The world’s oceans influence our climate and provide important resources and ecosystem services for virtually all living things on earth. Unfortunately, our oceans are also being drastically altered through disruption of coastlines, pollution, overharvesting, global warming and other anthropogenic effects. Using the MV World Odyssey as a living laboratory, we will use a combination of laboratory investigations collecting real-world data, class discussions, and fieldwork to study the major principles of oceanography. These principles include physical processes, such as tides, waves, and currents; ocean chemistry; marine geography and geology; and the study the biology of marine organisms, with an emphasis on local marine animals and plants. The course will emphasize critical thinking, scientific processes, environmental issues, and interrelationships among disciplines. Semester at Sea provides a unique opportunity to study oceanography and will be explore topics of current interest (global warming, coastal development, fisheries, introduced species, coral bleaching and conservation of ocean resources) throughout the course as they relate to the ports being visited.
Field WorkCountry: Mauritius
Date: October 19, 2018
The intent of the field class is to gain first-hand knowledge of oceanographic research in Mauritius and how island ecosystems influence the ocean around them. Students will visit the Mauritius Marine Science Research Institute at Albion, where a specialist will present information on Aquaculture, Marine Science, Marine Parks, Marine Research, and Fisheries in Mauritius complete with a tour of the various departments and laboratories. Then proceed to Beau Vallon in the southeast part of the island, accompanied by a marine park specialist, for a glass-bottomed boat ride and swimming to observe the coral reef. This field experience will help participants understand the role of science in marine conservation and fisheries management.
- Understand the role of science-based decision making in environmental conservation.
- Understand the role of science in identifying the threats to marine conservation in Mauritius.
- To observe marine life and compare physical conditions.
- To understand the role of oceans in island biogeography and how Mauritius fits into the lager patterns of island formation and biogeography in the Indian Ocean.