Course curriculum

  • 1

    ORIENTATION-BEGIN HERE!

    • Getting the Most Out of Each Lesson

    • Before You Begin

    • For Those Enrolled in ECO PRO or Coral Reef Ecology for Divers

    • Field Training

    • EcoDiver Certification

  • 2

    Part I-HOW CORAL REEFS WORK: INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW

    • Welcome to the Course!

    • The Greatest Underwater Story Ever Told

    • Overview

    • What You'll Learn

    • What is "Ecology"?

    • Ecology is a Play

  • 3

    Lesson #1-1: Why Coral Reefs are Important

    • Why Coral Reefs are Important

    • Ecosystem Services

    • Coastal Protection

    • Medicine Cabinets

    • Coral Reefs and Tourism

    • The Importance of Biodiversity

    • When Things Go Wrong

    • Lesson 1-1 Quiz

  • 4

    Lesson #1-2: The Secret to Success

    • Why is the Water So Clear?

    • Darwin's Paradox

    • How the “Food Factories” Work

    • Acquiring Zoox

    • Coral: What (and How) Does it Eat?

    • Building Skeleton

    • A Look Inside the Reef

    • The True Nature of Coral

    • Coral Anatomy

    • Food Capture

    • The Weaponry

    • Firing Nematocysts

    • Fire Coral

    • Coral Morphology

    • Soft Corals

    • Gorgonians

    • Encrusting Soft Corals

    • Lesson 1-2 Quiz

  • 5

    Lesson #1-3: Where Reefs Exist and How They Form

    • Where Coral Reefs Occur

    • Currents and Coral Reefs

    • Reef Formation

    • Fringing Reefs

    • Barrier Reefs

    • Atolls

    • Birth of an Atoll

    • Shelf vs. Oceanic Reefs

    • Lesson 1-3 Quiz

  • 6

    Lesson #1-4: Welcome to the Neighborhood

    • The Neighborhood Analogy

    • Neighborhood Factors

    • Adapting to Conditions

    • Adapting to Conditons (con.)

    • The Reef's "Lawn Mowers"

    • Herbivory and "Phase Shifts"

    • The Urchin Plague

    • Coral Reef Zonation

    • Atlantic vs. Pacific Reefs

    • The Coral Triangle

    • Lesson 1-4 Quiz

  • 7

    Lesson #1-5: The Sex Lives of Coral Reefs

    • Coral Reproduction

    • Brooding vs. Broadcasting

    • Spawning Broadcaster

    • Spawning Brooder

    • Lesson 1-5 Quiz

  • 8

    Lesson #1-6: Structural Integrity and Gang Warfare

    • Structural Integrity

    • Crustose Coralline Algea (CCA)

    • CCA and Coral Recruitment

    • Gang Warfare

    • Coral Agression

    • Corals at War

    • Coral-Sponge Competition

    • Coral vs. Encrusting Sponge

    • Intraspecies Competition

    • Intraspecies Competition (con.)

    • Three's a Crowd

    • Overshading

    • Lesson 1-6 Quiz

  • 9

    Lesson #1-7: The Role of Sponges

    • An Introduction to Sponges

    • Sponge Anatomy

    • The Role of Sponges

    • Common Caribbean Sponges

    • Sponge Bioerosion

    • Bioeroding Sponges (Cliona delitrix)

    • Lesson 1-7 Quiz

  • 10

    Lesson #1-8: The Delicate Balance

    • Coral and Algae: A Deicate Balance

    • Accretion vs. Bioerosion

    • Effects of Bioerosion

    • Bioerosion

    • Christmas Tree Worms

    • Questions?

    • Lesson 1-8 Quiz

  • 11

    Part II-CORAL REEF FISH ECOLOGY: INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW

    • Introduction

    • Fish vs. Fishes

    • Overview

    • What We'll Discuss

    • Distribution of Coral Reef Fishes

  • 12

    Lesson#2-1: Trophic Structure and Food Webs

    • The Coral Reef Trophic (Food) Pyramid

    • The Coral Reef Food Web

    • Marine Food Webs and Diets

    • Follow the Food Chain

    • Lesson 2-1 Quiz

  • 13

    Lesson #2-2: Fish Morphology

    • Form Follows Function

    • Tails Tell a Tale

    • A Mouth for All Reasons

    • Mimicry

    • Lesson 2-2 Quiz

  • 14

    Lesson #2-3: Food Preference and Trophic Ecology

    • Meat or Vegetables

    • Herbivores

    • VIP's: Very Important Parrotfish

    • Benthivores

    • Planktivores

    • Planktivores (continued)

    • Specialist Benthivores: Angelfishes

    • Specialist Benthivores: Butterflyfishes

    • Piscivores

    • Crepuscular Feeders

    • The Night Shift

    • Lesson 2-3 Quiz

  • 15

    Lesson #2-4: Recent Insights Into Reef Fish Ecology

    • Trophic Cascades and the “Ecology of Fear”

    • Cleaning Stations

    • Damselfish Attack!

    • Nuclear Hunting

    • Nuclear Hunting on Steriods

    • The Reef as a Toilet

    • The Productivity Paradox

    • Why "Big Mamas" Are Important

    • Lesson 2-4 Quiz

    • Questions?

  • 16

    Part III-WHAT'S WRONG WITH REEFS: INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW

    • Introduction

    • Coral Reefs in Crisis

    • What You Can Do

    • Part III Overview

    • What You'll Learn

  • 17

    Lesson #3-1: Global and Regional Status

    • The Shifting Baseline

    • Coral Reefs in Peril

    • Caribbean Regional Status

    • Indo-Pacific Regional Status

    • Threats to Coral Reef Ecosystems

    • A Multitude of Stressors

    • Lesson 3-1 Quiz

  • 18

    Lesson #3-2: Land-Based Threats

    • Coastal Population Density

    • Land-Based Sources of Pollution

    • Local Human Impact

    • Lesson 3-2 Quiz

  • 19

    Lesson #3-3: Ocean-Based Threats

    • Overfishing and Destructive Fishing Practices

    • Overfishing Infographic

    • The Aquarium and Ornimental Trade

    • The Live Fish Trade

    • Marine Tourism

    • Coral Disease

    • The Faces of Coral Disease

    • Stony Coral Tissues Loss Disease (SCTLD)

    • Reef on Fire

    • Lesson 3-3 Quiz

  • 20

    Lesson #3-4: Coral Reefs and Climate Change

    • An Altered Ecosystem

    • Global Climate Change

    • Ocean Impacts of Climate Change

    • An Alarming Rate of Increase

    • Coral Bleaching Frequency

    • The Mechamism of Coral Bleaching

    • Heat and Acidity: The Double Whammy

    • Coral Reef Osteoporosis

    • The Mechanism of Ocean Acidification

    • Climate Change Infographic

    • Lesson 3-4 Quiz

  • 21

    Lesson #3-5: How YOU Can Make a Difference

    • Making a Difference

    • Guidelines for Snorkelers

    • Guidelines for Scuba Divers

    • Green Fins Diver E-Course

    • ECO PRO: For Dive Professionals Only

    • Green Fins Dive Guide E-Course

    • For "Coral Reef Ecology for Divers" Students Only (substrate survey)

    • For "Coral Reef Ecology for Divers" Students Only (invertebrate survey)

    • For "Coral Reef Ecology for Divers" Students Only (fish survey)

    • Sample Reef Check Data

    • Where to Learn More About Coral Reefs

    • Good-bye for now