this is ESRM 462 syllabus v 1.2 (v 1.0 was originally posted on Sept 2)
ESRM 462: Coastal and Marine Management
When & Where
Labs: Mon 1200– 150 , Wed 1200– 150 in Sierra 2324 (ConsBio Lab)
Lecture: Fri 1230– 300 , in Sierra 2411 (Sierra Hall Classroom)
Final Exam: Fri, December 14 @ 100PM Sierra 2411 (Sierra Hall Classroom)
Official: Mon 215-315 & Tues 1100-1200(BTW 1265)
“Unofficial”: Wed 1030-1130(Tortilla’s or Pizza 3.14)
This course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of coastal and marine resource management. Along the way, you will gain a practical grounding in basic coastal science, general marine ecology, and maritime history as we examine the various challenges to effective management and protection of these systems. The knowledge and skills you acquire will bolster your ongoing, long-term mastery of the management of local coastal resources and the general public’s perceptions of those resources…but only if you put the time and effort into it.
Learning Outcomes: Concepts
By the end of this course, you should understand and be able to clearly articulate:
- the major environmental issues at the regional, national, and international levels related to coastal and marine conservation and management.
- the processes by which regional, national, and international governments and organizations manage coastal and marine environments.
- the basic abiotic and biotic processes structuring coastal and marine communities.
- complexities inherent in coastal and marine management and the relationship between terrestrial and aquatic systems.
- various management options for coastal environments.
- the current state of our coastal and marine communities and resources.
Learning Outcomes: Skills
Coastal and marine management, like all foreign languages, has its own grammar, terminology, and rhetoric (particularly when it comes to large governmental bureaucracies). To interpret the primary literature and engage in meaningful discussions, you will need to familiarize yourself with this language. As we learn about the theory and practice of managing our resources, we will simultaneously be developing and refining a variety of skills not confined to the management arena.
At the conclusion of our course you will be able to:
- evaluate scientific papers and popular press accounts of technical issues.
- interpret quantitative data in tabular and graphical forms.
- create professional, elegant graphs from a diverse array of data.
- have confidence in your own interpretations and insights.
You should also be able to demonstrate a marked improvement in your:
- technical communication (particularly your interpersonal and oral skills)
- digital literacy (particularly your digital identity and blogging skills)
- observations of natural landscapes and seascapes
Learning Assumptions & Expectations
- Success is your choice! If you choose to be successful, I will be happy to help you. If you do not choose to be successful, I will honor your choice and allow you to keep your delusions of adequacy. You have the potential to succeed in this class.
- Respect is one of the foundations of an environment conducive to learning. This class will have a positive and respectful learning environment. In class discussions, everyone should be courteous and respectful of others: disrespectful comments or behavior will not be tolerated. This includes silencing your cell phones, avoiding web surfing arriving on time for trips lectures, etc. If your mobile device rings in class, you will have the honor of bringing cookies for all to share at our next class meeting.
- You must be a curious and skeptical learner. Do not necessarily accept what I or any other expert tells you. Check out and independently verify what you are hearing. Explore what this new information may mean. Ask questions. Always.
- One of the most important aspects of learning is being able to be an active listener. As you listen to your classmates, be attentive and supportive. Everyone has something valuable to contribute to our class and your success.
- Our discussion will build from the readings and news posts so it is necessary that you complete all readings (save our first week) before our lecture for that week and peruse all recent posts at least twice a week: prior to the start of your lab session (on either Monday or Wednesday) class and before our Friday of the week. Please realize that while we will not necessarily be able to discuss all aspects of each reading in class, you are responsible for all of this content.
- Times are tough and we talk about a lot of potentially depressing subjects in this course. Despite this, we all need to stay positive. Humor and a wry take on things help your overall comprehension, enjoyment, ability to focus, and comprehension. (That being said, I apologize in advance for my bad jokes…kind of.)
- I am always open to feedback as to how I can best meet your needs as a student. Please do not be afraid to make suggestions on how this course can be improved or adjusted.
- You will attend all class sessions, arriving before the start of class.
