Marine Biology Syllabus

Ms. Alyssa Carter

Arvada West High School


Room #125

Voicemail: #303-982-1305


Class Fee: $35.00



Welcome to Marine Biology! This is a lab oriented Level 2 Biology Course designed to give students an overview of our ocean habitats. This class is recommended for any student thinking of a career in marine science or are just interested about life in the ocean! The course is open to any senior. Students will be introduced to many areas of the marine sciences including the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the sea.



This will be Ms. Carter’s 4th year teaching at Arvada West. She is eager and excited to teach Marine Biology for the first time.  She has some experience snorkeling and plans to get SCUBA certified soon to explore the underwater world. Ms. Carter loves the ocean and all the interesting creatures it inhabits. In her spare time she enjoys playing softball and getting outside with her goldendoodle puppy whenever she can.



  • All work will be due on the last day of the week (workbook, online assignments, etc.)
  • If not turned in on the last day of the week = Use your “late pass” to turn assignments in until the following Friday (or last day of following week)
  • There will be quizzes periodically to check for understanding and progress



  • You will be given 6 “late passes” for the semester

  • 1 late pass = 1 assignment
  • You still have to complete the assignment
  • You will receive up to full credit depending on the quality of the work
  • Excused absences – can receive full credit as long as it is made up within the allowed time given in the student handbook (unless otherwise discussed)
  • Unused passes will be worth extra credit at the end of the semester




  • Workbook will be provided which provides the majority of assignments we will complete in class.



Dissection is a BIG part of this class. You will dissect a minimum of 10 specimens. If, for whatever reason, you feel you cannot or will not dissect, think twice about this class!



You will learn how to setup and maintain a fish tank. You and your peers will be responsible for the maintenance and health of a class tank. You will be assigned 1-2 times per semester to come in during 1st rotation of Connections to check water quality and clean your tank. This will be graded based on your attendance, participation, and ability to complete tasks learned in class.




During the class, you will be given the option to sign up for a scuba diving certification course. This is optional. Approximate cost is $500. Certification is valid for a lifetime.




    • Go to my website for basic contact information and my schedule. Google Classroom is where you can access assignments, see what you have missed, what is coming up (assignment due dates, quiz and test dates) and to print off extra copies of assignments.


    GRADING SCALE: Grades will be assigned on a percentage:

                                        A Range: 90-100%

                                        B Range: 80-89%

                                        C Range: 70-79%

                                        D Range: 60-69%



    • I will not pursue you about your missed work; it is your responsibility. You can check Google Classroom or check with your fellow students, and get any notes or explanation from a trusted classmate.
    • For assignments that cannot go home (ex. labs, dissection), you may make them up during Office Hours/Connections.
    • The best time to get assistance is during Office Hours and/or Connections




    • Follow all AWHS student behavioral expectations.
    • Be on time! Be in your seat and ready to work when the bell rings.
    • Be prepared! Bring daily-required materials to class every day.
    • Follow all safety guidelines and properly clean up and stow all equipment at the end of class.
    • The teacher dismisses the class, not the bell.
    • Drinks will be allowed as long as the classroom is kept clean. No food.
    • Cell phones will be placed in assigned pouch during class time.
    • Ipods/music is only acceptable when approved by your instructor



    • You will be given participation points for every day you are in class on time, with your materials, and actively participating during class.
    • Tardy = lose participation points
    • Every unexcused absence will result in a loss of points.



    The topics covered this year will include, but will not be limited to;


    • principles of ocean science/physical features of the ocean/motions of the oceans
    • chemical and physical properties of seawater
    • saltwater aquariums
    • taxonomy of marine life
    • coral reefs
    • marine plants and photosynthesis of the ocean
    • marine invertebrates
    • marine vertebrates
    • fish identification
    • marine ecosystems and communities
    • human impact on the world’s ocean
    • ocean conservation
    • careers in marine sciences



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