Oceanography (Section 2) [CRN 27395]

Discipline: Natural Resources
Instructor: Quillmann
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 12:10
End: 13:30
Field Work: Day 1 | March 12, 2017 | Mauritius
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Oceanography is an interdisciplinary science, which can be divided into four main disciplines: marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography, and marine biology. To understand the broad-scale features and dynamics of the Earth’s oceans, we must understand each of these disciplines. Specific topics include seafloor spreading, marine sediments, salinity, biogeochemical cycles, ocean structure, currents, waves, tides, primary biological production, marine ecology. The oceans influence global climate and provide important resources and services for humans. SAS provides the unique opportunity to move beyond a discipline taught in the classroom to a real live experience. Because we can see first-hand how different cultures treat and depend on the oceans, we will understand the urgency of our protecting marine environments and oceans.

Field Work

Country: Mauritius
Day: 1
Date: March 12, 2017

In waterproof log books, students will make notes of various observations while snorkeling in the water, including:
•Judging if restoration efforts were successful and identify areas where more work is necessary
•Witnessing the interaction of visitors and the reef habitat and the impact visitors have on the reef
•Identifying different coral species and observing the behavior of the polyps
•Identifying marine creatures living among the corals and taking census of marine fauna
•Classifying different substrate in the bay and associating marine organisms with different substrate
•Making observations of water temperature changes within the bay
•Surveying the coral cover and the health of coral cover in a transect from shore to outer limit of bay (as safety permits)
•Studying the behavior of the green sea turtle
If possible, we will end our day with a beach cleanup project.

Learning Objectives:
1. To learn about safety and interaction with marine organisms
2. To learn about restoration efforts in the Blue Bay Marine Park
3. To observe the interaction between visitors and the organisms
4. To gain understanding diversity of coral reef organisms
5. To discover the concept of biological connectivity, such as biogeography and oceanography
6. To study Mauritian marine ecology
7. To recognize the need of systematic studies of coral reefs