This unit provides an in - depth overview of the key biological and non-biological processes that make up coral reef ecosystems. There is a focus on the biogeographic, oceanographic and physiological processes underlying the integrity of global tropical reef systems. The Great Barrier Reef is used as a case study to explore emerging concepts on the influence of natural and anthropogenic processes on the integrity of global coral reef ecosystems. Learning activities will include a series of background lectures and research seminars and tutorials in the development of a major research project. A major aspect of this unit is an independent research project conducted under the supervision of the course instructors. The unit concludes with a series of oral presentations based on student research. Assessment tasks will consist of one essay, essay topic presentation and a research project report and presentation. The curriculum in this unit is based on current research and course notes will be provided. This is a field intensive course held at One Tree Island Research Station. The course is ex-Gladstone Queensland and students are expected to make their own way there. The field component of the unit will be run over 4-6 days and there will be an additional course fee for transport, food and accommodation, expected to be $700.
University base delivery: prefield trip tutorial (1-hour), twelve lectures (1-hour each). Field based delivery: two seminars (1-hour each), two tutorials - individual consultations to develop concepts in research (1-hour each), independent research and oral presentation.
Written assignments: essay and project report; oral presentations; seminar and lecture participation (100%)
This unit assumes a sound understanding of scientific principles, HSC level mathematics and understanding of basic statistics.