August 12, 2011

In the Spotlight: Aquatic Animal Conservation Issues - An Online Course

University of Florida – Aquatic Animal Health Program Offers Online Course
Aquatic Animal Conservation Issues

Aquatic Animal Conservation Issues is an online course offered through the University of Florida’s, Aquatic Animal Health Program. The course is designed to introduce students (upper level undergraduate and graduate) and professionals with a Masters or higher degree to the controversial issues surrounding aquatic animal species ranging from invertebrates to marine mammals, with some emphasis on marine mammals, but also including sea turtles, fisheries, and marine ecosystems.

The format of the class will focus to a large extent on a significant amount of reading from book chapters or primary scientific literature on the topic chosen for a given class, and discussion. For each module, students will need to complete a self test quiz.

The MediaSite lectures are taped seminars given by individuals from various places including Veterinary Medicine, Fisheries, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and US Geological Survey.

Rather than have exams, students will be expected to review the reading material and the MediaSite lectures, then complete the module quiz and related homework assignments. Directions for assignments, lectures and due dates will be provided within each learning module.
Course Objectives

  • Become acquainted with controversial issues surrounding the conservation of aquatic animals.

  • Develop critical thinking skills with regards to identifying problems, providing possible solutions and compromises that may help to conserve aquatic animal species and their environment.

  • Cultivate scientific writing skills.

  • Undergraduate students will be asked to write a 5 page pro/con review paper on a controversial topic of their choosing, providing an equally weighted overview of both sides of the controversy. Once handed in, identifying names will be removed and each student will then be asked to review and rank at least two papers.

  • Graduate students will be asked to write a 5 page grant proposal to study a related topic and like the undergrads, be asked then to review proposals from their classmates.

  • Natural History and Ecosystems

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