Goals for Spring 2009
"Learning is not a spectator
Learning requires you to be an active
participant in class discussions. Through this course you
- Understand that you influence the ocean, and that the ocean influences
- Think critically about oceanic processes that
influence our daily lives.
- Become aware of ways that we can reduce our influence on the ocean
and oceanic ecosystems.
- Analyze sources of information to learn
more about the ocean and our influence on the ocean.
By the end of the course, I expect you
will be able to describe some of the important natural and human processes
influencing the ocean and coastal regions. Classes will
emphasize the discussion, analysis, and description of
I expect you will be able to:
- Describe some of the key social and scientific problems and
processes being studied by oceanographers today.
- Analyze the solutions
to the key problems.
- Analyze and describe the important oceanic processes and our influence
on those processes.
- What processes
influence weather and climate?
- What processes influence the abundance
and distribution of marine life, especially those
important for food?
- How do pollutants get into the ocean, and what
do they do?
- What processes influence beaches and coasts?
- Which processes are poorly
understood? Which are well understood?
- Compare and select sources of
information useful for further study of oceanic processes and
our influence on the ocean.
- What sources exist on the web?
- How do you determine if the source is
- What real-time and historic data exist?
- What measurements were used
to produce the data?
- What is the accuracy and limitations of data sets
- What platforms are used? Satellites, ships,
Some important problems we will study
- The CO2 problem, global warming, and the role of the
ocean in climate. Will global warming plunge the world
into the next ice age?
- Tsunamis, storm surges, and dangers of living along a coast.
- El Niño and
the role of the ocean in changing weather patterns. Does El Niño really
influence all our weather? Does it cause flooding in Texas?
- Fisheries and the sustainable resources.
Why are there so few fish? How many fish can be caught?
- Coastal pollution and its consequences.
What causes the dead zones off Mississippi in the summer?
18 December, 2008