Cutting Edge > Courses > Introductory Courses > Course Descriptions > The Oceans

The Oceans

Stephen Hurst
University of Illinois
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Introductory general science and general education survey course on oceanography. Includes treatment of geologic, chemical, physical and biological oceanography in 3 lectures per week.

Course URL:
Course Type:
Entry Level:Oceanography Entry Level

Course Size:
greater than 150

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs

Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites and does not serve as a pre-requisite for other courses. Generally freshmen and sophomores who are non-science majors but need a science general ed. credit take the course. There are no labs and typically 4 multiple choice exams. Does not normally count towards a geology major.

Course Content:

Survey course of geological, chemical, physical and biological oceanography using an introductory text and 3 lectures/week. Emphasis on intertwining cycles and feedbacks of water with rocks and living things.

Course Goals:

The general goals are as follows:
  1. To understand the relationships between the oceans and the earth's history, climate and life evolution, especially as it applies to students living in Illinois.
  2. To give a sense of the depth of geologic time and the large scale processes that the earth uses to transfer heat, renew the oceans and reprocess pollution.

Course Features:

Typical lecture and test course with experimental use of computer mediated writing assignments.

Course Philosophy:

The course design is part of the original course concept.


Multiple choice tests.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 103kB Mar7 08)

Teaching Materials:

description of calibrated peer review writing assignments (Acrobat (PDF) 80kB Mar7 08)

References and Notes:

Essentials of Oceanography, Trujillo and Thurman, Pearson

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