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FGASA MARINE GUIDING LEVEL 1 - THE SYLLABUS OUTLINE



MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO MARINE GUIDING

  • Have an understanding of what a professional marine guide does in terms of job function and where s/he fits into the tourism guiding industry.
  • Know what the aims of marine guiding are.
  • Have an understanding of guiding ethics and how to carry out an ethical guided experience in the coastal marine environment.
  • Have been introduced to a set of guiding principles and a code of conduct for guides from both a FGASA and a National Department of  Tourism (NDT) point of view.
  • Have an understanding of the legal requirements pertaining to tourism guiding, qualification, certification and registration.

MODULE 2 CREATING A GUIDED COASTAL MARINE EXPERIENCE

  • Be able to carry out a pre-briefing before embarking on a guided experience.
  • Be aware of determining any medical considerations of your clients.
  • Be able to determine if your clients have any special interests before departing on the guided experience.
  • Have the ability to involve all of your clients as individuals in the guided experience.
  • Take into consideration the environmental factors when it comes to the comfort of your clients.
  • Have enhanced communication skills for guiding in the coastal marine environment.
  • Be able to carry out research on potentially interesting sites.
  • Approach wildlife, taking into consideration all the client and animal factors which will affect the approach.
  • Be able to orientate yourself during the day and at night making use of a number of methods to do so.
  • Be able to interpret all aspects of the coastal marine environment to enhance the experience of your clients.

MODULE 3 THE COASTAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT AND THE TWO OCEANS

  • Be able to define the coastal marine environment.
  • Be able to briefly explain the differences between the two oceans.
  • Be able to explain the influence that the two major ocean currents have on South Africa’s coast.
  • Be able to give a brief explanation of upwelling.
  • Be able to name the three main coastal regions of Southern Africa and be able to point them out on a map.
  • Be able to give a brief explanation of the three coastal regions and the differences between them.
  • Be able to name and describe the coastal habitats around the South African coastline including sandy shores, rocky shores, estuaries and coral reefs. 

MODULE 4 GEOLOGY AND THE COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

  • Know the meaning of geology.
  • Have a basic understanding of what the Earth consists of.
  • Know how rocks are classified.
  • Understand how igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are formed.
  • Know what a mineral is and be able to give a few examples.
  • Have an understanding and knowledge of a few common rock types.
  • Know the weathering properties of some common rock types.
  • Have an understanding of the interrelationships between rocks, soil, climate, vegetation and animals in the coastal marine environment.

MODULE 5 ASTRONOMY

  • Be able to understand by definition what is meant by a universe, galaxy and solar system.
  • Know the position of the eight planets in the solar system in terms of their distance from the Sun.
  • Be able to point out the constellations of Orion, Scorpio and the Southern Cross.
  • Be able to determine a southerly direction making use of the Southern Cross.
  • Be able to describe the phases of the moon as it is viewed from Earth.
  • Know what is meant by an eclipse and how to differentiate between a lunar and a solar eclipse in terms of the positioning of the Sun, Earth and Moon.
  • Know how the ocean tides are affected by the moon and the sun.

MODULE 6 WEATHER AND CLIMATE

  • Have an understanding and know the difference between weather and climate.
  • Understand the process of cloud formation.
  • Know the different types and names of clouds.
  • Know what weather conditions are associated with the different cloud types and how this may affect the guiding experience.
  • Know the different types of local wind conditions that may apply to the area of guiding operation.
  • Be able to describe the four major influences on the South African climate.
  • Understand the general Summer and Winter conditions of Southern Africa.

MODULE 7 BASIC MARINE ECOLOGY

  • Know what Ecology is and how important an understanding of ecology is for the marine guide.
  • Have an understanding of the major components of ecosystems.
  • Be able to explain the different levels of organisation in ecology.
  • Know what trophic pyramids, food chains and food webs are and how to give an explanation of these.
  • Be able to give an explanation of the nutrient cycle.
  • Be able to give an explanation and examples of symbiotic relationships.
  • Know what predation is and the various types of competition which occur in the natural environment.

MODULE 8 BASIC TAXONOMY

  • Know what the meaning of taxonomy is.
  • Have an understanding of why and how living organisms are classified.
  • Be able to name the six kingdoms of living organisms.
  • Be able to place living organisms into the hierarchical order of classification.
  • Briefly understand how the coastal marine organisms are classified.

MODULE 9 SEA PLANT (ALGAE) [INC. DUNE,MANGROVE & SALTMARSH]

  • Have a brief understanding of how plants are classified.
  • Be able to classify sea plants (algae) at a very basic level.
  • Know the differences between the three types of algae.
  • Be able to give some examples of Brown, Green and Red algae.
  • Have a basic understanding of the distribution of algae along the coastline of South Africa.
  • Be able to explain the importance of algae in the marine ecosystem and name some uses of sea plants.
  • Be able to name the common species of saltmarsh, mangrove and dune plants that occur along the South African coastline.

MODULE 10 COASTAL AND MARINE INVERTEBRATES

  • Know what an invertebrate is.
  • Know what the characteristics of invertebrates are.
  • Be able to identify all the common marine invertebrates.
  • Be able to provide basic information about all the common invertebrate phyla including; characteristics and description, habitat, feeding habits and behaviour, potential predators and some related interesting facts.
  • Be able to identify the common land invertebrates including insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes.

Marine invertebrate phyla included in this module are: 

 
  • Phylum Porifera
    • Sponges
  • Phylum Cnidaria (Coelenterata)
    • Anemones, Zoanthids, Soft corals, Sea fans, Hard corals, Jellyfish, Hydroids, Bluebottle
  • Phylum Plathyhelminthes
    • Flatworm
  • Phylum Sipunculida
    • Peanut worm            
  • Phylum Arthropoda
    • Sub-phylum Chelicerata
      • Sea spiders.
    • Sub-Phylum Crustacea
      •  Barnacles, Isopods, amphipods, mantis shrimps, Rock lobsters, Prawns and   Shrimps, Hermit crabs, True crabs       
  • Phylum Bryozoa
    • Moss or Lace animal
  • Phylum Mollusca    
    •  Winkles, Limpets, Bivalves, Chitons, Abelone, Whelks, Cowries, Plough snails, Sea slugs, Octopus, Paper Nautilus, Cuttlefish, Squid       
  • Phylum Echinodermata
    • Starfish, Feather star, Brittle star, Sea urchin, Sea cucumber
  • Phylum Chordata
    • Sub-phylum Tunicata
      • Sea squirt
 


MODULE 11 AMPHIBIANS (FROGS AND TOADS)

  • Know the characteristics of the class of amphibians.
  • Be able to explain the differences between frogs and toads.
  • Understand the life cycle of frogs and toads and be able to briefly explain metamorphosis.
  • Be able to explain mating postures, nests and types of eggs of frogs and toads.
  • Be able to name and explain the different types of frog calls.
  • Be able to identify some of the more common frogs by their calls.

MODULE 12 MARINE REPTILES

  • Know the characteristics of the class of reptiles.
  • Be able to identify the features of the three reptile orders.
  • Know some interesting facts about reptiles.
  • Be able to give the differences between Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins.
  • Be able to identify the three common species of turtles found off the coast line of southern Africa.
  • Be able to provide some interesting information about turtles.
  • Be able to identify and give some interesting facts about the Yellow-bellied sea snake.
  • Be able to provide some interesting facts about the Nile crocodile.

Marine reptiles included in this module:

 
  • Yellow-bellied sea snake
  • Green turtle
  • Loggerhead turtle
  • Leatherback turtle
  • Nile Crocodile
 


MODULE 13 MARINE FISH

  • Know what a fish is.
  • Know the basic classification of fish into Jawless, Cartilaginous and Bony fish.
  • Know the characteristics of Jawless, Cartilaginous and Bony fish.
  • Know the breeding behaviour of Cartilaginous fish.
  • Be able to explain the anatomy of Cartilaginous fish including skin, tail shapes, teeth and feeding strategie
  • Be able to label and explain the external anatomy of a fish.
  • Know the body shapes of bony fish.
  • Be able to explain what fish scales are.
  • Understand how fish move through water including an understanding of fish tails and fins.
  • Have an understanding of the sense organs of fish including sight, smell, hearing, taste, feel, and the lateral line system.
  • Know the different types of fish feeding behaviour including the shape and position of fish mouths.
  • Be able to explain how fish breathe.
  • Be able to explain the concept of neutral buoyancy and the function of the swim bladder.
  • Be able to explain how Bony fish reproduce and the different groups fish are placed into based on breeding behaviour.
  • Be able to identify common species of marine fish from both the east and west coasts of southern Africa.

MODULE 14 COASTAL MARINE BIRDS

  • Know the characteristics of the class of birds.
  • Have a brief understanding of the four main groups of coastal-marine birds based on habitat.
  • Be able to point out examples of prominent coastal bird species nests.
  • Be able to give a basic explanation of commonly displayed marine bird behaviour.
  • Know how to identify birds in general making use of the various identification pointers.
  • Be able to identify the prominent and common bird species found in the coastal marine environment.

Common coastal marine birds included in this module are:

 
  • Penguin
  • African Black Oystercatcher
  • Cape Gannet
  • Whitefronted plover
  • Gulls
  • Cormorant

MODULE 15 MARINE MAMMALS

  • Know the characteristics of the class of mammals.
  • Know the characteristics of the sub-classes of mammals.
  • Be able to physically identify the common marine mammal.
  • Be able to give the basic physical characteristics, social and feeding habits, habitat and distribution and the breeding behaviour of the common of marine mammal species.

Marine mammals included in this module:

 
  • Blue whale
  • Bryde’s whale
  • Minke whale
  • Humpback whale
  • Southern Right whale
  • Sperm whale
  • Killer whale
  • Short-finned Pilot whale
  • Common dolphin
  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Cape Fur Seal
  • Cape clawless otter
 


MODULE 16 ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR

  • Know what animal behaviour (ethology) is.
  • Understand the different types of grouping behaviour of animals.
  • Be able to explain the animal vocal and visual communication making use of relevant marine examples.
  • Be able to briefly explain echolocation used by dolphins and toothed whales.
  • Have an understanding of various fish colouration protective behaviour.
  • Be able to explain fish schooling, shoaling and the advantages of this behaviour.
  • Have an understanding of and be able to explain commonly observed whale behaviour.
  • Have an understanding of and be able to give an explanation using examples of sex change behaviour in fish.
  • Be able to explain the differences between animal home-ranges and territories.

MODULE 17 HISTORICAL HUMAN HABITATION AND CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT

  • Have knowledge and an understanding of the early human inhabitants of Southern Africa including coastal areas.
  • Be able to explain the three Stone Age periods that took place in Southern Africa and some of the more interesting Stone Age sites and their significance.
  • Be able to explain the characteristics of the Iron Age sites in Southern Africa and their significance.
  • Have a brief understanding of the human impacts on the coastal environment.
  • Be able to give an explanation for Marine Protected Areas making use of examples from your area of operation.
  • Be able to explain the importance of Marine Protected Areas for both human beings and marine life.
  • Have an understanding of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) and be able to give examples of species within each category.
  • Know what a Transfrontier/Peace park is and be able to give some examples.
  • Know what a Biosphere Reserve is, why they are established and be able to give some examples of working Biosphere reserves.
  • Have an understanding of the distribution of traditional southern African cultures.
  • Have an understanding of the population of South Africa and language distribution along the South African coastline
  • Know the importance of establishing aquariums and be able to name the South African aquariums and where they are.


FGASA has a new postal address!
The new address is:

Postnet Suite 111
Private Bag X04
Fontainebleau
2032


The final exam for the year will be on 18 October, you need to register by latest 18 September.





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