Teach the Earth > Oceanography > Course Descriptions > Oceanography


Mary Anne Holmes

Univeristy of Nebraska-Lincoln
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


This course is intended to provide students with a beginning towards understanding the oceans, how they affect you, and how you affect them. After taking this course, you will be prepared to learn more, throughout your life, and to enjoy this unique water planet through a better understanding of it.
The course is 15 weeks; 3 lecture sessions of 50 minutes each per week.

Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography
Resource Type: Course Information
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Earth System Topics: Oceans
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Oceanography
Course Size:

Course Context:

This is an introductory course for non-majors. Most students take the course to satisfy a GenEd requirement (currently called "ACE"). Most students are in the Arts & Sciences college; these are also the best-performing. Undeclared and journalism students jostle for the lowest rung on performance. Typically, one or two majors are recruited from the course per semester.

Course Goals:

Students should know:
  • how our planet, the Water Planet, is unique in the Solar System, and can support life, thanks to the amazing qualities of the water molecule
  • what sort of rocks and sediment make up the ocean floor and what these tell us about ocean history
  • how the oceans have a profound impact on our planet's climate
  • how water circulates in the ocean, both across the oceans and within, down to the depths
  • what a dynamic place the ocean's shores are, and how humans attempts to live there
  • what sort of plants and animals live in the oceans, how to recognize them at the shore
  • the status of the ocean's plants and animals: how pollution and human activity impacts them

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

Goals are achieved through lectures and in-class activities and quizzes. Assessment is by three exams during the semester and a comprehensive final.


Syllabus for Geol 109, Oceanography, UNL (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 32kB May28 13)

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