University of Florida

Introduction to Marine Wildlife

Aquatic Animal Health

May 10-August 6, 2010 Gainesville, FL, USA

Site Index

Course Introduction

Course Outline & Schedule Registration Information
Course Objectives Course Topics Course Questions
Course Information Course Faculty  

Course Introduction


Introduction to Marine Wildlife is an online course designed to introduce students (upper level undergraduate and graduate) and professionals with a Masters or higher degree to the natural history, anatomy, physiology and behavior of aquatic megavertebrates: whales and dolphins, seals and sea lions, manatees, sea turtles and crocodilians.


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Course Objectives


The course objectives:
  • Provide on-line reading material for each learning module, lectures through MediaSite
  • Opportunities for discussion on electronic message board
  • Homework assignments for establishing a baseline of information on marine mammals, sea turtles and crocodilians. 
  • Graduate students are also expected with write a grant proposal and then review assigned proposals.

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Course Information


Undergraduate Level (Junior or Senior)
Course Number: VME 4906
Section 9328 for UF and 9326 for non-UF


Graduate Level
Course Number: VME 6934
Section 9163 for UF and 9169 for non-UF

Course Materials
Reading material will be provided on the E-learning site and needs to be reviewed before viewing the MediaSite lectures.  From the background reading material provided, students will be asked to answer questions from a self test quiz.  Students will need to correctly answer 90% before allowed access to the related MediaSite lectures.


After viewing EACH lecture, students are asked to post 5 questions/comments to the electronic message board on the given topic. Dr. Larkin or the person who gave the lecture would then be available to address questions posted during a window of time, to be indicated in each module.


Homework will include providing a 2 page review and critique of a scientific journal article. 


Graduate students are also expected to write a 5 page grant proposal on an aquatic related topic, due towards the end of the semester.  After grants are handed in, graduate students will then be given proposals (without names or other identifiers) and asked to participate as a “Reviewer” and to evaluate/rank the grants. Undergraduate students will not be asked to write and review a grant proposal.

Directions for assignments, lectures and due dates will be provided within each learning module. Due dates for assignments will also be available on the e-learning calendar

Access to the course material will be opened at the start of the semester: Monday, May 10th.

Evaluation/ Grading/ Testing          





Knowledge of Subject Area

Ability to satisfactorily integrate reading material, discussions, and writing assignments as demonstrated


Participation in class message board discussions


Completion of self test quizzes and viewing lectures







Journal article review – 5% review, 5% critique


Grant proposal 


Review of grant proposal




Personal Profile


On-line attendance & punctuality of due dates


Enthusiasm & attitude


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Course Outline & Schedule


Click here to view and print tentative outline (PDF format).

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Course Topics


  • Manatees
    Natural History, Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior, Hair & Genetics

  • Pinnipeds
    Natural History, Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior

  • Crocodilians
    Natural History, Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior

  • Sea Turtles
    Natural History, Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior

  • Conservation Issues

  • Cetaceans
    Natural History, Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior, Large Whales, Conservation, Mortality  

  • Regulations, Permits & Management
    Manatees & Cetaceans, Health Assessments and Rehabilitation, UMEs

  • Research & Techniques
    Necropsy, Molecular Techniques, Field Techniques   

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Course Faculty

Bob Bonde
University of Florida
  College of Veterinary Medicine and

U.S. Geological Survey, Sirenia Project

Alex Costidis
  University of Florida
  College of Veterinary Medicine

Katherine Garland
University of Florida

Elsa Haubold
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Iske Larkin
  University of Florida
  College of Veterinary Medicine 

Hendrik Nollens
University of Florida
  College of Veterinary Medicine and
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

Tom Pitchford
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Roger Reep
  University of Florida
  College of Veterinary Medicine

Alicia Reid
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Andy Stamper
  Disney's Animal Kingdom

 Kent Vleit
University of Florida
  College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Randy Wells
  University of Florida
  College of Veterinary Medicine and
  Mote Marine Laboratory

Graham Worthy
  University of Central Florida

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Registration Information


What does the Registration Fee include? The Introduction to Marine Wildlife registration fee provides each participant the educational program, course handouts and upon completion, two-credit hours.


Registration will permit the students to have access to the course during the summer C semester and they will have access to numerous PDFs of faculty presentations and related reading material. Students will also be introduced to researchers who have an enormous amount of experience with the subjects covered.

Registration Fees for Non-UF Students

Undergraduate Registration Fee $681.00
Graduate Registration Fee $859.00

This is a two-credit class through the University of Florida.


UF Veterinary Students need to also register with Ms. Dot McCloskey at:  

UF Students must register through normal ISIS and pay the current cost per credit hour. Undergraduates must be a junior or senior to enroll. Graduate students should be in good standing.

UF Student Handbook (online course information)

Non-UF Students will register through the web site link to DCE.
Undergraduate: Only those with
a junior or senior status can register for this course. Regular rate per credit hour cost is $325 plus $31in additional fees. Proof of undergraduate student status required.
Graduate: Must be c
urrently enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program. Proof of graduate student status required.
Post Graduate: If not currently a student, you must have a Masters or higher degree in hand.
Regular rate per credit hour cost is
$400 plus $59 in additional fees. Proof of degree required.


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Course Questions

Course Information:

Dr. Iske Larkin, Course Director
University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine
PO Box 100136
Gainesville, FL 32610-0136
Phone: 352-294-4095
E-learning web mail: 8-5 M-F during the course


NOTE: If you send an email to Dr. Larkin and receive no response within two days, please call her phone number.

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