Rio Logo Marine Biology
Rio Salado College | BIO145 34416 Fall 2013
Instructor: Thomas DeMassa
Office Hours: 
Contact Information: 
Credits: 4.0

Official Course Description

A survey of marine environments and their biotic communities with emphasis on the natural history of marine organisms. Prerequisites: Biology SC49 and Chemitry SC71 or SC72.

Official Course Competencies

  1. Describe how scientists study the oceans. (I)
  2. Compare and contrast the geological, physical, and chemical aspects of the ocean environment. (II)
  3. Distinguish between types of geological features in the ocean environment. (II)
  4. Relate the mode of action of tides, waves, and currents to the effects they have on topographical features. (II)
  5. List the properties of seawater and explain how seawater is a complex solution. (II)
  6. Describe the relationships between the biotic and abiotic portions of selected marine environments. (III)
  7. Distinguish between conformers, regulators, and selectors by their means of surviving environmental extremes. (III)
  8. Describe what happens to marine organisms when abiotic factors in their environment fluctuate. (III)
  9. Relate the distribution of a marine species to its range of toleration and the presence of abiotic gradients in the world's oceans. (III)
  10. Compare and contrast the various methods used by marine organisms to acquire food. (III)
  11. Identify the ways in which a particular marine organism defends itself against predators. (III)
  12. Explain the fundamental differences between asexual and sexual reproduction and how each is suited to particular environment conditions. (III)
  13. Describe examples of competition and coexistence in the ocean. (III)
  14. Compare and contrast the three types of symbiotic relationships. (III)
  15. Distinguish between colonies and individuals and describe the advantages of each of these modes of life. (III)
  16. Apply unifying theories of biology to classify organisms. (IV)
  17. Produce phylogenic trees and taxonomic keys for groups of selected marine organisms. (IV)
  18. Identify the general types of microscopic marine organisms. (IV)
  19. Categorize the major groups of marine plants using biochemical, structural, and ecological criteria. (IV)
  20. Distinguish between examples of the major invertebrate groups. (IV)
  21. Relate the structure of marine fish to their ability to live in their environment. (IV)
  22. Describe the life cycle of the sea turtle. (IV)
  23. Compare and contrast the ways of life of major types of marine birds. (IV)
  24. Explain how marine mammals are readapted to life in the ocean. (IV)
  25. Contrast the adaptations of toothed and balleen whales. (IV)
  26. Describe how organisms interact with their environments as individuals, populations, and species. (V)
  27. Identify adaptations of marine organisms and describe how they promote the success of the organisms. (V)
  28. Analyze the structure of a marine community utilizing data collected by modern methods.(V)
  29. Draw a food web diagram for marine community. (V)
  30. Predict the outcome of ecological succession in a marine community. (V)
  31. Identify the processes which occur in successful ecological systems. (V)
  32. Compare and contrast pelagic and benthic environments. (V)
  33. Identify the special problems met by marine organisms in a variety of marine ecosystems. (V)
  34. Describe the biotic and abiotic portions of several important marine ecosystems. (V)
  35. Explain how humans are having an effect upon marine environments. (V)
  36. Describe how humans presently utilize the oceans and their plans for future use. (V)
  37. Explain how new international agreements are regulating the use of the ocean in ways that are beneficial to all. (V)

Required Course Materials

There are no required items for this course.

Standards And Expectations

This dual enrollment college course is intended for high school students at the junior and senior level

Course Requirements

SC49 and SC71 or SC72

Grading Standards:

-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 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
** Must have a 60% Test average to pass the course

Attendance Standards:

-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.

Late/Missed Work Policy:

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).

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.hool. (Students must make an appointment with me in order to make up their missed test or lab).

Equipment Use Policies:

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.

Syllabus Acknowledgement

Please sign below to acknowledge you have read and understand the policies for Bio 145 through Rio Salado:

Signature:                                                                            Date:                                                            

Extra Credit Policy:

Extra Credit is not available for this class. It is the belief of Rio Salado College that all work done for a class should receive regular credit and is more than sufficient to assess the understanding of material presented in the course. 

Plagiarism Warning:

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or sharing of term papers or other academic materials. Information gathered from the Internet and not properly identified is also considered plagiarism. We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work. Any student whose work indicates a violation of the MCCCD Academic Misconduct Policy (including cheating and plagiarism) can expect sanctions as specified in the college catalog (2.3.11), or online at the following site: 

Rio Salado College uses software that uncovers plagiarism from student to student and other data sources on the Internet. If a student is found to have plagiarized content, grade consequences will be applied in accordance with departmental policies. 

Civility Policy:

The faculty of Rio Salado place a high value on the importance of general ethical standards of academic behavior and expect that communication between students and instructors or among students shall maintain the level of formality and mutual respect appropriate to any college teaching/learning situation. Language or behavior that is rude, abusive, profane, disruptive, or threatening will not be tolerated. Activity of this type is Academic Misconduct as defined in MCCCD Policy AR 2.3.11. Students engaging in such behavior will be removed from the course with a failing grade. Additional sanctions may be applied pursuant to AR 2.3.11. 

Refund Policy:

Refunds are not automatic. Students who drop courses within the refund period are eligible for a reimbursement of appropriate tuition and fees. Please see the refund policy online for deadlines and details. 

Disability Statement:

Rio Salado College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Notify Disability Services and Resources and your instructor of any special needs. Contact Disability Services and Resources at (480) 517-8562. 

Tuition Assistance is available to students enrolled in a Rio Salado College dual enrollment course who demonstrate financial need. Please refer to: 

The student is responsible for the information outlined in the syllabus. The student is also responsible for knowing the Rio Salado College policies in the college catalog and the student handbook. Please refer to: 

Course content and syllabus may vary from the course calendar listed above in order to meet the needs of the particular group in this course section.

Time Requirement

You will need to dedicate significant time to this college course. For each credit hour, plan to spend at least two hours a week on homework in addition to class presentation time.