Introductory Courses > Course Descriptions > The Oceans

The Oceans

Stephen Hurst
University of Illinois
Author Profile


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

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

« Environmental Science 110 Laboratory       Evolution of the Earth »