Introduction to the biology, ecology and geology of stony corals and the reef structures they build. Topics include, but not limited to, the following: photobiology, biochemistry, physiology, reproduction, ecology, biogeography and evolution of stony corals; contributions made by other members of the coral reef community, such as algae, invertebrates, fish, sea turtles, sea birds, and marine mammals; reef formation and geomorphology; corals as resources for human utilization and the impacts of human activities upon reefs throughout the world. Emphasis will be on Hawai‘i’s coral reefs, but comparisons will be made among reefs from other areas.
- Explain the process and philosophical basis of scientific inquiry.
- Distinguish between living things and inanimate objects.
- Describe the classification of living things, the kinds of criteria used to classify them, and the formal protocol in naming them.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the biology of corals (e.g., systematics & classification, soft tissue morphology and cytology, skeletal morphology, endosymbiosis with zooxanthellae, modes of feeding, reproduction, environmental factors that influence growth and distribution, and evolution) with an emphasis on Hawaiian corals.
- Describe the ecological relationships among the living components of coral reef communities and their interactions with the physical environment.
- Describe the types of reefs and the processes that create and shape them.
- Describe the resources that coral reefs provide, especially to Pacific island nations and states.
- Describe the impacts of human activities on coral reefs and the significance of these impacts to Pacific island nations and states.