- core weekly readings are on our readings page (or via our CI Learn’s eReserve section)
- frequent news story/posts on our Coastal Restoration News Blog site (www.scoop.it/t/coastal-restoration) (you need to join/create an account; no cost)
- Carson, Rachel. 1991. The Sea Around Us (U.S. Special Edition). Oxford University Press. 288pp. ($20 at Bank of Books)
- Giggs, Gary, Kiki Patsch, and Lauret Savoy. 2005. Living with the Changing California Coast. University of California Press. 551pp. (~$25 used, new $45 at Bank of Books)
- Langewiesche, William. 2005. The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime. North Point Press. 256pp. (new $18 from Macmillian).
- subscriptions to:
- Blake, Gary and Robert W. Bly. 2000. The Elements of Technical Writing. Longman Publishers. New York, NY. 192 pp. ($9 at Powell’s Books)
- California Coastal Commission. 2014. California Coastal Access Guide, Seventh Edition. University of California Press. 417 pp. ($35 from UC Press)
Lecture Notes & Active Learning
I will typically post screencasts of many of my lectures on my YouTube Coastal Videos playlist or within a day or two after a given lecture (if not the day before that class session). I may rarely post pdfs of some of my lecture slides, but have generally ceased posting my complete lecture notes as this discouraged many students from taking their own notes. Active note taking greatly improves retention and comprehension of information. In a similar vein, I discourage you from reading with highlighters. Instead, please use a pencil, pen, or pdf markup tool to underline important sections, annotate or to comment. Reading with a pencil, pen, or markup tool encourages you to think actively and process what you are reading. For a given section of text “three key points here almost identical to Chapter 5” is much better and easier to review later than a series of fluorescent lines in the middle of a page.
Note taking is an essential skill, but one that appears to be on the way out in our Internet Age. This skill is essential for learning and tightly correlated with success in most management- and science-related careers. I strongly encourage you to be an active note taker throughout our class. Following a lecture or field trip, I expect you to copy over or (re)type up those notes. This process amounts to a study session wherein you organize the information in a manner most helpful to you (not necessarily in the order in which I presented it). Lecture slides that are extremely definition-heavy or composed of complex graphs are more likely to be included in any posted lecture notes.
Civility and Mutual Respect
Many of the issues we will explore this semester can be challenging. Rather than protecting you from difficult ideas or people with whom you may disagree, I hope to expose you to a range of perspectives around various management issues. Being challenged is a key part of our intellectual and personal growth. But whatever the subject matter at hand, we will conduct our discussions with respect and treat every speaker with dignity and courtesy, regardless of their positions or political points of view.
Surfrider members. County Supervisors. Oil drillers. Everyone has a place at our proverbial table and everyone deserves to be heard.
Public discourse at the moment is tending towards anger, tribalism, and diatribe rather than true debate and dialog. The antidotes to such destructive mores are collaboration, mutual respect, and intellectual honesty. We will work against disrespect and divisiveness by actively modeling openness, critical thinking, and compassion. Your comments to others should be factual, constructive, and free from harassing statements or ad hominem attacks. You are encouraged to disagree with other students and our guests, but such disagreements need to be based upon facts and documentation (well referenced when you are doing so in writing) rather than prejudices and personalities.
A Good Audience
While we will strive for active class discussions and activities, a good amount of our class will revolve around listening to others. This is particularly true when we are hearing from guest speakers. The following guidelines are key pathways to both show respect and encouragement to those taking the time to engage with us and effective ways for you to foster your own attention and active learning.
- Stop Distractions – It is very distracting to the presenter to speak as someone is chewing or slurping. Don’t eat or drink or engage with your cell phone during the presentation.
- Actively Listen – Your pre-class conversations are great, but the minute a guest speaker is prepped and ready, you should graciously discontinue speaking. IActive listening requires focus on, and eye contact with, the speaker. One of the most basic elements of being a great audience member and one of the most important skills anyone can learn is listening.
