Introduction to Marine Science Through Experiments and Art

Introduction to Marine Sciences through Experiments and Art


Course information:


Course Number:

Title: Personal Growth

Semester:  Fall 2013


Dates: October 5 – December 7

Days and Times: 

Saturdays 10:00 am – 12:45pm

Class Location: Kodiak College Science Lab KTC 130

CRN: 80195

Course Prerequisite: None

Course Co-requisite: none

Instructor information: 

Name: Switgard Duesterloh

Office: cell 907-654.9037

Phone: 907.481.3867

Fax:  907-486-1255

Office hours: by appointment                      



Course Description

  • Combines Science and Art in an interdisciplinary and complementary course
  • Provides a framework for the understanding of Marine Biology through a combination of lecture, discussion, experiments, and field trips.
  • Presents concepts in Marine Sciences through lectures, student experiments, and individual study and deepens the understanding of anatomy and habitat through creative art projects.
  • Allows individualized development of ocean literacy to a multi-facetted student population through Professional Development credits for teachers, and no-credit participation to personal development students, and allows participation of parent-student teams for interested students in grades 5-8.
  • Explores the depths of ocean life forms and their ecology as an inspiration for art and biotechnology.

Course Design:        

The course will be conducted at Kodiak College during the fall semester of 2013. Class will meet on Saturdays from  10:00 am to 12:45 pm. Optional field trips to Kodiak beaches and docks will be offered outside of regular class time. Each lesson will be divided into time for lecture, experimentation and/or art.  The course content will follow the book “Exploring Creation with Marine Biology”, which is divided into separate modules. Students will be expected to read texts in the book on their own study time, and will require time outside of class to finish art projects.

The course is structured into 2 parts of 3.5 weeks, each of which can be taken individually as a Professional Development (PD) credit for teachers. Teachers who take the course for PD credit will work on development of a science unit to do with their class as a credit requirement. Personal development students are encouraged to take advantage of the full course.  Experiments and art activities may vary from the listing below depending on availability of materials and time.

Part 1 (Modules 3,4,5) will introduce processes of life, and simple life forms in the group Protista. We will then learn about marine invertebrates and their classification. Learning of the specific physiological adaptations will be enhanced through several art projects, in which we will use a variety of materials. I recommend this Part for 6th grade teachers.

Part 2 (Modules 6,7,13) includes the study of marine vertebrates and their specific adaptations and ecology. We will investigate bony fishes, sharks, marine mammals, birds and reptilians. We will learn about local resources to aid the teaching of these topics, and get our hands messy with fish dissection and fish prints. Seemingly in contrast, we will then move into studying plankton and deepen our understanding of the Food Web links. This part is recommended as Professional Development for grade 4 (Food Web) and grade 7 (Ecosystem) teachers.