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Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 segments/36 weeks

Overview

As our amazing planet continues to change over time, it becomes increasingly apparent how human activity has made environmental impacts. In the marine science course, students will delve deep into Earth’s bodies of water and study geologic structures and how they impact the oceans. Students will investigate the characteristics of various populations, patterns of distribution of life in our aquatic systems, and ongoing changes occurring every day in our precious ecosystems.

Students will be amazed and enlightened at just how much our oceans and lakes affect climate, weather, and seasonal variations.  They will have the opportunity to explore the relationships among living organisms and see how they are affected by our oceans’ currents, tides, and waves. Hold on, it is one amazing journey.

This course is one of our Career Exploration offerings. During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media or with higher education platforms, colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Note: content varies depending on the course version. For currently enrolled students, please refer to the syllabus located in the course information area for curriculum specifics.

Course Requirements

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, VLACS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self-checks, multiple choice questions, writing assignments, projects, essays, labs, oral assessments, and discussions. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.

Major Topics and Concepts

 

Segment 1

  • Scientific Method
  • Writing a Hypothesis
  • Designing an Experiment
  • Properties of Water
  • Science of Navigation
  • Ocean Exploration
  • Rocky Shore Ecosystem
  • Introduction to Crustaceans
  • Ocean Zones
  • Sea Turtles (rehabilitation and migration)
  • Shrimp Industry
  • Sandy Beach Ecosystem
  • Beach Erosion Control
  • Marine Pollution
  • Introduction to Marine Phytoplankton
  • Organism Adaptations
  • Energy and Food Webs
  • Human Impact of the Marine Environment

 

Segment 2

  • Characteristics of Ocean Surface Currents
  • El Niño Southern Oscillation Phenomenon
  • Hurricane
  • Penguins and a study of their insulating properties
  • Antarctic (Research and Ecology)
  • Coral Reefs
  • History of the Aqualung
  • Exploring the Classes of Mollusks
  • Importance and characteristics of Estuaries
  • Mangrove Ecosystem
  • Nutrients in the Marine Environment
  • Exploring the Ocean’s Abyss
  • Causes of Waves and Tides
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Exploring the Classes of Fish
  • Marine Mammal Characteristics and Adaptations
  • Exploration of Kelp and its Importance
  • Keystone Species
  • The Destructive Practices in the Fishing Industry
  • Human Impact of the Marine Environment

 

 

Career

Maritime Archaeologist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Ocean Exploration: Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean exploration by analyzing and explaining early oceanic explorations including descriptions of significant discoveries.

Project

You are a Maritime Archaeologist, and you are reviewing a historical oceanic exploration to see if there is more you can discover today. You are going to look at the purpose of early oceanic explorations and significant discoveries made from them. You will do this to determine what further research you would like to conduct and if you should perform an underwater dig. You will present your findings detailing significant discoveries of the past, the purpose of early explorations, and the research you want to do.

Career

Harbor Master

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Oceanic Properties: Students will demonstrate an understanding of oceanic properties by observing and analyzing properties of water, including oceanic zones and the impact they have on each other and the organisms that live in each zone.

Project

You are a Harbor Master and you communicate with water traffic to ensure their safe and smooth entry to the port and dock. You are responsible for monitoring the waterway to ensure that it has a sufficient water depth for water vessels’ easy passage, as well as keeping the harbor traffic from creating any zone changes that might impact marine life. You will prepare a presentation for a meeting with an environmental group to demonstrate your understanding of the impact of properties of water and marine life in oceanic zones, marine life adaptations to these properties, and marine life interaction across oceanic zones.

Career

Hydrographic Surveyor

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Ocean Formation and Plate Tectonics: Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean formation and plate tectonics by researching and describing the theory of plate tectonics and connecting the theory to the formation of the oceans.

Project

You are a Hydrographic Surveyor working for a geological society that wants you to research the ocean floor to understand how the ocean floor formed over time. Your task is to research and uncover evidence of plate tectonics and illustrate the formation of an ocean feature. You will create a Report on your findings for your team.

Career

Climatologist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Climate and Weather: Students will demonstrate an understanding of climate and weather by examining the ocean’s impact on weather and climate, the connections between weather and climate, interactions between air and water, and the impact of these interactions on marine ecosystems.

