This course provides a global perspective of life in the world’s oceans. While the major focus of this course is biological in nature, students will first gain an understanding of the other basic sciences setting the stage for life in the oceans by examining the geological, chemical, physical, and astronomical aspects of, and influences upon, the world’s oceans. An extensive survey of life in the ocean will be followed by an ecological tour of the major marine ecosystems found worldwide. This course will conclude with a formal examination of human use of and impact upon the world’s oceans and its resources, but we will note and discuss these topics throughout the voyage in conjunction with our time ashore.
Field ClassCountry: China
Day: 1 - Shanghai - Tuesday, 3 February
We will visit 3 sites during our Field Lab in Shanghai, where students will encounter a variety of marine organisms with diverse morphological and ecological characteristics: 1) The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, to view and document living examples of marine algae, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. 2) The Tongchuan Lu Fish Market, to survey and document the marine plants and live animals for sale, with particular emphasis on taxonomy and morphology. 3) The Dongtan Wetland Park, providing viewing opportunities for a variety of marine organisms found in this wetland ecosystem, including numerous shorebirds and the Yangtze alligator. Academic Objectives: 1. Students will examine the functional morphology of a variety of marine organisms and relate this to the organisms’ lifestyle within their ecological niche. 2. Students will connect this experience to lecture material through a written journal supplemented by an annotated photo log. 3. This Field experience will serve as an example by which students will make comparative observations at subsequent ports of call.