FHL 568 | Summer B 2020

Marine Subtidal Ecology

Credits: 9

Instructor(s): Dr. Katie Dobkowski , Timothy Dwyer , Pema Kitaeff

Prerequisites: • Applicants must be certified divers able to show a logbook with a minimum of 20 dives, at least one in cold water • Students will be required to pass a UW-reviewed physical exam • Students must have their own SCUBA gear that meets University of Washington safety standards

NOTE: Students must submit this addendum along with the regular FHL course application. Please submit completed addendum to Pema Kitaeff.

In Marine Subtidal Ecology (FHL 568), students will achieve the course learning objectives through a combination of interactive lectures, hands on activities, and a group research project that addresses one aspect of a broader class-wide question.

Learning Objectives

• Discuss foundational concepts and theories of subtidal marine ecology
• Compare/contrast marine habitats, organismal life history strategies, and species interactions of subtidal marine organisms
• Assess how human activities impact subtidal marine ecosystems and evaluate current conservation challenges and strategies
• Safely conduct subtidal research using a variety of data collection techniques (observational and experimental) and complete the 12+ “diver in training” dives required by AAUS standards to qualify as a full scientific diver
• Conduct a group research project (addressing one aspect of a broader question), including hypothesis generation, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and manuscript/presentation preparation
• Develop expertise in identification of Salish Sea invertebrate, macroalgae, and fish species
• Read primary literature and collect/analyze/interpret data drawn from a variety of sources to draw evidence-based conclusions

Graded assignments will include lab activities, a field notebook, a lab practical, and a group research project (including proposal/final paper/presentation to the FHL community). In-class participation (including all diving-related activities) and leading a paper discussion (with a partner) will also be important aspects of this course.

Prior to the course, students will need to meet specific SCUBA diving requirements, and should have completed a course in ecology OR marine biology.

Doing scientific research underwater means working underwater; throughout the course we will help students develop the skills and confidence to safely do this kind of work in their study system. The training will include visits (and input!) from scientific diving instructors from around the NW, evening discussions of accident case studies, and extensive pool and in-water skills and rescue drills.

Photo credits: Galloway, Lowe, and Graham.

No textbook is required for this course.

In addition to standard lab fees, there is a scientific diving course fee of $750.

Course title note: Courses offered at Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) are credited through University of Washington (UW) and therefore the UW “umbrella” course title listed on the UW transcript for all courses numbered “FHL 568” will be “Advanced Topics in Ecology and Biomechanics.”


Katie Dobkowski, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor Bates College
Lewiston, Maine

Timothy Dwyer, M.S.
Science Teacher
Spring Street International School
Friday Harbor, Washington

Pema Kitaeff, M.S.
Dive Officer
University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories
Friday Harbor, Washington