Project

You are a Climatologist working on a presentation for a conference on Climate Research. For your presentation, you need to make a poster to provide insight into the relationship and difference between weather and climate. Your poster should show how both weather and climate impact marine ecosystems and how the ocean affects both weather and climate. Your poster will describe interactions between water and air and how currents affect weather. Your poster will be displayed at the conference, and as a climatologist, you will be standing alongside it to present to your audience.

Career

Park Aide

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Seasonal and Successional Changes: Students will demonstrate an understanding of seasonal and successional changes within marine ecosystems by analyzing the impacts of these changes on marine ecosystems and their effects on energy systems, and examining the effects of tides, waves, and currents on coastal dynamics.

Project

You are a Park Aide at Acadia National Park in Maine. You conduct tours and coordinate events about succession and seasonal changes in marine ecosystems. You need to create a tour guide script for your tour. The script will provide details about the impacts of changes that can affect energy systems within marine ecosystems. Your script will provide an understanding of the park visitors of the effects of tides, waves, and currents on coastal dynamics.

Career

Ecotourism Guide

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Biodiversity and Natural Selection: Students will demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity and natural selection by analyzing the interactions of organisms within an ecosystem and investigating a marine population’s habitat, health, and adaptations that lead to diversity over time.

Project

You are an Ecotourism Guide working on a tour to raise awareness on marine biodiversity. You provide tours to a variety of guest audiences from around the world! Your tour introduces guests to examples of marine biodiversity and natural selection. Your tour also provides insight into the interactions of organisms within an ecosystem, and a marine population’s habitat, health, and adaptations that lead to diversity over time. You will build your tour descriptions into an informative brochure that can be mailed to guests.

Career

Commercial Fisherman

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Ecosystems and Energy Exchange: Students will demonstrate an understanding of ecosystems and energy exchange by examining and explaining interactions between organisms within ecosystems, food webs, and food chains.

Project

You are a Commercial Fisherman on a fishing vessel, and you are making a training video for your team on how to process catches of fish and marine life. You will need to provide an informative marine catch training for your team of deckhand employees to follow when they sort through nets, and use equipment during sea catches. The marine catch training video will provide information to the team to show why some marine life in the catch nets will be returned to the ocean due to their importance to ecosystems and energy exchange. The training video will raise awareness of the newest members of the team about the interactions between marine organisms within ecosystems, food webs, and food chains.

Career

Environmental Impact Assessor

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Human Impact on Marine Life: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the human impact on marine life by researching and reflecting on the history of human impact on marine ecosystems, investigating the influence of the human impact, including the interrelationships between humans and the living and nonliving marine environment.

Project

You are an Environmental Impact Assessor. Your company is making a website about the impacts of an offshore wind farm. You will create a website mock-up to help the web design team. In your mock-up, you will describe the history and influence of human impact on marine ecosystem, and you will analyze the interrelationships between humans and the living and nonliving marine environment.

Career

Officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Conservation and the Future of the Ocean: Students will demonstrate an understanding of conservation and the future of the ocean by researching and examining marine conservations issues that impact the marine environment and providing examples of how we can protect our current and future ocean

Project

You are an officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You often write newsletters that provide information to policymakers. Your next newsletter will examine the marine conservation issues that impact the marine environment. You will investigate how we can protect the ocean, as well as the consequences of taking no protective action for the future ocean.

Credits 1

Competency Group Overview

Meets elective credit

Competencies

  • Ocean Properties
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean properties by describing the study of aquatic ecosystems, describing the abiotic and biotic factors of aquatic ecosystems, and explaining the properties of seawater.
  • Ocean and Atmosphere Interactions
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean and atmosphere interactions by describing the theory of plate tectonics and ocean formation, explaining the impacts of weather, explaining the impacts of climate, and explaining the relationship between ocean and atmosphere.
  • Ocean Movement
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean movement by explaining types of seasonal and successional change, describing elements of ocean energy, and describing coastline dynamics.
  • Ocean Life
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean life by explaining marine biodiversity and natural selection, describing characteristics of marine populations, and analyzing interactions within marine habitats.
  • Ocean Interactions
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of ocean interactions by describing connections between marine ecosystems and energy exchange, explaining relationships among marine organisms, and describing the human impact on the marine environment.
  • Conservation
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of conservation by explaining marine conservation issues, analyzing types of marine resources, and describing the protection of the ocean.

Pre-Requisites

None

Honors

Course: To complete the honors version of this offering, you must discuss this with your instructor during your welcome call.

Project/Experience: Honors is awarded by earning "Exceeds" on all rubric assessments.

Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.