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: Hawaii, United States
Earth’s primordial force oozes beneath your feet as we step lively over the lava from the world’s preeminent “hot spot.” This is where Hawaii is growing as molten rock rises to the surface and expands the island. Looking to the Northwest we see the volcanic history of this hot spot recorded in stone in the many islands of Hawaii reaching across the Pacific Ocean. After exploring the volcanoes we will cool off in the Pacific to search for marine life of the reefs. Academic Objectives: 1. Understand the size and importance of volcanoes 2. Appreciate how volcanoes work 3. Understand the geology of the Pacific Ocean