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:
- Physical Geography
- Marine Biology
- Marine Science
- Environmental Science
Table of Contents
- Instructor Materials: Overview of the Ocean Sustainability Module
Unit 1Ocean Circulation and Health Unit 2Ocean Acidification Unit 3Ocean Habitat and Community Ecology Unit 4Oceans in Peril: Pressures on Ocean Ecosystems Unit 5Oceans in Protection: Marine Protected Areas Unit 6Sustaining the Ocean
- Student Materials
- Instructor Stories
- Join the Community