- Show Interest – Sit up straight in your chair or (if we are standing) make sure to stand with your feet shoulder width apart and head up. Nods of approval (or disapproval depending on the subject matter) and even occasional “oooohing and aaaaahing” over certain remarks or demonstrations are ways of showing the speaker that you are engaged with his or her content. Depending on the energy or style of the presenter, it might be fine to interject a humorous comment, assuming the speaker is welcoming to such engagement. That is not to say one should “heckle” and continually interrupt the speaker; but the occasional comment, question, or laughable moment is usually well-received by the speaker, particularly if it motivates the crowd or encourages them to listen more intently. Realize the success of a given presentation will depend in part on the audience members. When you help create a supportive and focused atmosphere, your help create the best experience possible for everyone involved.
- Clapping –As soon as the speaker has closed their speech by announcing its conclusion or answering the last question asked, applaud. Don’t let the “uncomfortable silence” take place in that first few seconds. Take the lead and start the applause to encourage others who may be unsure if or when they should applaud.
- Thanks & Questions – Take a few minutes to go up to the speaker and thank them for their contribution to our class. Even if wasn’t a particularly inspired speech, a simple “I enjoyed your talk, thank you for the nice overview of…”, or “Thank you for sharing your thoughts with out class today. I was pretty surprised by your observation that..” go a long way. Finally, make sure you have at least two possible questions you can ask the speaker. It is something of a death knell when we end a presentation and no one has questions.
A Brief Note on Professional Communication
I have noticed a worrying trend in recent years; the ability to write and communicate in a clear, concise, and professional manner appears to be degrading precipitously. This concerns me a great deal and is indeed one of the motivations for my having numerous written assignments due over the course of this semester (and indeed, throughout many of our other ESRM courses). You can only improve with practice, and I seek to give you a lot of practice. Please realize that anything submitted to me at any time must be free of any grammatical, formatting, or referencing errors. Submitting a well-written assignment tells me you care about the content and the way you present yourself. Poor writing creates a haze between you and your audience, leaving the reader to conclude you do not understand the subject matter you are attempting to convey. Submitting anything (an exam, lab write-up, etc.) that is poorly written will therefore result in zero points awarded for that assignment. As stated in my above section on Learning Assumptions and Expectations, succeeding in this class is your choice. Submitting a well-written assignment is a clear signal to me that you have chosen to succeed. If you have any questions at all about what constitutes a well-written assignment, please do not hesitate to seek out help or advice from me, other faculty, the Writing Center in Broome Library, or the book most of you have from your Conservation Biology course (Elements of Technical Writing).
Accepted Formats For Assignments
The default format for submitting materials for this class is a printed hard copy, unless specifically instructed to submit and electronic file to a particular google drive folder. Assignments without a specific due date/time are due before the start of the following class. Failure to submit an assignment by the due date constitutes a missed assignment and will result in zero points.
With our two core data collection activities this semester (public opinion polls, seafood surveys) I will pool your individual data with the rest of your classmates’ and then distribute the aggregate class data to everyone for the subsequent analyses and write-up. While we will attempt to use Google Drive’s Spreadsheet to combine data in the cloud and on the fly, it may not work out as we would like. As a fall back (and if recent years are any indication we will need this), I will ask you to download an Excel datasheet, change the name of the file, populate it with your field-collected data, and then upload this new file in the appropriate assignment section in CI Learn. Whenever I ask for excel data files from you, only .xls or .xlsx formatted files that include your last name in the file name (e.g. AndersonPollData.xls) will be accepted. Submitting corrupted files, improperly labeled files, or formats other than Excel will constitute a missed deadline/submission. (Please note that for anyone who doesn’t own Excel, you all have free access to it via our lab computers, desktops in the library, STEM center computer lab, and laptops check-outable from Broome Library.)
