High School

AL Marine Research

Note: This class does not meet during the normal school day.

Students who are selected after applying for this unique class will meet for approximately 15 two-hour evening meetings at school during the second semester to complete the necessary training to complete a marine survey of school’s selected reef system during a 10-day trip aboard ship immediately following the end of school. Students will be trained as PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water divers in preparation for the study. Those students who already have dive training may progress to higher levels. Students will then be trained to take longitudinal scientific data on the school’s selected reef system by recognizing and recording 16 global and eight regional indicator organisms that serve as specific measures of human impacts on coral reefs. These indicators include a broad spectrum of fish, invertebrates and plants that indicate human activities such as fishing, collection or pollution. Working in teams, the students’ study will be based on over 30 measures of environmental and socio-economic conditions and ratings of human impacts, a measure of the percentage of the seabed covered by different substrate types, invertebrate counts, and fish counts along four, 20m x 5m belts along the transect. After the survey, the collected data is entered into a global database for use by scientists worldwide and may be published in scientific journals. Students will be expected to produce a scientific poster or paper of the year’s data collection as a final product of their research.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: Basic swim proficiency

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