This class provides students with an introduction to marine life, and the principles of marine geology and physical and chemical oceanography that influence the distribution of that life. The course begins with a review of the basic concepts of waves, tides, and currents in preparation for a survey of the living organisms found in the world’s oceans. Monterey Bay, being our home, is the focal point of our studies. The bay is an outstanding backdrop for the course curriculum as it is diverse both geologically and biologically. We take full advantage of our proximity to the ocean by taking numerous field trips to the local rocky intertidal ecosystem, bird colonies, sea otter rafts, seal and sea lion haul-outs, and to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Topics of current interest including global warming, depleted fisheries, coral bleaching, coastal erosion, and plastic pollution are presented throughout the course. Upon completing the course, students are expected to be able to recognize the dominant rocky intertidal invertebrates and algae as well as the most common marine mammals in our local ecosystem and describe the threats to ecosystem balance.