Case Studies in Marine Disease Ecology – Middle Fall


    “Prof. Emma is familiar and has both a sense of humor and an extensive background knowledge that keeps me engaged. She is so patient and will repeat herself if we need it. I’m engaged the perfect amount and I don’t feel stressed or pressured. I’ve been taking Athena’s classes for seven years, and I have benefited greatly from their unique approach to teaching and learning.”
    ~ Student L.A.

    Please note: Prof. Emma’s schedule is currently in flux. If this course’s time needs to be changed (possible, although unlikely), parents will be notified.



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    Seastar with a mask at the beach for Marine Disease Case Studies course at Athena's Advanced Academy
    InstructorProf. Emma Stein
    Content LevelsGrades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
    Course Length8 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnTuesdays, 10:00 - 10:50 AM Pacific - Middle Semester - 10/15/24 - 12/13/24

    Outbreaks of marine disease are becoming more prevalent in our changing world. They have the capacity to completely change ecosystems! What can we learn from these outbreaks?

    Our course will follow Dr. Drew Harvell’s influential work investigating four key marine disease case studies: coral disease, abalone withering syndrome, salmon disease, and sea star wasting syndrome. Her book, Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease provides a fantastic introduction to the world of marine disease biology and ecology!

    As we learn more about these case studies, we’ll also explore basics of disease ecology that can be applied to students’ future biological studies!

    Join us this semester to dive into this fascinating topic!

    Note to Parents: Students who are sensitive to the death of animals, human disease, and/or disease in general should be very sure that they are ready to take this course. Disease and the death of animals will be presented from a scientific standpoint. Students will be shown pictures of diseased, dying, and dead organisms. Please also refer to the Materials & More tab.

    “What better way to explore marine disease biology and ecology than through a book written by Dr. Drew Harvell, one of the foremost marine disease ecology experts? Dr. Harvell presents an accessible window into the ever-changing world of marine diseases that I can’t wait to explore with students!”
    ~ Prof. Emma Stein

    For a list of scientific skills students will develop, see the What to Expect tab.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Two forums—in which students are given the opportunity to reflect upon the week’s material or research a relevant interaction.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
    • An activity at the end of the webinar.

    Scientific skills students will develop:

    • Scientific thought skills.
    • Knowledge base of disease ecology theory and case studies in marine diseases.
    • Researching using general Internet sources.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 5th-grade level or above.
    • Write a few sentences independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials:

    • Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease by Dr. Drew Harvell – ISBN 978-0520296978
    • Parents, please refer to the Content Cautions list linked here for this publication.