Oceanography (NR 150) is the study of the oceans and the organisms that live within them. The course will provide an overview of the interrelationships between the geological, physical, chemical, and biological systems in the world’s oceans. The local marine environments we will be visiting will be emphasized, as well as the social issues and policies affecting them. Environmental challenges such as global climate change, ocean acidification, and oceanic pollutants will be discussed, and emerging solutions will be emphasized. On the MV World Odyssey – while in the classroom, on deck, or on shore – we will explore topics such as currents, tides and waves, the regions of the ocean, and the organisms that have evolved to live in these challenging and varied habitats. Emphasis will be on the open ocean organisms from microscopic plankton to charismatic megafauna such as whales and dolphins, and the interconnectivity of this massive biome.
Learning objectives for this course include: gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the open ocean, midwater, and deep ocean, as well as other marine ecosystems, and acquiring the knowledge and insight necessary to evaluate opportunities and challenges facing our oceans today.
Field WorkCountry: China
Date: February 5, 2020
Students will make observations and compare and contrast the biological and physical characteristics of 3 different shoreline environments. At each site, we will collect all the trash that has accumulated on the shoreline, and sort and record the type and quantity of beach pollutants. Each visit will culminate in a beach cleanup and appropriate disposal of trash collected. Students are required to take detailed notes during these field trip activities, including reflections, photographs and drawings. We will analyze the data, discuss our findings, and compare the 3 sites. Observations, analysis and conclusions will be included in the expedition log and will form the basis for a written report that will include answers to questions provided prior to the activity.
1. Understand shoreline dynamics and ecology
2. Observe, first hand, the massive problem with ocean pollution
3. Provide a counterpart to the open ocean microplastics exercises on shipboard