This course provides an introduction to the study of oceans. Topics to be covered include: early ocean exploration and the development of the science of oceanography; tools and technology for ocean exploration; the origin and evolution of the Earth and its oceans; continental drift, sea floor spreading and plate tectonics; geomorphology of the seafloor from the continental shelf to the deep sea, including the global distribution and origin of the features such as submarine canyons, ocean ridges and rises, trenches and fracture zones; paleoceanography and the origin, distribution, and historical record of seafloor sediments; climate change and its driving forces; marine mineral and energy resources including the origin and distribution of petroleum and impacts of extraction, transportation, and utilization; salinity and ocean chemistry; the circulation of the oceans; tides and waves; climate change and sea level fluctuations; beaches, shorelines, coastal processes and hazards; pollution and other human impacts on the oceans.
Field ClassCountry: South Africa
Day: 6 - Monday, 30 March
From the port of Cape Town, we will travel south to Hermanus, a small coastal town that is home to the shark lab of the South African Shark Conservancy, where we will learn from a marine biologist and shark researcher about shark research and conservation efforts in South Africa. After lunch in Hermanus, we will visit the Jackass penguin colony at Stony Point during the busy breeding season before returning to Cape Town. Academic Objectives: 1. Experience methods for monitoring and protecting endangered marine species 2. Appreciate the difficulties of supplying sufficient land base for ecological support of marine species that reproduce on land. 3. Understand interactions between marine environment and marine species.