South Florida

Recording orientation of Mangrove Periwinkles with respect to tidal influences 2006 Photo:  Erin Sams South Florida provides the natural study field laboratories for the Marine Ecology Class.  The class is designed to teach students about experimental design from beginning with observation.  Students work in research teams to investigate biological phenomena observed by them in different habitats found in South Florida including diverse wetland habitats of the Everglades National Park, rocky intertidal and seagrass communities of Long Key at the Keys Marine Laboratory, sandy beach, coral communities and near shore open ocean habitats at the Dry Tortugas National Park, and mangrove, sandy shore and bay, natural and altered estuarine systems at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.  The natural laboratories allow students to move from observation, question and hypothesis formation to prediction, experimental design, protocol design, data collection and analysis, through to presentation of results found in scientitic papers, webpages and public presentations.  The experiments that follow are examples from the Marine Ecology courses of May 2003, December 2004, December 2006 and December 2008
Dennis J Taylor
taylordj at
last updated 15 December 2008