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Phycology and Phycology Lab

FIU course no. BOT 4404 / BOT 4404L
Summer C 2002


Frank J. Jochem

Assistant Professor, Plankton Biology

last updated: May 17, 2002
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General Course Information:

BOT4404 - Phycolgogy - Section 51 - Reference #0333 - Credits: 3

BOT 4404 Phycology is a 3 credit course intended to introduce majors in Biology and majors in Marine Biology to the biology, reproduction, diversity and ecology of marine and freshwater algae. For more information on specific topics and the syllabus, see the class schedule.

General Course Information Lab Course:

BOT4404L - Phycolgogy Lab - Section 51 - Reference #0334 - Credits: 1

BOT 4404L Phycology Lab is a 1 credit lab course that accompagnies the Phycology lecture course. All students enrolling in the lab course are required to enroll for the lecture course BOT 4404 (reference number 0370) as well. The lab course will provide hands-on experience on phytoplankton ecological research and introduce to the diversity of algae from different groups. A field study of Biscayne Bay will be the center of this lab course. Students will form small "research groups" of 3-4 students. With the university's pontoon boat, we will go out to Biscayne Bay and sample as many different stations as we have "research groups". Each group will be responsible for an ecological description of their station. This work will comprise measurements of hydrography (salinity, temperature, oxygen), nutrients, chlorophyll concentration, counting of phytoplankton by microscopy and flow cytometry, assessment of the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton by microscopy. Each "research group" will present their results as a micro- seminar on the last day of the course. After the presentations, we will compare the different stations in Biscayne Bay. For more detailed information see the syllabus and time schedule for the lab class.
Beside the work on the field samples, we will have life and preserved material to learn about the diversity of freshwater and marine algae. This material will comprise both unicellular (mostly planktonic) algae and macroalgae (seaweed). One lab class will be devoted to a small physiological experiment to assess the dependence of algal growth rates on the nutrient concentration and composition.
The FIU pontoon boat

Lecturer Dr. Frank J. Jochem, assistant professor for plankton biology at the Biscayne Bay Campus, the home of the Marine Biology Program.

Time and Location: Summer C 2002 (May 17 to July 26, 2002). Due to the instructor's participation in research cruises, no classes will be held on May 10 and in August.
Lectures: Friday, 09.00 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.; lecture hall AC-2 #110
Lab class: Friday, 14.00 - 18.30 p.m.; lab AC-2 #305 (bi-weekly)
Attendance politics: Regular attendance of lectures and lab classes is expected. It is further expected that students show up in time. For both the lecture and the lab classes, the student who comes late most will have to bring doughnuts for the next class (rule applies to instuctors and TAs as well!). For more information, please refer to Exam web site about grading procedures!

Lectures, required reading: Linda E Graham & Lee W Wilcox // Algae // Prentice-Hall // (c) 2000 // ISBN 0-13-660333-5 // Price: Hardcover $65.00

Lab course, required reading: No textbook is commercially available right now that covers the topics of the planned lab course. Therefore, a dedicates lab manual will be assembled by the instructor and made available online for printout. Adobe Acrobat Reader will be necessary to read and print the lab manual. See the instructors web pages on how and where to download the free Acrobat Reader. Detailed study of the lab manual prior to the lab course is required. It is also essential for the lab work to bring your lab manual to class since working protocols are inlcuded in the manual.

Additional material will be presented during the class that might require taking notes. Most important additional materials will be distributed as handouts or online. Complementary material not included in the textbook but discussed during the classes or provided as handout or online might be subject of examinations. Attending the classes regularly will provide substantial advantage towards examinations.

Lab course, recommended and additional reading:
As a solid and detailed source of information and work guide for aquatic ecological studies, the following book is recommended. This book goes far beyond the scope of this lab course and is fairly expensive, but a valuable source of information and methodology for those who plan to settle their graduate work in the field of aquatic sciences: Rober G Wetzel & Gene E Likens // Limnological Analysis, 3rd edition // Springer // (c) 2000 // ISBN 0-387-98928-5 // Price: Hardcover $49.95
The standard book for routine phytoplankton taxonomic identification today is: Carmelo R. Tomas (ed) // Identifying Marine Phytoplankton // Academic Press // (c) 1997 // ISBN 0-12-693018-X // Price: paperback $89.00
A beautiful and affordable guide to Southern Florida and Caribbean macroalgae is: Diane Scullion Littler, Mark M Littler, Katina E Bucher, James N Norris // Marine Plants of the Caribbean - A Field Guide from Florida to Brazil // Smithsonian Institution Press // (c) 1989 // ISBN 0-87474-607-8 // Price: paperback $26.95 ($21.56 at amazon)

Contact: Office: AC-1 Room 379; Phone: (305) 919 5882; e-mail:
Office hours: Wednesday, 10:30 to 12:00 a.m. or by appointment (use preferably e-mail). Office hours are intended solely for discussion of academic material.

Significance of Course: BOT4404 and BOT4404L satisfy upper division requirements for section B "Organismal Diversity" for Biology Majors. They also qualify as upper division electives for Marine Biology Majors.

Prerequisites for participation in this course are successful completion of courses BSC1010 "General Biology I" and BSC1011 "General Biology II" or equivalent. Although not a prerequisite, successful participation in OCB3043 "Introduction to Marine Biology" or other courses in marine biology, limnology, or aquatic ecology will be very helpful. Chemistry and physics lower division courses are no formal prerquisites; however, basic knowledge in physics, chemistry, and calculus is expected.
Participants in the lab course BOT4404L must be able to swim to participate in the field trip to Biscayne Bay. Students experiencing allergies or asthma shall contact the instructor or teaching assistant prior to the first class to discuss preventive measures. For further safety instructions for the lab course, refer to the BOT4404L syllabus page.