Course description

Covers the philosophy of research, hypothesis testing and experimental design, sampling methods, various underwater techniques, diving physics and physiology, and use of dive tables. Emphasizes subtidal ecological research. Requirements include critical evaluation of several journal articles and production of a research proposal.

Outcome 1: Understanding of basic principles in marine ecology, including competition, predation, and direct and indirect interactions, and how these forces shape the marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Maine.

Outcome 2: Familiarization with subtidal algae, invertebrates, and fishes inhabiting diving depths around the Isles of Shoals, including species identification and life history characteristics.

Outcome 3: Understanding of hypothesis testing, as well as aspects of experimental design including sampling method, replication, and controls.

Outcome 4: Understanding of introductory statistics, including student’s t-test, ANOVA, and regression analyses.

Outcome 5: Experience in designing and implementing an independent research project by observing patterns in the subtidal ecosystem and formulating testable hypotheses to explain the patterns.

Outcome 6: Experience in analyzing and summarizing collected field data.

Outcome 7: Experience in writing a formal Research Proposal based on the independent research project (design, data collection, analyses).

Outcome 8: Experience in critiquing and evaluating original research proposals in an oral presentation and group discussion format.

Outcome 9: Understanding fundamental principles of diving physics and physiology relevant to a working scientific diver.

Outcome 10: Becoming certified in fundamental skills in First Aid, O2 administration, and CPR.

Offered in Maine at Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island. Contact the SML academic coordinator ( for specific Cornell requirements fulfilled by this course.


One semester of college-level biology or equivalent, recognized SCUBA certification, and approval to SCUBA dive at SML.

No upcoming classes were found.

Previously offered classes

Summer 2023:

Section ID:BIOSM 3650 801-FLD
Program:Marine Science - Shoals Marine Laboratory
Session:Summer Extra-session
Class dates:July 17-31, 2023
Final exam/project due:Monday July 31, 8 AM - 8 PM / TBA (see Final exams)
Time / room:MTWRFSU 8 AM - 8 PM / TBA
Mode of instruction:In person
Grade:Student option
Max. enroll:8
To enroll:

This class requires an application or instructor consent to enroll.

Requires SCUBA certification.