BIO 368 is a four-credit introductory course on the ecology of shallow marine environments of Florida. It is a three-week course offered during the first summer session in the Florida Keys. The course consists of lectures, laboratories, written tests, and laboratory practicals. It is taught by Dr. Anthony Swinehart. For specific dates and information, please click here.
Marine Biology is open to both biology majors and non-majors. Pre-requisites include SCI 101 and BIO 102. You must contact Dr. Swinehart and be pre-approved before you can enroll in this course. The maximum class size is 18 students. Due to the popularity of the course, it is advisable to get your name on Dr. Swinehart's reservation list early.
The cost of Marine Biology is tuition for four summer credits. See the latest Hillsdale College Catalog for current tuition costs, or contact Kathy Caldwell in the Business Office. There is an additional charge of $100.00 per student for transportation and boat gas expenditures incurred by the Biology Department.
Students stay in dormitories on Long Key, Florida. Room fees are included in tuition. However, students are responsible for meals. There are kitchens at the facility, and students form groups of four or five and buy and cook their own meals. Average cost for groceries per student for the course is $150.00.
Travel is by Hillsdale College vans. The vans travel strictly from Hillsdale College to the Keys and back. Dr. Swinehart will not entertain requests to pick up or drop off people along the way regardless of how logical and convenient it may seem. The vans stop at a hotel once each way, and students will be responsible for sharing hotel fees as well as buying fast food during travel.
There are numerous opportunities to take advantage of the Keys environment while taking this course. Students often wish to sample local restaurant cuisine or buy tackle for fishing. Additionally, the group takes a recreational trip to Key West, where students may wish to visit local museums and/or purchase souvenirs. Most students wish they had brought more spending money for recreation, so start saving early...
The class meets and conducts formal activities every day except for Sunday. The typical day is as follows: (8-10:30am) lecture; (10:30 - Noon) Work at research sites; (Noon - 1:30pm) Lunch; (1:30-4:30pm) Boat trip; (4:30 - 7pm) dinner and free-time; (7pm - ?pm) Laboratory.
Each week of the three-week course has a unique emphasis. Week 1 is "Qualitative Week," when students focus on taxonomy and identification of marine organisms found at their research site. Week 2 is "Quantitative Week," when students employ ecological sampling methods to examine distribution and abundance patterns along environmental gradients. Week 3 is "Analytical Week," when students analyze data and write a formal paper.
Students will be evaluated on their comprehension of lecture material, laboratory exercises, and on the quality of their research projects. 50% of the grade in the course is based on the research project (conducted in groups of three students), and 50% of the grade is based on tests and laboratory practicals. Grading is on a strict 90, 80, 70, 60 scale (4 point system).
If students want to prepare for the course prior to departure, they can study and memorize the five-kingdom classification system, including classification down to class for the major animal phyla (and to order for the Arthropoda).
There will be two required meetings during the spring semester, before departure. The first meeting, usually held in March, is organizational and informational in nature. The second, usually in April, is a swimming and diving evaluation held at the College swimming pool. Students on the reservation list will receive e-mails notifying them of meeting dates and times.
Marine Biology is a serious and challenging course. It is not designed for people who think that it represents "sunning on sandy beaches" or "swimming with dolphins." Disruptive behavior or behavior that violates class regulations or Hillsdale College standards for conduct will not be tolerated, and students who commit such violations will be sent home immediately at their own expense and will receive a zero in the course. Students will receive a detailed list of the rules and regulations and are required to sign an agreement acknowledging the rules and regulations and the consequences for breaking them.
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