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: Hawaii, United States
Date: December 16, 2017
In the study of oceanography, we have considerable bias towards nearshore and coastal environments. This bias is both an artifact of the biology of our species and our ease of access. In our Field Program, we will be focused on the marine origin of islands, through both volcanism and calcification, and spend some time considering how both marine and terrestrial biotas colonize new islands on our ocean planet. We have one day on the island. Students should expect time spent on long coastal walks, and time snorkeling on coral reefs. We will be looking at not just the geological and biological processes that have created Hawaii, but also how we can sustainably move forward in coastal areas and on our ocean planet.
1. Island formation Processes – Atoll formation (Coral Reef Development) and Volcanism.
2. Composition of Marine and Terrestrial Island Biotas.
3. How do the Hawaiian Islands fit into the circulation/biogeographic patterns of the larger pacific?