Reading Summaries (Retired Activity)
Note: historically I have had students in this course do weekly reading summaries, but the larger size of our class this semester has forced me to change this aspect of our course. While reading summaries are no longer a required or graded aspect of this course, I strongly encourage you to consider doing formal summaries of our readings each week. In that spirit, I offer here the instructions I provided to students in previous years for your consideration:
Reading scientific papers, agency reports, and even articles in the popular press can be quite difficult. It is very easy to get bogged down in the many details or controversies of a particular paper and lose sight of the main points. Consequently, reading a paper front to back does not necessarily guarantee understanding. Often you just need to mull it over in your head for awhile. To make sure you have done so, each week you will turn in a two-paragraph summary of your impressions of a given week’s primary literature readings (i.e. the mandatory stuff on eReserve, not the assigned readings in our books); these summaries are due each at the start of our lecture (i.e. Week 8 reading summary is due on Friday of Week 8). You need not comment on every paper, but rather you will choose one mandatory reading that you find the most interesting from that week’s list (although you do need to read all of them). Start your summary off with a clear, single sentence set apart from the rest of your summary that describes the central theme or conclusion of the piece. Whenever possible, state this as a hypothesis. See my reading summary guide page for an example.
You will be graded on your participation, reading summaries, blog posts, poll data and summary, seafood data and summary, midterm, and final as follows:
10% Labs, Field Trip Summaries, etc.
5% CenCal or San Diego Trip
10% General Class Participation
20% Opinion Poll
20% Seafood Survey
Grade Break Down: A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, F ≤ 59%
Please note that I use the “+” and “-” system (e.g. B- = 80-82%, B = 83–86%, B+ = 87-89%)
We will typically will have one quiz per week. Quizzes function partly as a mini-review of concepts and partly as a motivator for you to not fall behind on readings and other class work. Each quiz should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes and will cover recent lecture, podcasts, coastal news, reading, and/or field trip material with very short answers, multiple choice, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions. Quizzes are usually given at the beginning of a lecture period and cannot be made up (even if you arrive in time for the lecture itself). Please arrive promptly for each class and do not run the risk of missing a quiz. I will drop at least one of your quiz scores (the lowest) before calculating your overall quiz grade for the course.
We frequently have assignments in our lab sections each week. These activities may span a variety of actives including data collected, data interpretation/presentation, or exploring various drivers of or responses to coastal resource challenges. Please make sure to bring a fully charged laptop or tablet to each of our laboratory sessions.
Coastal News Curation: Scoop.It
We will keep abreast of related news and developments over the course of our class with the help of our Coastal Restoration news curation site. Each student team will be responsible for posting a news story about something related to Coastal or Marine Management each week. Posts should be made no later than Thursday at noon. You are welcome to post more frequently, but AT LEAST one post much be made a week. Duplicate posts/stories will receive no additional credit, but are most appreciated. And while posting three things in a given week is great, it will not absolve you from the need to post something each of the following two weeks. Everyone should join Scoop.It and follow our site (https://www.scoop.it/t/coastal-restoration) regardless of your ability to post articles (only one person in each group will have that permission).
Guest Speakers & Field Trips
I will endeavor to bring in as many coastal experts into our classroom (or you to them) as possible over the course of the semester to address various topics. I expect all of you to arrive and be prepared for class BEFORE the assigned start times (i.e. 1225 if they were to be coming to our class at 1230). Tardiness is rude in general, but particularly so when we have a guest travelling to campus or changing their daily schedule specifically to address you and your colleagues. Proper attention and focus is required at all times, particularly so when we have a guest speaker. Your attention and punctuality will figure into your participation grade. In addition, you will each come to a field activity or guest speaker with two prepared questions about the subject matter at hand for our guest (if you are at a loss, I suggest a general introductory question about the history of the subject at hand and a specific one centering on a recent, relevant management challenge). I may or may not require you to submit these at the start of the activity.
We will make several field trips over the course of the semester. These trips are designed to get you out into the field and show you as many management situations as possible. We will see the legacy of both effective and failed management efforts and discuss what lessons may be applied to other current and future activities.
Whenever we are in the field please be sure to bring or wear:
- field notebook and pen
- camera (not necessary, but may help you remember info for your write-up)
- hat and/or sunscreen
- water bottle
- hiking boots or other close toed, study shoes (NEVER FLIP FLOPS)
- a huge smile
While a camera is not necessary, please do feel free to bring one. Most students find taking pictures helps them remember various aspects of our trips, subsequently identify organisms, etc.. Some of our trips this semester may include locations that have picture-taking restrictions. If that is the case I will inform you of that ahead of time, but even in these situations cameras will be useful for the remainder of the trip’s components or locations.
