NR 150 - Oceanography
Overview of Course
What better way to study oceanography than on a journey that begins in the North Atlantic, traverses the Mediterranean Sea, transits the Suez Canal, and continues on to the Indian Ocean. We will take advantage of living, day in and day out, in contact with the oceans and coastal regions to build an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of ocean processes. We will focus on the geology of the seafloor, the chemical and physical properties of the ocean, and how they influence marine biodiversity. Specifically, we will discuss the geological processes of plate tectonics and marine sediments, the major features of ocean basins, the chemical properties of water, regional variations in the salinity and temperature of seawater, and the physical factors that create currents, waves and tides. We will study the stunning creatures and biological processes of the sea—organisms ranging from bacteria to marine mammals—with an emphasis on species native to the coastal countries we visit. Classroom discussions will take us from the dark, cold depths of ocean trenches to the harsh, unforgiving zones of the intertidal habitat, and finally to the warm, blue water of shallow coral reefs. Special attention will be paid to the impacts of humans across different cultures on fragile marine habitats and ways to protect them.