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Marine Science

Marine Sciences is an inter-disciplinary subject designed to educate learners with an interest in the ocean, its workings
and its impact on the life of the planet and human populations so that they are able to recognise and want to take up the
work- and study opportunities associated with the marine environment.

The content within Marine Sciences is woven together to form a multidisciplinary field. It builds connections between the realms of water, sediments, rocks and air, living organisms that inhabit the ocean and human engagements with all of these. It draws attention to ocean ecosystems and their sensitivity to human activity and resource use.

Decision makers and the public need an increased awareness about the complex relationships that affect the ocean. The course will equip learners with a thorough understanding, to think about ways to conserve and sustain the ocean for the future
and is informed by four strands,
1. Oceanography including Marine Geology, Geography, Chemistry and Physics that explains
• the sea floor and sediments together with the structure and origins of coastlines and how these change over
• the chemical composition and properties of sea water, and the effects of pollutants on ocean life.
• the ways in which the ocean acts as a driver of weather and climate.
• the waves, tides and currents,
2. Marine Biology investigates the classification, fundamental biology, evolutionary processes, marine biodiversity
and the adaptation of organisms to their environments.
3. Ecology explores ecosystems such as rocky shores, kelp forests and sandy beaches through ecological
concepts including nutrient cycles and food chains.
4. Humans and the Ocean highlights
• marine careers,
• Marine Protected Areas as a model for sustainably managing ocean resources.
• the harvesting of renewable and use of non-renewable ocean resources
• the importance of research in understanding the ocean and the effects that human activities and practices have
on the ocean and larger global patterns (for example Climate Change and Ocean Acidification).
The issue of sustainability is foregrounded in the teaching of the entire subject.
All four strands are to be taught in each school term. This approach facilitates the possibility of more than one teacher
teaching the subject in a school year. For example, the subject lends itself to being taught by a Life Sciences/ Biology
teacher who would teach the Marine Biology component and an Oceanography/Geography teacher who would teach
the Oceanography, Ecology and Humans & the Ocean content. Each strand increases in complexity over the three FET
years which are scaffolded from one tier to another.
The four strands are unpacked in detail in Section 3 where the planning across grades 10 to 12 is shown, with suggested
time allocations given per topic. The table below summarises the distribution of hours across the strands and the three

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