Oceanography (Section 3) [CRN 83312]

Discipline: Natural Resources
Instructor: Berman
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1410
End: 1530
Field Work: Day 2 | September 27, 2019 | Portugal
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

A young sailor stood by the rail of a whaling ship as she transited the narrow passage from Nantucket out to the Atlantic. As he watched the waves, the Captain appeared and took up a place beside him.

“The ocean is so vast,” the young man said, “makes one feel really small.

“Aye,” the Captain replied, “and that’s only the top o’her!”

There is no better way to understand the many moods of the open sea than to sail out into the ocean and live, day in and day out, always dependent on the way the winds are blowing and how high the seas rise.

Aboard the World Odyssey, we have a unique chance to study the ocean first hand as we continue on our voyage. We will traverse many and varied seas as we cross the North Sea and then traverse the Eastern Atlantic to the Mediterranean and then to Africa and across the South Atlantic to the coastal regions of South and Central America. We will end up in the Eastern Pacific before making port in San Diego.

During this time, you will be given insights into the oceans and the shores that border them. You will learn about the origins of ocean water and the ocean basins, cradle of all life. You will be introduced to the chemical and physical factors that create tides and currents and how these, in turn, influence the distribution of life in and above and waves. You will leave the ship for a more complete understanding of the biosphere and man’s impact on the systems that make up this complex web of life. You are invited to take this once in a lifetime journey. I will be pleased to accompany and enlighten you.

Field Work

Country: Portugal
Day: 2
Date: September 27, 2019

This field class will encompass three activities:

  1. Visit a local fish market, a window into the marine biology of any coastal area, where we will test our observation skills, interact with local fish mongers and fishers, and possibly purchase a shark to dissect
  2. Visit a local gem: the historically significant Vasco da Gama Aquarium, a small but amazing aquarium with a very, very cool museum of marine specimens, which would be the highlight of the field lab except that we will next
  3. Visit what I think is the world’s best aquarium, the Lisbon Oceanário, where we will marvel at the beauty and diversity of marine life, at the same time observing and reinforcing concepts learned in class (and eat lunch overlooking the Tagus River).
Learning Objectives:
  • At the local fish market, students will:
    • Identify organisms in local fisheries, including major groups of fish and invertebrates
    • Describe the biodiversity and adaptations of local fish and invertebrate fauna on display, and compare to those of fish markets in previous ports
    • Observe the gear and infer methods used by local fishers
    • Assess the importance of fisheries to local economy
    • Possibly dissect a shark/bony fish and learn basic shark anatomy
  • At the Vasco da Gama Aquarium and the Lisbon Oceanário, students will:
    • Identify major groups of mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, and plants
    • Observe behavior of captive organisms
    • Describe the biodiversity and adaptations of representative faunas
    • Summarize basic methods of captive biology of marine organisms, including capture techniques and maintenance in captivity
    • Reinforce basics of community ecology, including species diversity and richness, predator prey interactions, etc.
    • Reinforce concepts of marine conservation in the region and the roles of marine reserves in preserving biodiversity
    • Reinforce concepts on the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, as well as other human impacts