This class is your invitation to learn about 70% of the earth’s surface and how many of the great issues humans face depend on the seas. We will focus initially on what you can see from the deck of the M/V Explorer and in each port, and will expand our discussions to include why the Hawaiian Islands are where they are; where you can expect to see migrating whales; and how corals create some of the most spectacular and productive ecosystems in the world. Understanding how the oceans work is critical to addressing the human problems of food, energy, climate, and natural disasters from tsunamis to hurricanes to rogue waves.
Field WorkCountry: Costa Rica
Day: 1 - Saturday, 5 December
We leave our ship and jump into a boat to cross the Gulf of Nicoya. Our destination is the Islas Tortuga, which we will explore. After lunch we will visit mangroves nearby, and finish the exploration with a short hike in a natural area. Then we climb aboard the boat for the trip back to the pier and our ship. Academic objectives: 1. Develop understanding of a productive coral reef ecosystem 2. Understand the dynamic balance of forces represented by mangroves 3. Appreciate the connection between tropical forest and marine environments