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: Mauritius
Date: March 11, 2020
Students will observe and identify the living components of a coral reef and exposed beach shoreline, as well as the physical factors influencing these ecosystems. Snorkeling gear will be provided and allow first hand observations of a complex coral reef ecosystem. This activity will be followed by a beach cleanup activity, where we will analyze, record and properly dispose of all trash collected. Students are required to take detailed notes during the field trip activity, including reflections, photographs and drawings. These will be included in the expedition log and will form the basis for a written report which will include answers to questions provided prior to the activity.
1. Understand the nature of the coral reef ecosystem
2. Observe the trophic interactions and complexity of a delicate nearshore ecosystem
3. Observe, firsthand, ecosystem disturbance and ocean pollution