BOT4404 Main Page

FIU Home

FIU Marine Biology Home

Dept. Biology Home

Frank Jochem Home


Phycology Lab Syllabus

FIU course no. BOT 4404L

Download your syllabus in PDF format (11kB) here!

Safety Information for the Lab Course:

1. Field Trip

  • All participants in the field trip aboard the pontoon boat must be able to swim. Non-swimmers or students otherwise handicaped or unable to swim cannot go out to sea.
  • All students aboard have to wear life preservers all the time
  • Wear solid shoes with rubber sole for safety reasons; no open shoes, no flip-flops or other loose shoes, no leather sole, no bare feet aboard; remember that shoes might get wet aboard, so don't bring your Sunday shoes!
  • NEVER sit on the reeling!
  • Bring rain gear along in case a thunderstorm comes up unexpectedly
  • Bring sun glasses and a hat to protect your eyes and brain from the sun
  • Bring sun blocker at least 15+
  • Bring at least one quart of water (only water counts, no juice or soda!)
  • Operate any equipment only if you are familiar with the equipment and only after the skipper has explicitely allowed to deploy equipment (otherwise lines are easily entagled in the prop, destroying the prop and leaving us rowing back home)
  • Prior to deploying any equipment overboard, make sure lines are secured to the boat to prevent loss of equipment
  • If interested, you might bring your photo camera and/or binocular. But make sure you have water-tight storage for them.

If severe weather is ongoing or in the forecast, we have to reschedule the field trip for safety reasons. In this case, we will go out on the Bay a week later and do the lab experiment on day 2. The major concern in terms of weather is wind and wave action. In case of slight rain or showers that leave the Bay waters calm, we will still go out. In this case, don't forget your rain gear. Should we lose a whole lab day because the university is closed due to bad weather or due to hurricane evacuation, we will try to go out the next week and skip the lab experiment. If enrollment is more than 12 students, we have to split the field trip into two separate trips on the same afternoon for safety reasons and capacity limits of the boat. Group assignments of students and trip planning will be made on the first lab day. Students are welcome to pre-arrange their assignment to research groups.

Scientific importance: This lab course is a novelty, and it is an experiment. We hope you will enjoy this experiment of a real hands-on experience in marine science. In addition to our attempt to provide you with "another kind of lab course" by involving you in active field science, there is also a scientific importance to your work in this class. Biscayne Bay is largely underinvestigated, and published plankton studies are almost 20 years old. Within the framework of establishing an active research in marine biology and ecology at Biscayne Bay Campus, studies in Biscayne Bay and coastal Miami waters is a major aspect of our scientific work. Therefore, we are eager to gather your data, which will find their ways into our ongoing research instead of sleeping in your lab reports only. As a new faculty at FIU, presently building my research program, I hope you will support my activities by gathering these data during our lab course. Depending on the data quality, your data might provide a solid base for future research planning in the Marine Biology Program at FIU.