BI3061 - Biological Oceanography


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral examination 60/100 20 minutes D
Report 40/100

Course content

The course introduces the students to biological oceanography. Subjects covered include: Marine life in the oceans, biochemical adaptations to environmental variables, life-history traits, reproduction, hydrography, ocean geography, water masses, seawater characteristics, current systems, thermohaline circulation, ocean conveyor belt, deep and bottom water formation, Ekman transport, marine optics, primary and secondary production, nutrient availability and limitation, nutrient cycling, global carbon flux, microbial loop, biological carbon pump, upwelling, marginal seas, ocean divisions, seafloor and continental margins, impact of climate change, eutrophication, exploitation of the ocean, trophic interactions, plankton communities, benthic ecosystems, sediment characteristics, deep sea habitats, sampling techniques, benthopelagic coupling, nekton.

Learning outcome


  • Students should be able to provide major definitions and explain key concepts in the field of biological oceanography by their own words.
  • Students should gain knowledge on important ocean environments and ecosystems and should train to describe the key role of the oceans in the earths environment.
  • Students should be aware of the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on marine organisms and be able to describe potential threats of climate change, pollution and harvesting activities to the marine environment.


  • The students should gain competences in describing the coupling between ocean and atmosphere and how the oceans chemical and physical properties can affect marine life.
  • The students should explain and discuss how abiotic conditions affect the relationship between marine organisms and their environment and how marine communities respond to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions.

General competency (attitudes):

  • Students should develop scientific, analytical skills and practice to contribute actively to scientific discussions.
  • Students should develop distinct, objective evaluation criteria. By applying these criteria to own written reports and oral presentations, students will improve their writing and presentation skills.
  • Students should be encouraged to communicate with peer students from adjacent disciplines and get confident in reflecting scientific contents and developing critical views.

Learning methods and activities

Classes are given in English, including slides in English. Classes are multinational and include students outside Ocean Resources. In addition to traditional lectures, there is an emphasis on active learning in a seminar format. The students are divided into groups of 4-6 students to work in teams on specific topics (inside the curriculum).

Group work shall be summarized as (1) group term paper and (2) presented as an oral presentation of the group (max. 20 minutes).

Group term papers account for 20% and group presentations for 20% of the group work. Lectures and seminars are integrated for each topic.

Participation in all activities is mandatory.

Compulsory assignments:

  • Approved group term paper on specific topic
  • Approved group presentation on specific topic

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved project

Further on evaluation

The course consists of two partial assessments, where each part of the assessments has its own grade. The overall grade in the course is given after both assessments have been assessed as passed. One part consists of an oral exam that counts for 60% of the total grade, the other part consists of group work that counts for 40% of the total grade.

In the event of improvement (repetition) of the oral examination, it will be possible to take the examination at the next semester, regardless of teaching the course. When improving the report, this is done by following the teaching and submitting a new report at the next teaching term of the course.

If you do not pass the oral exam, you have the opportunity to take a postponed exam either semester, even if there is no teaching. In the event of failure of the report, teaching must be followed up again and the report carried out again.

Specific conditions

Limited admission to classes. For more information:

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
MNKBI361 7.5
MNKBI361 7.5
BI8061 7.5 AUTUMN 2010
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2022
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2022-06-01

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Marine Civil Engineering
  • Water Engineering in Fish Farming
  • Aqua Culture
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Topics
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biology


Examination arrangement: Aggregate score

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Report 40/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Oral examination 60/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Report 40/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral examination 60/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU