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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: SCIN206 Course ID: 4019 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course covers key principles and topics in oceanography and marine biology. It is focused on applied problems; it will use problems involving the basic biology of organisms, taxonomy, marine ecosystems, pollution, fisheries, aquaculture and sustainable marine resources to investigate topics in marine biology. (Prerequisites: SCIN130 or BIOL134)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following course objectives:

CO-1 Apply key terms, theories, models, and concepts of marine biology to current environmental parameters.

CO-2 Analyze interconnections among organisms of the oceans with each other and with the marine environment.

CO-3 Explain appropriate principles, theories, and models to solve specific practical problems in marine biology.

CO-4 Evaluate published information on various marine species and ecosystems.

CO-5 Interpret population and species data for specific marine organisms.

CO-6 Apply the current standard taxonomic system of classification to marine species.

CO-7 Evaluate how human activities impact the interactions of environmental factors in marine ecosystems.

CO-8 Assess potential for the future of sustainable fisheries and mariculture.


Forums are the heart of this course’s learning experience. Each week the student has to answer a question posed by the instructor in a well-research, well-thought-out, and well-written response AND respond to two classmate’s and/or your Instructor’s post. The weekly forums are graded for content and for grammar and spelling.


The eight worksheets in SCIN206 use a combination of multiple-choice and essay questions to allow the student to demonstrate knowledge gained from reading and research activities in SCIN206. Course resources, independent internet searches, imagination, and common sense will be required for students to interpret what they have learned from the activities. To find the worksheets in the electronic classroom, click on ASSIGNMENTS, then click on WORKSHEETS. A list of the eight worksheets will appear.


The eight assignments are short essays dealing with the major themes of the week. They require the student to synthesize information from the textbook, independent internet sources, imagination, and common sense. Most weeks offer the student a choice between two questions.


SCIN206 has a midterm exam which covers the material in weeks and labs 1 through 4, at the end of week 4 and a final exam, which covers the materials in weeks 5 through 8, at the end of week 8. Exams will be activated at the start of weeks 4 and 8, respectively, and will be due by 11:55 PM Eastern Time on the Sunday that ends weeks 4 and 8, respectively.

Research Project

Once students have begun their study of topics in marine biology they are to formulate a research project around a specific marine species that is currently harvested/utilized by humans. They are to research this species and write a research report that details and includes the following aspects of their chosen species: name of the species (both common and scientific name), specific biology of the species (its taxonomic classification, it’s life cycle, it’s specific niche in the marine ecosystem, area of the world/oceanic conditions that it requires, predators, prey, populations, and all relevant biological characteristics), it’s current use as a resource (harvesting/fishing methods, the main areas of the world where it is caught and utilized, all harvesting/fishing regulations (including catch seasons) that apply to this species in a given area, minimum and possible maximum catch sizes, catch limits, harvesting method limits, etc), any issues surrounding it’s continued use as a resource (the history of this particular species use, it’s projected outlook/sustainability, population stabilities, etc), the species suitability for aquaculture (is it currently being farmed?, can this species be farmed successfully?, if not, why not?, specific factors that would encourage or inhibit its use as a renewable resource), the future outlook for this species (how much longer will the species last?, is it endangered?, commercially extinct?, it’s prognosis). All of the above-mentioned factors must be addressed in the research paper of minimum of 6 pages in length, plus bibliography (but more importantly addressing ALL of the required information) or a Power Point presentation with tables, graphs, or other graphics and a bibliography, which is to be submitted as a Word Document or Power Point in the Research Project Assignment category by the last week of the course (Week 8). The main grading criteria are: Quality of Research, Use of Technology (Power Point is not required), Suitability for Aquaculture (here you discuss the pros and cons of whether it can be farmed) and Laws and Regulations concerning the species. Students are required to select and submit a 1-paragraph proposal via email to the Instructor by the third week of the course.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Personal Introduction Forum 2.50 %
Week 1-A Forum Exploration and Marine Technologies 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum Major Scientific Theories - Plate tectonics and evolution 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum Bioluminescence and Deep-ocean organisms 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum Tasty crustaceans 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum The Future of Whaling 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum Climate Change and Changes in Sea-level. 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum Estuaries vs Coral Reefs Which One Would You Save? 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum Fishing and Human Impacts on the Oceans 2.50 %
Weekly Essays 20.00 %
Week 1 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 2 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 3 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 4 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 5 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 6 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 7 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 8 Essay Assignment 2.50 %
Week 8-A Extra-Credit Essay Assignment: Seafood Field Trip 2.50 %
Worksheets 20.00 %
Week 3 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 1 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 2 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 4 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 5 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 6 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 7 Worksheet 2.50 %
Week 8 Worksheet 2.50 %
Exams 20.00 %
SCIN206 Final Exam (Fixed Copy) 10.00 %
SC-206 Mid-Term Exam 10.00 %
Research Project 20.00 %
Research Project 20.00 %

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.