Mr. Rainbeau's Biology & Oceanography Website

Biology & Oceanography Resources

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Course Overview:
  • Welcome to Marine Biology/Oceanography @ Ridgefield High School! At Ridgefield High School Marine Biology/Oceanography is offered to sophomores through seniors students who have an interest in marine sciences.
  • Two branches of Marine Science are explored concurrently in this course. The first involves classroom activities in navigation, plate tectonics, sedimentation, the physics and chemistry of sea water, and nutrient cycles. Waves, currents, tides and beach erosion are also explored. The second subject is an overview of marine biology and evolutionary adaptation during which the main phyla in Long Island Sound are examined through observation and dissection.

  • Introductory Oceanography, 10th Edition by Thurmna and Trujillo. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
  • Book Companion Website
Textbook / Lab Manual Supplementals:
  • The Fluid Earth, 3rd Edition by Klemm, Pottenger, Speitel, Reed, and Coopersmith. Curriculum Research and Development, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, 1999. 
  • The Living Ocean, 3rd Edition by Klemm, Pottenger, Speitel, Reed, and Coopersmith. Curriculum Research and Development, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, 1999. 
  • Marine Biology, 9th Edition by Castro and Huber. McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2013.
  • A Laboratory Manual to Accompany Marine Biology, 9th Edition by Brandon Rainbeau. McGraw-Hill, 2013.

  • Mr. Brandon Rainbeau
  • Room #: G330
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Phone: (203) 438 - 3785 x.18308
  • **This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or Edmodo messaging is best for quick communication**

Websites Used in Class:
  • Biology, 9th grade Physics H, or currently taking Biology

  • Depending on the availabity of students taking advantage of BYOD, much of the work will can be completed using computers and submitted digitally for viewing and grading.  Students will be encouraged to bring in their own laptops or tablets to complete many assignments.  In-class computers can be used, although we have a limited number of in-class computers to use by students and lab time can be difficult to obtain at times.
  • ½" to 1" three-ring binder
  • A good set of colored pencils

  • At Ridgefield High School, we will start off with a brief history of marine sciences. Next, we will learn about some physical and chemical aspects of the ocean that affect living organism. The majority of the class covers major ocean dwelling organisms, starting off with the simplest bacteria and concluding with the largest organisms that inhabit the oceans today, the whales. During the second quarter of the class, a culminating web-based project will be done on the Long Island Sound marine habitat.
  • Note taking is required in class (via presentation software) as well as from the text (student outlines) in conjunction with the classwork assignments. On average, students should expect to spend 2-4 hours each week reading and studying Marine Biology outside of class. Daily attendance is expected Internet access is desirable, either from home or school. Students should expect quizzes on the covered materials and tests on major concepts.

Grading Scale:
  • 90.0 - 100%  A
  • 80.0 – 89.9% B
  • 70.0 - 79.9% C
  • 60.0 – 69.9% D
  • ≤59.9% F 

Grading Assessment:
  • 35%: Homework & Classwork
  • 25%: Labs & Projects
  • 40%: Quizzes & Tests

Make-up Work & Absences:
  • Check Edmodo to see what work you missed. Each of you is responsible for keeping up with your own make-up work and missed material.
  • If you miss a test or quiz, you will need to make up that test during class time upon your return. Daily, punctual attendance is extremely important to your success in this course.
  • Make-up labs are usually not offered due to the nature of perishable lab materials and time requirements. 

Classwork/Late Work Policies:
  • Digital assignments may be completed outside of class or upon your return from an excused absence.  Unexcused absences will result in a 5% per day late penalty, both for digital and traditional assignments.
  • Test will be taken digitally, using Schoology.  Feedback, except for short response and essay questions, will be available immediately upon test completion.

Classroom Rules and Safety:
  • Safety first. Students will follow all safety rules as defined in the safety contract provided the first week of classes. Zero points will be earned for missed labs due to unsafe practices. Ask questions if you don’t know so you can learn proper techniques.
  • No food, this is a science laboratory classroom.
  • No makeup in the classroom.
  • No profanity in the classroom. 

Lab Component / Dissections:
  • This will be run as a laboratory course in which students are expected to work individually and in groups to collect data and use that data to answer biological questions concerning the marine environment. Some of the labs performed during the year include animal dissections. If you have objections to animal dissections, please talk with your teacher before any assigned animal dissection for an alternative assignment. You should be aware that alternative to dissections have their limitations.

Lab Practicum:
  • The survey of living things is covered by lecture and lab and culminates with a lab practicum reminiscent of a college practicum.

Field Trips
  • There are two required field experiences during the course. One is an intertidal trip to Sherwood Island, and the other is an open water trip aboard a research vessel out of New Haven. There is no cost to the students for these trips, and their participation is expected.

Academic Honesty:
  • High integrity and academic honesty is expected. Students should not do anything that would bring their integrity into question. All assessments (homework, labs, quizzes, exams, projects, etc) are expected to be completed only by the student. Collaboration and teamwork is allowed on classwork; however, individual work must always be distinctly original from the partners’ work. Students copying and students allowing others to copy their work are both academically dishonest. Make the right choices!
  • If students do choose to copy assignments from other students, then those students will also split the grade on the assignment.
  • Cheating on tests will result in zero credit for the test, a phone call home, and a referral to the school dean.  An essay-only make-up will then be offered after the students parent and the school dean have been notified.

Student Assistance:
  • If you are having a hard time following a concept, please arrange to see me as soon as you are feeling confused. Don’t put off asking for help. I am available after school most days. The easiest way to make an appointment is to stop by my classroom to see me, send me an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or message me through Edmodo. For other hints and resources check the class websites.