Ocean Health

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Clare Morrall

Course Director Name:      Clare Morrall

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:  cmorrall@sgu.edu

Course Director Contact Information: cmorrall@sgu.edu 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours: Mon. 1-4, Tue. 2-4, Wed. 1-4, Thurs. 2-4. 

Course Director Office Hours: As above

Course Director Office Hours: To be confirmed

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  N/A

Course Director Office Location: N/A

Course Support:   Anna Neckles-Thomas, Email:  anecklesthomas@sgu.edu, Phone:  Ext 3435

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link https://apps.sgu.edu/members.nsf/mycoursesintro.pd

Scheduled appointments are recommended

Please note: the best way to ‘see me’ is to set-up an appointment. Please email me with your availability over the days you want to meet with me, and I will send you an appointment notification and link. Mrs. Anna Neckles-Thomas has access to my schedule, and she can also set-up in person or virtual appointments with me.  

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

The oceans are a key operating system of planet Earth. The oceans play a critical role in supporting human wellbeing. Ocean health and human health are inextricably linked. Ocean health is threatened by multiple stressors. This course will examine a variety of sources of stress including Climate Change and a range of pollutants. Linkages between Ocean Health and Humans will be investigated including Harmful Algal Blooms and infectious microbes. Techniques used to determine Ocean Health will be explored.  

Course Objectives:  This course will provide students with knowledge of the essential roles played by the ocean and the major threats the world’s oceans currently face. The course will emphasize the multiple and multidirectional links that exist between ocean health and human health.

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the multiple aspects of Ocean Health. Students will be also be appraised of the techniques used to monitor ocean health. Areas of importance that will be covered include Climate Change, pollution, resource exploitation, invasive species, and diseases of marine organisms, harmful algal blooms and infectious microbes. 

Technical Skills Outcomes: 


Student Learning Outcomes:

Please see Course and Session Learning Outcomes document in the Resources folder.

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

MWC-PLO1. KNOWLEDGE: Apply knowledge of the biological and physical components of life and use this knowledge to understand the interrelationships of organisms with each other and their physical environments. 

MWC-PLO4. COMMUNICATION & CRITICAL THINKING: Use relevant scientific literature and demonstrate independent, critical thinking while communicating scientific knowledge effectively in different media.

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 65% or less 

Course Materials: Course Materials:

This course will be delivered with live class sessions and some pre-recorded sessions. Materials will be available on the course Sakai site. ** In the first week of the teaching semester (January 18th and 20th)- there will be live sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, and you need to be at both sessions. ** Text:

Information on online availability of resources will be provided. 


Information on online availability of resources will be provided. 

A range of texts support this course rather than a single textbook. Readings will be assigned in class or via SAKAI. It will be assumed that students have read assigned materials prior to a specified class. Student participation in the classroom and evidence of some knowledge of the material being discussed will be considered when determining the final grade.  I recommend that you do your own ‘reading around’ the subjects we cover in class to enrich your own learning.

  • Walsh PJ, Smith LE, Solo-Gabriele H, Gerwick WH (eds.). Oceans and Human Health: Risks and Remedies from the Sea, Elsevier Science Publishers, New York, 2008. Available in the SGU Library.
  • National Research Council. From Monsoons to Microbes: Understanding the Oceans Role in Human Health. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999. Avuaryailable as a free PDF download from: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/6368/from-monsoons-to-microbesunderstanding-the-oceans-role-in-human

Supplementary Readings/Resources: Additional reading material will be provided throughout the course.

Course Grading Requirement:

Evaluation is proposed to consist of: one group project (10%), 2-4 quizzes (10%), one individual written assignment (30%) a Mid Term Exam (25%) and a Final Exam (25%). Quiz One is tentatively scheduled for the week 4 of the semester (8th February).

Course Requirements:

  • To be fair to all students in this course, attendance at all sessions is expected, and students are to be on time for class. 
  • Makeup quizzes and examinations will only be allowed with PRIOR approval from the professor. Students unable to sit quizzes or exams on the scheduled day must complete an online Medical Excuse form. Please also contact the Course Director as soon as possible. Please note that the course director reserves the right to revise all makeup quizzes and examinations to ensure fairness.

Course Schedule               

MBIO 414 Session plan s2022

Class sessions and laboratory/field trip sessions on designated Fridays Please note that the schedule is subject to change (these will be announced)



Week Starting/ Week of semester



Friday Sessions To be confirmed


17 Jan  


Course intro and history of subject

Set reading



24 Jan


Subject intro. and

intro. to toxicology I

Intro. to toxicology II



31 Jan


Intro. to pollution and Heavy Metals





7 Feb


Quiz 1

Copper and TBT



14 Feb



Organic pollutants and DDT



21 Feb


Dioxins and dioxin like chemicals




28 Feb




Student presentations and midterm review



7 March


Midterm exams

Midterm exams



14 March






21 March  


Endocrine Disruption I

Endocrine disruption



28 Mar


Climate Change basics

The Precautionary principle and plastics prep




4 April


Plastic pollution

Plastic pollution II



11 April


Climate Change process-

Climate Change



18 April


Noise pollution

Coral Disease



25 April


Marine invasive species

Review Session



2 May


Final exams




School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.