Oceanography covers the concepts of geology, chemistry, physics, and biology relevant to the world’s oceans. We will describe the ocean basins and the mechanisms that formed them. We will study the physical and chemical properties of seawater and examine the role of the oceans in the carbon cycle. Physical oceanography includes large-scale patterns, ocean circulation, as well as small-scale phenomena such as waves. The geology of the coastal ocean, beaches, and estuaries leads into a discussion of the ocean’s major communities and the biotic and physical factors structuring them. Topics of current interest (global warming, coastal development, fisheries, and introduced species, coral bleaching and hydrothermal vents) are presented throughout the course.
Field WorkCountry: Mauritius
Date: October 19, 2017
The intent of the field class is to gain first-hand knowledge of how Mauritius was formed geologically, the evolutionary processes acting on its marine and terrestrial biota, and how these processes interact with the Indian Ocean as a whole.
1. To have students seek out a diversity of marine processes, formations and organisms through direct interaction.
2. To experience the processes acting to create and destroy atoll island formations (volcanism, calcification, etc.).
3. To understand the role of oceans in island biogeography.
4. To understand how geological and biological forces interact on islands.
5. To understand where Mauritius fits into the lager patterns of island formation and biogeography in the Indian Ocean.