Transportation for our famous (infamous?) 3-day+ Central California Coastal Management trip will be discussed as that date approaches. For this trip, we will be leaving school VERY EARLY ON (DATE TBD, but likely November 12). This trip will terminate in
Monterey/Moss Landing on the late afternoon of the TBD (depending upon PCH status). We will be carpooling during the trip and it is up you/your vehicle as to your return plans. Some students choose to slowly camp/surf their way home over the weekend, others choose to head directly back home. If you are planning on heading back to Ventura, expect to be home around midnight on the TBD.
Communicating Coastally: Your Take on Coastal Rhetoric
“Rhetoric” refers to the art of effective or persuasive communication. One unique component of our class this semester will be your creation of a piece of coastal rhetoric. You will create a poem, song, video, poster, etc. (just about anything that coveys a specific message might work) related to something we observed or explored in our studies over the course of the semester. These need not be lengthy (a one-page poem, some new stanzas of a song, a two minute video, etc.), but do need to factually inform the audience about some issue or controversy in coastal or marine management. You have a very free hand and are welcome to employ any rhetorical strategy you feel most comfortable with: a straight forward educational video, the humorous re-working of a song, or a poignant photo essay/poster.
We will discuss the specifics of this in September after the first few weeks of class. But to get your juices flowing, I have compiled a list of coastal and marine management-related songs. An easy option for some of you feeling writer’s block might be to create a music video for one of these songs or to re-work one of these songs to be more directly about the California coast. Our Coastal Tunes playlist can mostly be streamed via our 8 Track site or iTunes playlist. (Note: iTunes now streams these songs via their Apple Music streaming service which has a free 3-month trail period, but afterwards converts to a paid service). Please consider supporting these musicians and purchasing any songs you particularly enjoy.
Core Activity #1: Public Opinion Polling
To gain a better understanding of the public sentiment surrounding coastal and marine resource management, we will survey public opinion about coastal resources (broadly defined). For this project, you will individually administer questionnaires to members of the general public at various locations across from Los Angeles, Ventura, and/or Santa Barbara Counties. Details and deadlines are available on our opinion poll page, but upon completing your individual surveys, we will pool together all our class data and and you will you will summarize current public perceptions of our coastal resource and their management in a two-page write-up. You will also produce two professional, scientific graphs to support your assertions.
This assignment is designed to get you out and speaking to the general public. While you will not be engaging in extensive topic-based discussions prior to someone’s completing a survey, you may well get into such dialogs after they have finished. This is a great opportunity for you to work on your professional communication skills and take the pulse of the attitudes held by your fellow citizens. We conduct this activity over the first month of the class. Your results will inform and improve discussions of a wide variety of topics we will cover later in the semester.
Upon completion and entering of the data, you will work in small groups to conduct a focal analysis of your aggregate class data wherein you explore one particular aspect of coastal management.
Poll Data Submission Deadlines:
1st: 10 surveys due 11:59PM, September 19th
2nd: 30 more surveys (= total of 40 total polls of both versions entered) due 11:59 PM, Oct. 3rd
Core Activity #2: Sustainable Seafood Options Survey
Beginning Week 7, we will conduct surveys of local restaurants and markets to examine the prevalence of sustainably harvested seafood in our area (southern Santa Barbara through northern Los Angeles County). Little information exists and this work is of great interest to policy makers and mangers interested in creating marine communities with viable populations of reef-dwelling and pelagic organisms. Each of you will be responsible for conducting surveys of 3 markets and 6 restaurants by Week 12 (November 12). As with our public opinion polls, we will pool together our class data, and then generate technical analysis of some aspect of our seafood status here in coastal southern California.
