Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci 16U - Coastal Habitats of Central California: Course Detail

(2 unit - approx. 54 hrs. min.)

Catalog Description: Biological & ecological survey of the special features of the California coast between Monterey (Big Sur Area) and Point Reyes National Seashore. Local ecological communities will be observed, identifying coastal plants, animals, geology and emphasizing the interrelationships characteristic of coastal environments. Environments studied includes: Sandy beach and dune, tidepool and mudflat, redwood and closed-cone pine forest, inner coast mountains (oak woodland, evergreen forest), grasslands and scrub, etc.. Areas will be contrasted with other coastal regions. Human impacts and living styles will be view as to the effects on the natural environments.

(typical class outline might include:)

Specific Topics:

Man's influence - living at the coast, contrasts between areas; High impact camping - Big Sur State Park; Plant communities and coastal mountains; Tidepools of the Monterey area (& south) - different species.

General Concepts and Topics to be emphasized:

Life - Processes and definition; Nature of Science and Scientific Thought; ; Enzymes and life energy utilization; Alternation of generations - life cycles; Asexual reproduction - special methods; Development - embryonic forms (larva); Meiosis and sexual reproduction; Ecology - Ecosystem structure & function; Biotic environmental factors; Production of Aquatic ecosystems; Biogeochemical cycles - oxygen & phosphorus; Geological processes - plate tectonics, beach, shore; Variation in Aquatic Environments; Ocean currents, upwelling, importance of light; Solar Radiation and filtration; Estuaries (currents, composition, life forms); Secondary succession, establishment of climax; Seasonal cycles - aquatic environments; Population growth rates; Speciation-processes, species concept, diversification; Environmental Ethics, resources (oil pollution); Parks and Wilderness system

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