Ecology Courses

Ocean First Education has developed a series of marine science courses to teach divers about the ocean, its inhabitants, and what you can do to help protect our greatest natural resource.  

Thanks for our 10-year partnership with SSI, you can now earn an official certification when you complete the online and classroom portions of the following ecology courses. The online study can be completed at your own pace; to complete the classroom portion, check our calendar for upcoming classes or schedule a private to complete the classroom portion. SSI specialty certifications not only help you improve your skills and confidence as a diver and ocean ambassador, but they also count towards your professional development.

Coral Identification

Coral Identification

Coral reefs are the building blocks of many ocean ecosystems. This program teaches you the skills and concepts required to recognize and identify common families of coral species. More Information - click here

Fish Identification

Fish Identification

The ocean is filled with fascinating and beautiful fish of every shape and size. This non-diving specialty program teaches you the skills and concepts required to identify the common families of Caribbean, Indo-Pacific, and Red Sea reef fish. More Information - click here

Marine Ecology

Marine Ecology

This program provides a general understanding of the complex and exciting science of marine ecology, which is the study of how organisms interact with each other and the environment, the flow of energy through communities, and the link between ocean ecosystems. More Information - click here

Sea Turtle Ecology

Sea Turtle Ecology

This program teaches you the skills and concepts required to recognize and identify common species of sea turtles, describes their history and role in marine ecosystems, and threats to their survival. More Information - click here

Shark Ecology

Shark Ecology

Many humans fear sharks, but is that reputation deserved? By taking the SSI Shark Ecology program, you will learn how sharks and their behavior are often misunderstood, and how you can safely observe them in their natural habitat. More Information - click here

Ocean First Education also offers online science short courses for independent learners of every age, from middle school to adults!

Ocean Literacy

Ocean Literacy

FREE

How are we connected to the ocean and why is it so important? Investigate the seven principles of ocean literacy, which includes understanding the features of the ocean and discovering the fascinating organisms living within it. Learn how humans influence our one big ocean while also depending on it, whether you live by the sea or hundreds of miles from it. Take the course here.

Manta & Ray Ecology

Manta & Ray Ecology

$19.95

COMING SOON TO SSI. Rays and their close relatives, sharks, have been around for hundreds of millions of years, some long before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, yet we know surprisingly little about these majestic creatures, including how old they get, when they mature, and how far they migrate. Purchase course.

Biodiversity of the Ocean

Biodiversity of the Ocean

$19.95

The ocean is vast, covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface it is home to hundreds of thousands of living things. Life in the sea has lead to some amazing adaptations; from the ability to absorb oxygen directly through tissue to the largest animals on Earth, unencumbered by the pull of gravity. While the creatures that frequent the shore such as sea turtles, pelicans, and ghost crabs are familiar to us, the ocean is also home to organisms we may only ever experience in pictures, their habitat so remote or their species so few in number. Purchase course.

An Evolving Ocean

An Evolving Ocean

$19.95

The history of our ocean begins with the history of Earth. Around 4.6 billion years ago during an event known as the big bang matter began expanding from a single point. Over the course of billions of years our planet was bombarded by debris, some containing the minerals that would later give rise to water and eventually life. Purchase course.

Ocean Ecosystems

Ocean Ecosystems

$19.95

Marine life can be found everywhere the sea touches, from the highest tide line along the beach to the deepest ocean trench. The ecosystems inhabited by marine organisms are diverse. Classified based on the their location near the shore, in the water column, or along the sea floor, marine ecosystems share many of the same physical dynamics associated with an underwater environment. Purchase course.

A Dynamic Ocean

A Dynamic Ocean

$19.95

Every life, even your own, is impacted by the chemical and physical properties of the ocean. From the simple chemistry of a single water molecule to the density driven deep ocean currents that circumnavigate the globe, the ocean impacts all life on Earth. The enormity of the ocean's size can make it seem like nothing is ever happening. Purchase course.

Our Impact on the Ocean

Our Impact on the Ocean

$19.95

Throughout history humans have relied on the ocean. It has served as transportation to new lands, provided a bounty of food, and has even been used as a receptacle for waste material. As vast as the sea is, there are limits to what can be taken from it and added to it. With the invention of the steam engine came the ability to harvest the ocean more efficiently and for days at a time. Purchase course.

Ocean Discoveries

Ocean Discoveries

$19.95

The ocean covers more than half of our planet, yet we have only explored 5% of it. Much of our curiosity about the ocean stems from our use of it; the fish and seafood we harvest, the medicines we discover and the energy resources we harness. But the ocean is also an important barometer for the health and wellbeing of our planet. Purchase course.

Beaver Ecology

Beaver Ecology

$19.95

Amazing engineers, fascinating adaptations, and an important keystone species, the North American beaver, Castor canadensis, is the subject of this course. We will focus on an investigation of a site that has recently been occupied by a pair of adult beavers, George and Gracie. The study site is located southwest of Denver, CO, near Chatfield Reservoir along the South Platte River. Get ready to explore the busyness of beavers! Purchase course.

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