InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Ocean Sustainability
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Summary

This two- to three-week, six-unit module introduces the importance of oceans, basic ocean processes, and impacts of human activity on ocean health. It aims to increase awareness of our dependence on and responsibility for the largest habitat on Earth. Materials encourage systems thinking by addressing physical, chemical, geological, and biological aspects of the oceans. Students study the oceans from these multiple perspectives using scientific data and engaging activities designed to support higher-level thinking.

Strengths of the Module

This module engages students to learn about the largest and least explored habitat on our planet: the ocean. They are introduced to major oceanographic processes and the effects of global climate change on conditions that sustain marine life, ecosystems and, ultimately, humans. Throughout the module, students are challenged to think about the interconnectedness of Earth systems and how altering the atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere impacts oceans (hydrosphere). One of the primary goals of this module is for students to understand the role that humans play in altering marine systems and their inhabitants and to recognize the power we have as individuals and a society to work toward practices that will sustain our ocean.

To foster an integrated understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of ocean systems students participate in activities that include group discussions and acquisition, analysis and interpretation of scientific data. Working with data sets allows them to employ newly acquired interdisciplinary knowledge to make management decisions for marine protected areas and evaluate the effectiveness of geoengineering strategies that are meant to mitigate climate change through the manipulation of ocean processes. In summary, students will acquire an overall foundation on how the ocean works.

A great fit for courses in:

  • Oceanography
  • Physical Geography
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Sustainability
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These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

This module introduces students to the complexity of ocean processes through lessons on ocean chemistry, ecology, marine protection, human impacts and geoengineering. Students work with authentic data, read and evaluate scientific information, design marine protected areas and analyze geoengineering solutions. Cause and effect relationships, along with potential solutions are an integral part of this module.


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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »