BIOSCI 100G Antarctica: The Frozen Continent

BIOSCI 100G | Open | Semester Two 2021 | City Campus | 15 points


A general introduction to Antarctica and its environs including the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of Antarctica and how resident plants, animals and microorganisms have adapted to cope with the extreme environment.

Specific topics to be addressed include the history of Antarctic exploration and its impact on the development of Antarctic science, Antarctic ecosystems, Antarctica as a wilderness region, and the impact of humans including the exploitation of resources and the effects of pollution.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course you will have an understanding of the significance of Antarctica from historical, geological, geographical, chemical, physical, biological, political and sociological perspectives.

Topics Covered

  • Earth Science (Geography; Geology; Climate and Weather)
  • Water Science (Snow and Ice; Ice and Oceans; Lakes and Rivers)
  • Biodiversity (Life in Ice, Lakes and Rivers; Terrestrial Organisms; Marine Plankton and Other Invertebrates)
  • Fish Biology (Fish Diversity; Fish Adaptations; Antifreeze)
  • Antarctic Birds (Land and Seabirds; Penguins; Emperor Penguins)
  • Marine Mammals (Seals; Whales; Ecology & Foodwebs)
  • Exploration (Early Explorers; Race for the Pole; Human Survival)
  • Antarctic Politics (International Polar Years; Antarctic Treaty & Law; Tourism)
  • Human Impacts (Pollution; Ozone Hole; Climate Change)
  • Exploitation (Fishes and Krill; Penguins and Seals; Whales)

Student Feedback

'The course plan and modules were well laid out, with concise yet comprehensive course notes. The lectorials and weekly tasks really helped to back up what was taught in the lectures. Overall this was a phenomenal course and probably the best laid out and well organised course I've taken at uni (and I'm in 3rd year)!'

'The lecturers were knowledgeable and passionate. I like that the course was split into 10 modules and a lot of interesting content was covered without getting too complicated or in depth. The weekly quizzes were helpful for consolidating knowledge and keeping on top of coursework. Overall, I really enjoyed the course.'

'The resources and organisation were outstanding. As a 3rd year student taking this first year course I was astounded at how many new skills I learnt that I wish I had been taught in my first year in my usual departments.'

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