Overview of Course
Studying the ocean while voyaging on the ocean is a dream-come-true. We will study in the classroom the fundamentals of the four major disciplines in oceanography (geological, chemical, physical, and biological oceanography), and explore how these disciplines together shape our environment. The exciting part is that we will see the interaction of these four disciplines coming to life throughout the voyage. We will spend time together on the deck, observing the ocean and hopefully seeing wildlife. We will also discuss the changing ocean environments, including ocean warming, acidification, sea-level rise. We will also discuss the pressures humans exert on the marine environments, including pollution, overfishing, destroying coastal habitats. Port discovery will give us a chance to evaluate the role the ocean plays in ten countries and to compare the health of the marine environment in these countries. We will allow ample time to share our experiences with one another and learn from one another. In our field class, we will observe the roles various ecosystems play in the health of the island and survey damages (both natural and man-made) to various environments. This voyage allows the unique opportunity to see the big picture of how our ocean provides essential services to us. The overarching goal of studying the ocean on our voyage is to become aware that the ocean is our lifeline and we must protect our ocean if we want to live on a healthy planet.