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Marine Biology, Bio 222/ CRN 70932

Instructor: Dr. Laurie McConnico

Contact information

Email Address:  Laurie_mcconnico@cuesta.edu

Phone Number: N/A

Office Location/ Hours: Office hours are held weekly. Students should book a 30 minute appointment at least 24hrs in advance.

Instructor Contact Expectations: 

The best and fastest way to contact me is using the canvas inbox.  I will generally respond to your messages within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.  On weekends, I will do my best to get back to you ASAP, but I cannot guarantee an expeditious response. 

Course Environment:

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Class opens / Accessing Canvas:

This course begins on Monday 8/14/23 and ends after 10 weeks on 10/20/23.

Prior to the Monday classes start on 8/14/23, you will receive an email to your my.Cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the canvas log in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide. Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the direction on the course home page.  

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after 8/14/23 and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu

Online Learning: 

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online and asynchronous using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.  This is a 10 week short course that covers 18 weeks worth of content. Please be prepared to spend 15- 20 hours per week on coursework for this class.


  • First, go to the Online Readiness Resources to take a "self-assessment.” There are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact policy:

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly instructor initiated threaded discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours.

Students should check their campus/canvas email and course announcements daily to avoid missing key information and updates.

Students should login sufficiently frequent to complete all required modules and smart books prior to each exam. All work in this course is asynchronous. Most assignments are open for weeks at a time and due by Sunday evenings.

There are NO Live lectures or logins required. I am available for questions via the Canvas Inbox, Pronto and during office hours.


Exams are open for 2-4 weeks. The 4 exam closing dates in this course are listed below.

Exam 1: Sep X @  1159pm (Sun)

Exam 2: Oct X @  1159pm (Sun)

Exam 3: Nov X @  1159pm (Sun)

Exam 4: Dec X @  1159pm (Thurs)

ALL STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE EXAMS by the dates/ times above. You can complete exams early, but not late.

Course Description

Marine Biology 222

Emphasizes marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecology. Provides an overview of marine biology and includes an introduction to oceanography. Focuses on comparative studies of marine plants and animals, research, human impacts, and the conservation of the marine environment. Transfer: CSU; UC.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Summarize the scientific method and apply relevant terminology and concepts, including scientific theories.
  2. Recognize, contrast, and explain characteristics of and impacts to marine organisms and ecosystems.

Text Book and Materials

  • Marine Biology, by Castro and Huber, with connect (ISBN: 2818440003745). Students should adopt the e-book (~$62) as part of the 1st day ready program. See these details inside the Canvas Course once the Bio 222 begins. DO NOT BUY a text until you enter the canvas course. You will purchase the text inside the course and it will be billed to your school account. 
  • Supplemental Materials necessary for the class:
    • Technology tools outside the LMS:
  • Web camera & microphone on your computer (for office hours)
  • Computer with a stable internet connection and sufficient (NOT on your phone or tablet)
  • Pronto
  • “Connect” available within the e-book purchase inside of Canvas
  • Zoom
  • Adobe reader
  • Microsoft Office for Free (including word and powerpoint)

Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to  support@my.cuesta.edu. If you are having issues with Canvas, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct url: https://cuesta.instructure.com/ or you are using your phone or using an unsupported browser.


Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.  This may solve your problem!  Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specifications.



This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources, please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) at 805-546-3148.

College & Course Policies:

Academic Honesty Policy:  In addition to my course policy, please note all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity, assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of conduct. Please review the Cuesta College Student Code of conduct.

Add / Drop Policy: The last day to add or drop this course without a “W” Aug 25th, the last day to drop this course with a “W” is Sept 21st.  All students are responsible for dropping themselves, if they do not plan to complete the course. Failure to drop yourself may result in being issued a grade at the end of the term. In addition to my policy, please review the Cuesta policy for drops.


Waitlist Policy: Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions.

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