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Intro to Oceanography

Author Profile
Debra W. Woodall
,
https://www.facebook.com/DaytonaStateIMES

Daytona State College,
a
Two Year College
.

Summary

This is a descriptive course introducing basic scientific concepts dealing with the ocean and its coastal margins. The concepts to be covered will include the four academic disciplines of oceanography—geological, chemical, physical and biological oceanography.


Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography
Resource Type: Course Information
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Earth System Topics: Oceans
Course Size:
31-70

Course Context:

This is a lower-division course that satisfies Florida's general education requirements. There is an optional 1-hour credit lab component for OCE1001 designed for students enrolled in the AA Transfer Tracks of Marine Science, Marine Biology, Environmental Science and Ocean Engineering. This lab teaches the interdisciplinary aspects of physical, geological, chemical and biological oceanography. Students become acquainted with basic scientific and oceanographic concepts through hands-on studies and exploration of oceanic environments and are introduced to state-of-the art oceanographic equipment. Both have math and english pre-requisites.

Course Goals:

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify Earth's oceans and their major features on a map of the world.
  2. Explain plate tectonics and the features of the sea floor including the sediments, rocks and mineral deposits.
  3. Explain the chemical and physical properties of seawater.
  4. Evaluate the coupling effects of ocean and atmosphere.
  5. Distinguish types of ocean currents and the causes and nature of tides and waves
  6. Identify representative marine ecosystems, the importance of their energy and nutrient flows and the results of human impacts on these ecosystems.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Students are provided topic information and quizzed on a weekly basis. Selected quizzes (3 of 13) are presented as team-oriented quizzes in order to give students the opportunity develop collaborative skills when solving a scientific problem. These teams are also responsible for researching an ocean topic and presenting their findings via a PowerPoint presentation. Students are also given a final, comprehensive exam over all course material–this is not a team effort!

Skills Goals

  1. Critical analysis of web sites
  2. Quantitative abilities
  3. Oral communication
  4. Working in groups


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

  1. Students review an on-line article about global warming–and then we 'tear it apart' and learn how to explore its statements objectively–and scientifically. Also, students are evaluated on the websites associated with the answers given in their team presentations.
  2. Students learn how to calculate salinity and the concentrations of major seawater constituents. Students also learn how to calculate wave speed, steepness and energy.
  3. Student teams present research about an ocean topic via PowerPoint.
  4. Students work in groups/teams to solve scientific problems, make an oral presentation and build/deploy ROVs

Attitudinal Goals

  1. building students' confidence in course- or discipline-related abilities
  2. developing students' sense of stewardship of the Earth
  3. improving students' sense of healthy skepticism
  4. increasing student excitement/personal wonder about learning about the Earth


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

  1. Science goes hand-in-hand with math and math can often be intimidating to students. In addition, students often have never applied their math skills to solve scientific problems. Students are given math practice sheets, math is reviewed in the classroom and then students are tested. Also–students are allowed to put their engineering skills to work when building ROVs–many are pleasantly surprised at their abilities!
  2. Selected topics for discussion include ocean garbage, non-point source pollution. Class discussions allow students to share their experiences/knowledge about these topics.
  3. Reviewing an online article about global warming is very eye-opening to students. They are asked to read it before class and then we break the article down–confirming its accuracy on scientific websites.
  4. Student teams are given the opportunity to research an ocean topic of their choice. I really like this effort because I sometime learn more about current ocean issues than even the students!

Assessment

Students are provided topic information and quizzed on a weekly basis. Selected quizzes (3 of 13) are presented as team-oriented quizzes in order to give students the opportunity develop collaborative skills when solving a scientific problem. These teams are also responsible for researching an ocean topic and presenting their findings via a PowerPoint presentation. Students are also given a final, comprehensive exam over all course material–this is not a team effort!

Syllabus:

OCE1001 Course Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 197kB May30 13)

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