Course Description:

This course is an introduction to what tides are, what causes them, what tidepools are, why they are important, and how you can become a citizen science and contribute observations to science.

Conduct of the Course:

Each module includes an introduction, reading assignments, and a quiz.  Unless stated otherwise, each module includes all the assigned reading materials. You are to complete the modules in order, working at your best pace.

Some modules will also include recommended readings. These will not be covered on the quiz, but we strongly recommend that you at least look them over, as they will often include more detailed or advanced information. However, some recommended reading gets a bit technical. If recommended readings are above your current level, don't worry. But do download it for future reference.  

On a few occasions, modules will include "reference" items, which you should download and keep handy where you can refer to them as needed. 

For each module, complete the assigned readings and then take the quiz. Each quiz has twenty questions. To pass, you need a score of 14 (70%) or higher.

Quizzes are "open book" and may be repeated.

No grade will be assigned; the course will issue a certificate on a pass/fail basis to students who pass all of the module quizzes.

Tips and Suggestions:

There will be a lot of reading in this course. You may proceed at your own pace, but we strongly recommend that you study regularly and often. Don't let too much time go by between study sessions; try to complete at least one module each week.


Completion of CS 101, Introduction to Citizen Science is recommended, but not required.

Course Curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome to Introduction to Tidepool Biology for Citizen Scientists (California/Oregon region)

    • General Learning Objectives

    • About the course structure

    • Course Breakdown

  • 2

    Module One: The Seashore

    • Overview of Module One

    • What Causes Tides?

    • More About Tides

    • What Causes the Second High Tide of the Day?

    • Does anything else affect tides?

    • Tide Tables and Tide Charts

    • Who Makes Tide Tables?

    • How to Read a Tide Table

    • How to Read a Tide Table - Video

    • Conclusion, and Resources & Sources

    • Test your learning for The Seashore (Module 1)

  • 3

    Module Two: The Intertidal Ecosystem

    • Overview of Module Two

    • A Word About Waves

    • Three General Types of Tide Pools

    • Rip Currents and Undertow

    • Diversity Between the Tides: The “Edge Effect”

    • Resources:

    • Test your learning for The Intertidal Ecosystem (Module 2)

  • 4

    Module Three: Responsible Tidepooling

    • Overview of Module Three

    • Safety First!

    • What to Wear

    • How to Move

    • Interacting with Organisms

    • Other Tips

    • Test your learning for Responsible Tidepooling (Module 3)

  • 5

    Module Four: Field Methods

    • Overview of Module Four

    • Tracking the Health of Ecosystems

    • What is a Quadrat?

    • What is a Transect?

    • Doing the Survey

    • Now, Do It Again

    • Preparation and What to Bring

    • Conclusion and Resources

    • Test your learning for Field Methods (Module 4)

You may also be interested in...

  • $20.00

    $20.00eCertificate: Intro to Tidepool Biology Course Completion

    Buy Now
  • Free

    FreeCitizen Scientist Certification, Level 01

    Enroll Free
  • Free

    FreePhoto-Identification Explained

    Enroll Free

About the instructor

Ocean Sanctuaries eLearning Nonprofit Director

Sheldon Greaves

I am obsessed with forming and growing vibrant learning communities.I convey difficult concepts with clarity, economy, and precision.I am committed to the value of an educated, intellectually active global citizenry.Sheldon Greaves holds a Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a co-founder of Henley-Putnam University, a nationally-accredited online university serving the intelligence and counterterrorism communities. He was a board member for the Society for Amateur Scientists from 2001 to 2003. He also founded Tinker’s Guild, which published the complete collection of Scientific American’s “The Amateur Scientist.” In 2010 he founded the Citizen Scientists League, which he directed until 2013. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Ocean Sanctuaries.

What others have been saying about this course: