Introduction to Marine Science

Caitlin Fong

Introduction to Marine Science

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department

Caitlin Fong

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from 15 users


Overall 1.5
Easiness of class 2.2
Workload 2.5
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 1.7
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 1.7


  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Is Podcasted
  • Tough Tests


Fall 2019

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

1 of 2


Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 27, 2019 Grade Received: B+

This is the worst EEB class i have ever taken in UCLA, The exam is extremely messy and some question can‘t even be found on the lecutre slides. Her grading is extremly strict, sometime i feels like her objective is to take off ur points as many as possible. The disscussion session is also the most useless disscussion ever. The disscussion is not helpful at all toward lecture materials. My TA will continully take off points from my assignment without any reasons. She took off my point because she think my ideas was wrong, but I emailed her the sources that support my point she still didnt give my point back. After this class you will hate everything in the freaking ocean. Worst class ever. I got As in everying eeb cources including chem153A, this class freaking give me a B wihout given any final exams grade. Overall, i certainly believe she is the worst professor is my entire college life.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 27, 2019 Grade Received: A-

I’m an actual beach bum but this teacher seriously made me hate marine science. The tests were a mess, there was so much reading, and she refused to ever admit to being wrong.
Don’t waste your time, take a different class.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 29, 2019 Grade Received: B

One of the worst and most disrespectful professors I have ever encountered in my entire time at UCLA. Just like what the other reviews said, the class was just so disorganized and the exams were an unfair assessment since the questions were either too vague or too specific. It is also pretty clear that she does not communicate with others especially the TAs; hence the discrepancy between lecture material and discussions. She is quite condescending and does not respond to criticism well. Yeah you can say that this is her first quarter teaching, but wow with her attitude she should just not continue being a professor. Seems like her passion is in research and she should just stick to that.

Honestly, if you are interested in marine biology just do not take EEB 109 with Caitlin Fong. Marine biology is an awesome field and the content is very interesting. Unfortunately, Caitlin’s teaching style and personality will make you think otherwise.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 28, 2019 Grade Received: B-

Avoid Caitlin Fong at all costs.

As others have mentioned, she reused slides from another professor and it was clear she was barely even familiar with the slides. She would constantly go to the next slide and be like "Oh... I don't remember this being in there..." and would have to waste time deciphering the slide in the middle of lecture. The TA's knew the class material better than her so she had to ask them for help a lot.

Exams were a mess. Her questions were either way too vague (fill-in-the-blanks where you can think of 3+ things that fit) or way too specific (things barely covered in lecture or not included at all in learning objectives.)

As others said, discussion is a waste of time. It was clear Fong was not properly communicating to them how time was meant to be spent. My TA would just ask us like 3 questions and try to get us to raise our hand for 20 minutes to waste time.

This is also one of my worse grades at UCLA, I have received A or A- in most of my upper division EEB classes, so I believe I am an alright student, but a B- in this one. It appears many other people received B's or worse as well. Although our final class scores have been posted, most of the grades, such as discussion grades and final exams, are missing, so I don't even know wtf I got on the final, or whether or not my TA excused the absence I emailed her about. Who knows?

As others have mentioned as well, she has a bad attitude. While I did not personally attend office hours I heard she was quite condescending to students. Also, if students approached her on campus and said "I'm in your EEB 109 class!" she'd say things like, "Uh, do I KNOW you?" What a poor attitude for a professor to take.

Tl;dr: Just don't do it fam. Don't. There are so many awesome EEB classes at UCLA and this is not one of them. NOT WORTH IT.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 27, 2019 Grade Received: C+

She would use slides from previous professors who taught the class and sometimes struggled to read what was on her own slides.
She's arrogant and believes that she is on the top of the world because she got a PHD young. She is often condescending when students bring up mismatches from the same textbook she issued. So you can tell she didn't even bother reading it. I didn't even bother buying the textbook or doing any of the readings and still did decent on the exams . She probably didn't even read the textbook herself to make any relevant connections to her lecture slides, which she got from someone else anyways.
Discussion sections were a complete waste of my brain cells and it really makes me sad at the fact that I won't be getting those hours of my life back. My TA was ok but you could tell there was 0 communication between the professor and her TAs.
I took 109L the same quarter and got an A+, so this class made no sense .
This class was a complete waste of money and brain cells.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 26, 2019 Grade Received: A-

Terrible professor. She makes the exams too hard and has to add points to it. Like wow, can't make the exams right the first time? She doesn't teach well and her exams are too detailed sometimes like "list 6 assumptions of this theory" and then she's like "what does this mean (barely mentioned). She uses synonymous words we have never heard (pretty unfair).

I understand some people on here were like oh it's not that bad etc, I disagree. She really made this very unfair and more difficult than needed. I hope she can give out more A's next quarter and be a more kind and helpful teacher.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 25, 2019 Grade Received: U

worst ucla ever!! there is no marine bio there is just fuck all fuck, why do i go here

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted March 24, 2020 Grade Received: B+

I thought this class would be a breeze, but the material and midterm content would just not match up. Her midterms and final were poorly written. Her slides were made by her mother, Peggy Fong, who also teaches in the EEB department (which is honestly probably how she got this teaching gig) and she would decipher them in the middle of lecture. She would even skip over slides with graphs if she couldn’t read what the axes were labeled. Or she would look at a slide and be like, “Uhhhh, just ignore this.” Like can’t you at least come to class prepared with the material you’re about to lecture about??? Such a joke, I cannot.

Her syllabus is also reused from her mother and wasn’t even modified to fit the grade breakdown for her own class. For example, we had assignments for discussion section that added up to 6 points total but in her syllabus they were each worth 8 points. When we pointed this out to one of her TAs, they simply said that it was an error in the syllabus and they would just be giving us 2 free points every week to account for it.

Her first exam was so difficult that she had to add extra points to all our scores. She didn’t even realize it was difficult until after discussing its content with a few of her colleagues and listening to them debate over what the answers would be to her questions. They literally told her that they were unsure of the answers themselves.

For her second midterm, she thought she had written it better. But it was seriously full of fill-in-the-blank type questions that were either way too OPEN ended (like I didn’t know what answer she wanted/expected) or way too NARROW (she would ask for vocabulary terms that were on ONE slide and were only mentioned once). What is the point of giving us learning objectives that stressed overarching themes and then giving a midterm that basically was like, “Do you remember what this particular vocab term is?”

Aside from the tests, she also sometimes lagged on posting class material (like learning objectives) on CCLE. During the week of our first midterm, we still had a pre-lecture quiz due for the next lecture. But she opened it the night before it was due and a lot of people forgot to do it and she was like, “Just because we have a midterm, doesn’t mean we don’t have a pre-lecture quiz due. But I’ll be nice and I guess I’ll just drop your lowest quiz score since SO many people forgot.”

Huh? Do you hear yourself?? People forgot because they were checking earlier in the week but it wasn’t up yet on CCLE because you forgot to post it. Even with final grades, she sent out an email apologizing for the delay in grade submission. But she told us it’s because she was locked out of the system. Lmao it’s probably because you missed the deadline to submit grades??

I get it. It’s okay to reuse material, slides, syllabi, and whatnot from another professor. But at least curate it to fit your own class and know how to prepare your students. This isn’t your mom’s class, this is YOUR class.

tl;dr: don’t take a class with her if you don’t have to. This class was so poorly organized.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Jan. 2, 2020 Grade Received: N/A

This is probably one of the worst professors that I have had at UCLA. I understand that she is new, but things Fall quarter were horrible. It was clear she didn't create her own slides (which isn't the worst thing) but the failed to even look over or edit the slides to reflect any changes or new information that she was lecturing on. She often made remarks indicating her surprise with the data, information and images presented on the slides. The discussion had no correlation to the lecture and the discussion assignment was completely useless and just another way that we lost points. The exams were intended to be open ended however points were only given if very specific words or phrases were used. I really regret taking this class this quarter.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 27, 2019 Grade Received: A-

I’m going to take a slightly different tangent on reviews of Professor Fong. Yes her class was extremely disorganized and sometimes you could sense her attitude. Yes it is true there was a lot of reading. But multiple times in class she stated to know the lecture slides inside and out, and that was what I focused on. I am by no means a good student, in fact I am mostly a B and B- student. Anyways, I entirely stopped reading the chapters after 2 weeks because I realized there was no way we were to be expected to know everything if she didn’t talk about it in class, so the only time I ever used the book was to supplement lecture.

Discussion was messy and not organized. I never understood how my assignments were being graded or what I was getting marked off for despite talking to my TA each time about the assignment, so that was definitely a weak part of the class.

In terms of exams, I didn’t find her to be too ridiculously nit picky. I was able to see why I had been marked off on my free response, and while it was more points then I would’ve liked I understood why it happened. But I never felt unprepared from an exam because every time someone would ask her about the exams, she mentioned knowing the lecture slides each time. So I reread all of them multiple times, and she has audio recordings of each lecture posted which I listened to as well. So for each lecture slide I had everything she had said but was not physically typed written in my notes as well, and in my opinion this was why I did fairly well on her exams.

There is definitely a lot to improve upon in this class, don’t get me wrong. I can also see how the class was a letdown if you were super interested in marine biology. I just needed the class for a requirement and worked as hard as I could. In my experience, having personal discussions with her and identifying the important areas the class wanted me to know were key to my success. Perhaps I was lucky and identified a good way to study for myself, but while it was admittedly a fairly disorganized class it is not impossible to do well if you work hard.

1 of 2


  • Uses Slides
  • Needs Textbook
  • Is Podcasted
  • Tough Tests

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