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Coral Reefs of the Western Pacific: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Emerging Crises, and Solutions (BIO 355, CEE 363I, ESS 355)

This new graduate-level course focusses on the complex interplay of biology, physics, chemistry, and human activities that both promotes and limits the development of coral reefs. We will examine the ecology of these biodiverse systems as well as the service they provide in terms of rapid nutrient recycling, coastal protection, and maintenance of large populations of fish. New advances in our understanding of coral reefs will be highlighted, including the role of climate variability and micro- and mesoscale fluid flow in controlling reef growth and persistence, the physiology, genomics, and physics underpinning thermal resilience in corals, contributing and mitigating factors involved in the current decline of coral reefs, ocean acidification, fishing, reef-scale trophic modeling, ecological interactions and trophic cascades, and reefs as part of complex seascapes and linkages with other marine ecosystems. The course will conclude with an analysis of science to policy case studies and future opportunities. The faculty leaders collectively have over 100 years of field experience working in coral reefs of the Pacific and despite our forced online teaching and learning format will endeavor to bring the coral reef field experience to life for this class.

Letter or Credit/No Credit