One unusual aspect of our curriculum for non-ESRMers or those new to our major is our take-home test format. For both our midterm and our final, you will be given a series of essay questions. You always have a choice of which specific questions you answer. You are free to use any and all relevant sources (save your fellow students) to answer these test questions so long as you properly reference the source. The goal here is to demonstrate to me that you fully comprehend the general concepts, have a mastery of the details to support any and all assertions, and can make a well-reasoned, cogent argument. While a take-home test may sound easy compared to most natural science test formats such as in-class multiple choice or short answer, you should know many science majors struggle with this open-ended testing style. Please take these take-home tests seriously and budget ample time for them (at least twice much time as you think it should take). Give yourself plenty of time to reflect upon, compose, and re-read your answers. The purpose of such tests is to see whether or not you can synthesize information, apply concepts to new situations, and think for yourself.
In previous semesters our tests have been completely take-home exams. This year (again owing to the growth in the size of our class) only part of our exam will be in a take-home format with the remainder being a more traditional closed book exam in the classroom.
Cheating, Plagiarism, and Other Forms of Academic Dishonesty
All work that you submit as your own work must, in fact, be your own work. For example, if your writing presents the ideas of others, you must clearly indicate this by citing the source. Word-for-word language taken from other sources – books, papers, web sites, people, etc. – must be placed in quotation marks and the source identified. Likewise, work on tests and exams must be your own work, not copied or taken from other students’ work, and you must comply with instructions regarding use of books, notes, and other materials.
In accordance with the CSU Channel Islands policy on academic dishonesty, students in this course who submit the work of others as their own (plagiarize), cheat on examinations, help other students cheat or plagiarize, or commit other acts of academic dishonesty will receive appropriate academic penalties, up to and including failing the course and expulsion.
Papers with plagiarized ideas or language will be graded “F” and must be rewritten with proper use of quotations and referencing. The grade of “F” will remain the recorded grade on that assignment. Plagiarism or cheating on exams will result in an “F” on that exam, very likely resulting in a lower or possibly a failing final grade in the course overall. In cases where I have reason to believe the cheating or plagiarism was premeditated or planned, students may receive an “F” for the course.
Please consult with me on when and how to document sources if you have any possible questions about what might constitute an act of plagiarism or cheating.
For those who had too long a summer and can’t seem to recall the proper citation format I expect you to use, here is a brief example with an associated Literature Cited section:
Example text with proper Author-Year citation style:
Many environmental disasters have an obvious and direct human cause, such as an oil spill. However, as the Exxon Valdez Spill illustrated (Parker and Wiens 2005, Peterson et al. 2003) and the unfolding Gulf Oil Spill promises to (Ko and Day 2004), documenting and understanding the impacts of these acute, human-caused stresses can be far from straightforward.
And here is the associated Literature Cited section:
Parker, K.R. and J.A. Wiens. 2005. Assessing recovery following environmental accidents: environmental variation, ecological assumptions, and strategies. Ecological Applications 15: 2037:2051.
Peterson, C.H., S.D. Rice, J.W. Short, D. Esler, J.L. Bodkin, B.E. Ballachey and D.B. Irons. 2003. Long-Term Ecosystem Response to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Science 33: 2082-2086.
Ko, J. and J.W. Day. 2004. A review of ecological impacts of oil and gas development on coastal ecosystems in the Mississippi Delta. Ocean and Coastal Management 47: 597-623.
I am deeply committed to equal educational opportunities for all of my students. Students with disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation for learning and evaluation. Students with disabilities should contact our Disability Accommodation Services in 210 Arroyo Hall or phone them at x3331 anytime between 830 AM and 500 PM. Anyone interested in being a note taker for Disability Accommodation Services for this or any other class should feel free to contact them.
How to do well in this course:
Focus on learning, not on your grade. Make sure you complete all of your assignments on time and do a thorough job. If you interact with the material and complete the course assignments, you should easily be able to pass this class. Please note however that merely submitting something for each assignment does not guarantee a passing grade. Rather submitting materials on time is only the starting point for demonstrating your understanding and mastery of the particular subject at hand. If you focus on cramming for quizzes or exams, you will miss out on most of what you are here for. This course should be fun and rewarding. Although it needs to be taken seriously and responsibly, this course should not create undo stress and anxiety. If you are having trouble with the assignments, not doing well on the exams, or having any other problems, please talk to me after class or in my office hours.
Please note that this syllabus is subject to change.