This non-lab based course is open to all students, including geology and earth science majors. It is taken by prospective elementary teachers (often those earning a concentration in science) and secondary science teachers (primarily those students earning a certification in biology, earth science, or both). The course is designed to help students understand how the science of oceanography developed and ways that the oceans are studied, the use of ocean exploration tools (e.g., how oceanography can be done from orbiting satellites), the evolution and structure of ocean basins, the marine realm (physical properties of the water column and ocean diversity), and recent advances in our understanding of marine processes and resources.
For Dr. Singer's reflections on the course and its design, see Oceanography: Role in the Program.
This course is required for Earth Science majors and is intended to be a survey course in the study of the oceans. The course is taken by students to satisfy a general education requirement in the natural sciences (NS). Recently the course was revised and focused in order to meet the new guidelines for Technology and Society (a category in the revised general education program).
This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites and serves as a prerequisite for upper-level marine geology/oceanography courses. Typically, 50% of the students are science majors (primarily geology, earth science, or biology) and about 25% of the students are pre-service elementary or secondary science teachers. Although the course is not classified as writing intensive, there are three or four writing assignments. These assignments count 10% each for up to 40% of the student's final grade in the course.
- Understand how scientific advances have contributed to our understanding of how the atmospheric and ocean systems are interconnected and implications for global processes (e.g, ENSO events, climate change, coastal dynamics).
- Be better able to interpret and use data to explain important ocean processes.
- Be better able to make decisions about avoiding or accepting natural hazard risks and personal choices about diminishing ocean resources.
- Increased awareness of the interconnections between earth systems and why it is important to know about ocean processes and the role the oceans play in critical societal issues.
- Other goals include improving students' writing skills, critical analysis of web sites, and use of data as evidence to support and explain ocean processes.
Three or four writing assignments (examples included as a supplemental document). Each writing counts 10% of the final grade.
Multiple choice/essay exams.
References and Notes:
Oceanography: An Illustrated Guide, C.P. Summerhayes and S.A. Thorpe
Online issues (including back issues) of Oceanus (free access from the WHOI website)