Eco-Tour Operator Role Brochure

Martha House, Pasadena City College
Author Profile


Individual project designed to combine basic oceanographic concepts in the creation of a travel brochure. Involves some group interaction, but project is individual. Can be done online or in a face-to-face class.
Best completed at midterm or later in the semester so that most concepts have been introduced.

  1. Describe major oceanic processes and evaluate their influence on the coastal environment.
  2. 2Use global data on climate and wind patterns to quantify and describe conditions at various specific coastal sites.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



Introductory Oceanography (freshman/sophomore)

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

  1. Introduction to basic oceanographic concepts
  2. Ability to search the web and download images (maps)
  3. Ability to use a word processing program that can include graphics.

How the activity is situated in the course

As a culminating project.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students demonstrate a familiarity with basic patterns of:
  • Global climate/wind patterns
  • Global geography
  • Coastal oceanographic concepts (surf, tides, coastal erosion, coastal type)

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Relate conditions at selected geographic sites to their origin in concepts listed above:
  • synthesis of ideas
  • analysis of data
  • formulation of hyptheses

Other skills goals for this activity

  • searching www
  • working in groups
  • writing
  • use of graphics (images, maps, graphs)

Description and Teaching Materials

  1. Describe major oceanic processes and evaluate their influence on the coastal environment.
  2. Use global data on climate and wind patterns to quantify and describe conditions at various specific coastal sites.

    Overview: Your job
  3. Imagine that you are an "eco-tour" operator and you are trying to develop a brochure for your new company. You expect your clientele to be interested in the natural environment, so you want to not only sell your destination, but also convince them that they will learn a lot on your trip by including a brief scientific explanation of the regions' natural features. Towards this end, your brochure must contain the following:
    1. Title of destination
    2. Map(s) illustrating the location of the destination and pertinent features discussed in your brochure.
    3. Clear and concise description of the oceanographic/environmental characteristics of the destination and why it's a good place to visit. Include the following:
      • Yearly average climate (wind patterns, average temperatures, precipitation)
      • Water conditions (current, temperatures)
      • Coastal features and morphology (Volcanoes? Mountains? Islands? Sandy beaches?)
      • Surf quality
    4. Brief explanation of the oceanographic and geologic reasons for these characteristics.
    5. List of possible activities with an explanation of why they are possible based on your descriptions as described above.
Your timeline

Each student will be placed into a discussion group of 3 students for this project. You will evaluate each other's work and help each other complete this task.

Part 1: Draft Outline

Submit Items 1, 2 and at least 2 parts of item 3 with preliminary explanations (item 4) on or before the due date. (Material may be submitted as an attachment to the discussion forum). Before starting, look over the "Draft Submission" rubric below; this rubric will be used to evaluate this part of the assignment by me and by your peers.

Part 2: Peer and Instructor feedback

Provide feedback to your peer group members on or before the due date. Use the "Draft Rubric" to evaluate your peers; and also, give specific comments on (1) quality/usefulness of maps (2) accuracy and clarity of draft descriptions (3) clarity and accuracy of explanations and (4) creativity and salesmanship. Your feedback and comments will be evaluated using the "Peer Evaluation" rubric below! You will be receiving feedback at this point from your instructor and your peer group members.

Part 3: Final Draft

Incorporating the comments of your peers and your instructor, complete a final draft. Submit your final draft via the assignments tab in CANVAS. See the "Final Draft" rubric for specifics on the expectations for this project.

Teaching Notes and Tips

I assign this around the mid-term of a semester long class in intro oceanography. I give the students a lot of flexibility in exactly how this is implemented because I want them to use approaches that they are most comfortable with.
I break students into discussion groups that will critique each other's draft versions; then students continue individually to complete their work.
I have in the past had students submit their work digitally, but you could also do it on paper.


I use a rubric that is included in the assignment.

References and Resources