Marine and Freshwater
Ecosystems Class            
Mr. DeMassa Room 158

My primary goal with my students is to instill in them a fascination and appreciation for the fabulously interesting, beautiful, and ever-changing, extraordinary world of Marine/Freshwater Biology.

Marine Biology Course Description
The beauty, mystery, and power of the sea fascinate people all over the world. For many students, taking a marine biology course is the natural expression of an interest in marine life that began through scuba diving, surfing, recreational fishing, aquarium keeping, or viewing the superb television documentaries.

This course will reinforce and enhance our enchantment with marine life while providing a rigorous introduction to marine biology as a science. This course will have a global, non-regional perspective to emphasize that the world’s oceans and seas and waterways are an integrated system that cannot be understood by looking in any one person’s own backyard. For many students this is a new perspective.
Four major themes run through Marine Biology, one being the coverage of basic science as applied to the marine environment. Another is an emphasis on the organisms themselves, and their vast diversity not only in taxonomic terms but also in structure, function, and ecology. A third theme is an ecosystem approach that integrates diversity of organisms with the challenges imposed by the surrounding environment, both physical and biological. A final theme that, for better or worse, becomes increasingly relevant with each passing year is the interaction of humans with the marine environment.

Students will learn using lectures, investigative laboratory experiments, reading, completing interactive activities with the internet and technology, and with reports and projects.

Part One: Principles of Marine Science
The Science of Marine Biology, the Sea Floor, Chemical and Physical Features of Seawater and the World Ocean
Part Two: Life in the Marine Environment
Some Basics of Biology, Microbial World, Multicellular Primary Producers: Seaweeds and Plants, Marine Animals without a Backbone, Marine Fishes, Marine Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals
Part Three: Structure and Function of Marine Ecosystems
An Introduction to Ecology, Between the Tides, Estuaries: Where Rivers Meet the Sea, Rivers, Life on the Continental Shelf, Coral Reefs, Life near the Surface, and The Ocean Depths
Part Four: Humans and the Sea
Resources from the Sea, and the Impact of Humans on the Marine Environment
 
Mr. DeMassa: 480-472-8063 twdemass@mpsaz.org


One of the keys to the success of our students is good communication (proper etiquette with emails/written messages and phone messages) between student, parent, teacher, and counselor. Our class webpage http://www.mpsaz.org/rmhs/staff/twdemassa/  is a great way to stay informed and up-to-date with assignments and responsibilities.

Materials Needed: 
•    Marine Biology Textbook
•    Composition Book or Spiral Notebook (Recommended Quad Ruled (Graph Paper))
•    3-Ring Binder (section for Biology)
•    Pens/Pencils/Highlighters
•    Glue Sticks
•    Colored Pencils
•    Assignment Calendar (this will be given to you in the first week)
  ****Have all materials out and be ready to work at the beginning of class; you do not want to miss anything important!  Being on time to class means that you are in your seat with materials out when the bell rings!!!
  ****A daily agenda will be posted on the overhead or board.  Prepare as directed.
************************************************************************************************
Written Work:
-Class notes will be done in “Cornell Note-taking” Format
-Quality work is completely finished, on time, to the best of your abilities!
-All work must be done neatly.  Work that is not legible or with “no name” will not be accepted.
-Late assignments will be awarded 50% credit and will be accepted for ONE  DAY ONLY!
-All assignments must be completely finished for full credit.  If you need help, ask!  “I do not know” is not an excuse for leaving anything blank!
-Always use “C.S.” (Complete Sentences) 
-COPYING OR PLAGIARISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.  (Zero Credit will be given.)
 
Grading:
-All class work, labs, projects, quizzes and tests will be given a point value.  Point values will vary depending on the amount of work involved.
-Grades will be updated weekly on the MPS Portal.  If you need an activation key, please stop by our registration desk.  Please let me know if you have any questions...email is the quickest and best form of communication.
-Letter grades are based on a percentage (%) of the total points.
-The “grading scale” is as follows:
 
90 – 100%    A
80 – 89%    B
70 – 79%    C
60 – 69%    D
Less than 59.5%    F
 
 
 
Participation/Attendance:
-A significant part of your grade in this class will come from your individual participation in class and collaborative work with others; therefore attendance is vital for your success in this class.
 

Absent/Make-up Work:
-It is your responsibility as the student to take care of missing work/tests immediately upon returning to class.  (General rule is 2 days for every 1 day absent to make-up missed work.)
-Labs and tests will be made up during lunch or after school.  (Students must make an appointment with me in order to make up their missed test or lab).
-Unexcused absences = NO credit
-10 absences = an audit.  You lose credit for the entire semester!  (District Policy)
 
Sweep Policy:
-Students that are “swept” and unable to attend class must see me immediately after school to turn in assignments due during the period spent in sweep and to pick up new homework assignments. If a test or quiz is missed, the student must make arrangements to make it up at this time.
-Failure to meet with me immediately after school will result in loss of credit on missed assignments, labs, quizzes and tests.
 
Rules for Success:
-Be on TIME!  (The door closes when the final bell rings and you need to be in your seat.)
-Have necessary materials each day; if you do not come prepared, you will not receive your points for being prepared in your notebook.
-Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed at any time during class.  If seen, they will be taken by the teacher and turned in to administration (School Policy)
-NO gum, candy, food, or drinks allowed in the classroom.
-Use Marine Biology class for Marine Biology work only!
-Class is dismissed by the teacher NOT by the bell.
-Red Mountain High School expectations will be upheld as outlined in the student handbook. Your behavior should be considerate of others and not disruptive or interfering in any way with the education of other students.

Environmental Contract:
Each student is responsible for his/her assigned lecture seat and laboratory area. Therefore, it is in each science student’s best interest to check his/her classroom seating and laboratory area for any marks, damage, defacement, or problems at his/her assigned seat when the student enters the classroom. Should any problem be discovered, the student is required to report it to the teacher immediately so that the offending student can be identified. Any destruction, damage or defacement of the science laboratory/classroom, equipment, or supplies will result in the student “required to pay restitution” to Red Mountain High School.

ABOVE ALL ELSE… RESPECT FOR THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT!
No student has the right to disrupt another person’s right or ability to learn!