OCB 2262C - Field Application of Marine Science: Assessment of Coral Reef Habitats
3.000 Credits
Prerequisites: Passing OCB 1000 and OCB 2102C with a C or higher (CR C) and must be a certified diver and permission
of instructor
This course will equip students with the basic skills for assessing a coral reef habitat using the RECON method. The
RECON method is a low-tech, rapid monitoring protocol for SCUBA divers. It is considered “low-tech” because the only
equipment needed to conduct RECON is a special data sheet attached to a slate with a pencil and 10-meter survey line.
This method is “rapid” because once you have learned how to correctly perform a survey; you should be able to complete
a RECON survey during a 40-45 minute dive with a dive buddy. The RECON Program assesses the health of certain large (at
least 25 cm diameter) stony coral, identifies their major stressors and characterizes their habitat. There are 4 levels of RECON
certification: RECON I diver: This requires 2-3 hours of classroom time, 2 supervised training dives and 2 supervised survey
dives. The student must also receive 80% on the RECON Level 1 Exam. RECON II diver: Complete 6 surveys conducted with
a RECON-certified dive buddy. RECON III diver: Complete 10 surveys and receive 80% on Level 2 exam. RECON Instructor:
Complete 10 surveys and complete RECON Instructor training (includes 2 additional surveys) + receive 90% on RECON Level
2 exam. For this course all participants will be expected to achieve Level III with Instructor status available for those that
meet the requirements. This course will have 2 lecture contact hours per week (=30 contact hours per semester) and 2 lab
contact hours per week (=30 contact hours per semester).
OCB 2263C - Coral Reef Biology & Mgmt
4.000 Credits
Prerequisites: Passing OCB 1000 and OCB 2102C with a C or higher (CR C ) and must be a certified diver and permission
of instructor
This course introduces students to the basic biology of corals and coral reefs, including a discussion of ecological
principles such as: competition, diversity, symbiosis, disturbance, adaptation, reproduction, and recruitment. Also examined
are the major taxa living in coral reef ecosystems of the Caribbean and Florida, including seagrasses and mangroves. Latter
portions of the course introduce current polices and best practice for coral reef conservation and management, with
emphasis on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The in-field laboratory portion will illustrate concepts from the
lectures, and give students practical experience in basic coral reef monitoring techniques.
OCB 2310 - Dolphin Studies and Field Experience: Cognitive and Behavioral Research with Marine Mammals
3.000 Credits
Prerequisites: Passing OCB 1301C with a C or higher (CR C)
This introductory program provides an in-depth, hands-on immersion into the field of marine mammal science and
surveys a wide range of knowledge, theories and ongoing research concerning marine mammals, including instruction
specific to the facility and its resident dolphins. The class focuses on concepts and research methodology in the study of
cognitive abilities and social behavior of marine mammals. Students will reside at the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy
OCB 2313 - Dolphin Studies and Field Experience: Advanced Marine Mammal Training and Enrichment II
3.000 Credits
Prerequisites: Passing OCB 1311 with a C or higher (CR C)
The class delves more deeply into the fields of behavioral science, animal care and training. The course allows students
to build on the knowledge they acquired during the Marine Mammal Care & Basic Training and begin focusing on training
new behaviors, exploring animal enrichment and contemplating more complex issues surrounding marine mammal
care. Students will implement a training plan they have developed to train a new behavior to a dolphin. Public speaking
skills will also be developed as students learn how to present dolphins and their training experiences to the public. At the
conclusion of the course, students will showcase the new behaviors they have trained for Dolphin Research Center guests
in a form al, narrated presentation. Students will also explore animal enrichment through directed activities implemented
with our dolphins and sea lions. Under the guidance of our staff, students will create enrichment toys and activities for
the animals and present these activities and toys to the animals throughout the week and observe the animals’ reactions.
In order to better understand training differences between species and the need for flexibility in advanced training
techniques, students will also apply their knowledge of training principles by teaching a new behavior to a canine Dolphin
Lab participant. Each student will individually develop a training plan for the behavior to be trained, participate daily in
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