Ocean to Estuarine Ecosystems

UNSW Sydney

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Ocean to Estuarine Ecosystems

  • Host University

    UNSW Sydney

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Biology, Ecology, Oceanography

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Oceans occupy 75% of the planet?s surface and have the capacity to moderate our climate and supply our food, water and oxygen. The East Australian Current also has a substantial (and unappreciated) effect on our lives. This course outlines the dominant players and processes in pelagic marine ecosystems, from fine-scale ocean physics, to nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish and sharks. We will study estuarine ecosystems, including the effects of catchments and nutrients on hydrography and estuarine habitats. The systematics and ecology of fish in particular, but also sharks and rays will be a feature of the course. The 5 day field trip to the UNSW field station at Smiths Lake replaces many of the labs later in session, where students may learn practical skills (boats, nets) and theoretical skills (statistics and modelling using and EcoPath spreadsheet) . Other topics may include human impacts and possible solutions through engineering of pelagic ecosystems such as bottom-up ecosystem regulation through nutrient supply, or top-down regulation of ecosystems by sharks and other predators; removal of mid-level planktivores, and some bio-engineering solutions to degraded ecosystems: re-stocking of fish; ocean fertilization; and artificial reefs.
    Assumed knowledge: BIOS2031 and BEES2041
    Note: The course may include an intensive 5 day field trip to Smiths Lake held during the mid-session break. This will involve personal expense to students for transportation, food, accommodation.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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