, Vanuatu, requires a significant up-front fee, not covered by HECS. This may vary with each offering of the course, so interested students should contact the course coordinator (see above) for more information.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Workplace Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory course component in the course outline provided by the school.

Available in 2014

OurimbahSemester 2
Previously offered in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will be expected to:

1. demonstrate an understanding of the geological history of coral reefs,
2. demonstrate an understanding of the processes and marine organisms associated with coral reef formation,
3. demonstrate an understanding and an appreciation of the complex ecology of coral reefs and sustainability issues relating to the coral reefs and surrounding village communities
4. identify the common flora and fauna associated with coral reefs,
5. demonstrate an understanding of the dangerous marine organisms associated with coral reefs,
6. apply gained knowledge from the course towards small research projects and reports on various aspects of coral reefs,
7. develop an appreciation of the complexities of coral reefs and how man's activities influence these processes.

On successful completion of this course, students will also gain skills in:
1. determining the appropriate steps for OH&S issues for field studies such as this one on a coral reef island,
2. identifying the dangerous marine organisms associated with coral reefs,
3. carrying out appropriate preventative and / or first aid procedures regarding dangerous marine organisms associated with coral reefs,
4. the use of flora and fauna keys for the identification of coral reef organisms,
ContentThe course will be carried out over a three week period and will be divided into two parts:
Part 1 the lecture and information component lasting two weeks and will take place at the Ourimbah Campus and Part 2 the practical component lasting one week, and will take place at Hideaway Island in Vanuatu.

Part 1 (2 weeks at Ourimbah Campus):

- General background on coral reefs
- Reef building and non-reef building organisms
- Coral reef ecology
- General familiarization and identification of coral reef organisms
- Dangerous marine organisms & prevention and first aid
- Issues relating to the sustainablity of coral reefs and surrounding village communities

Part 2: (1 week at Hideaway Island, Vanuatu):

The practical component of the course will be set up for the student to complete several reef-related projects during the time allotted for the practical session. These projects are both ongoing reef research projects, as well as a project chosen by the student.
Some examples of student chosen projects are:
- Dangerous marine organisms,
- Sea Turtles on Coral Reefs,
- Coral Reef Plants,
- The exposed Reef Flat Ecosystem,
- The Submerged Reef Flat Ecosystem,
- The Shallow Sublittoral Ecosystem, The Deep Sublittoral Ecosystm,
- Invertebrates of Coral Reefs,
- Fish of Coral Reefs,
- Sharks and Rays of Coral Reefs,
- Reef-building Corals,
- Non-reef Building Corals of Coral Reefs
- sustainablity of coral reefs and surrounding village communities
Replacing Course(s)This course will be replacing MARI2330 Marine Floral Ecology.
TransitionN/A
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeBIOL1040, BIOL1050 and MARI2300.
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Lecture
Laboratory
Practical
Seminar
Assessment Items
Examination: ClassFinal examination is held in class.
Laboratory ExercisesComprising of contract-learning modules to complete.
Quiz - Class
ReportsA selected reef organism to be reported on and discussed briefly to increase the student's understanding of reef organisms that are part of the coral reef ecosystem.
Contact HoursLecture: for 21 hour(s) per Term for 2 weeks
Field Study: for 72 hour(s) per Term for 2 weeks
Laboratory: for 28 hour(s) per Term for 2 weeks
Seminar: for 7 hour(s) per Week for 1 weeks
Compulsory Components
Compulsory Course ComponentWHS-Safety Induction or Risk Assessment. Compulsory Course Component: In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction.
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for MARI3410