Survey of Oceanography
Goals for Spring 2004
" Learning is not a spectator
Learning requires you to be an active participant
in the class. Through this course you will learn to:
- Think critically about oceanic processes that
influence our daily lives.
- Analyze sources of information to learn more about
By the end of the course, I expect you
will be able to describe some of the important processes
influencing the oceans and coastal regions.
I expect you will be able to:
- Describe some of the key problems and processes being
studied by oceanographers today.
- Analyze the solutions to the key problems.
- Analyze and describe the important oceanic 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
- What processes influence beaches and coasts?
- Which processes are poorly understood? Which are
- Compare and select sources of information useful for
further study of oceanic processes and the influence of
people 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
- 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
oceans in climate. Will global warming plunge the world
into the next ice age?
- 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. How many
fish can be caught?
- Coastal pollution and its consequences. What causes
the dead zones off Mississippi in the summer?
- What processes influence beaches? Why do some beaches
lose so much sand that houses are destroyed?
5 September, 2004