NST1060 - OCEANOGRAPHY
Over 70% of the globe is covered by ocean. Marine systems are a nexus of life – crucial sources of protein for human populations, reservoirs of minerals, and regulators of the global climate. However, human populations have increased demand for ocean resources in greater numbers than is ecologically sustainable. In addition, the ocean serves as a dumping ground for many types of waste, resulting in waters degraded by pollution. The objective of this course is to give you a basic understanding of the physical, biological, and chemical processes driving ocean fundamentals. In addition, we will examine how human demand on marine resources impacts ocean communities.
This course will stress the importance of the scientific method – both in principle and in practice. Extensive discussion of human environmental impacts on the ocean (e.g., climate change, marine pollution, overfishing) will enhance perspectives of self-awareness and ethical decision-making related to social, economic and environmental responsibility and sustainability (SEERS). Critical analysis is emphasized in class discussions, exam questions, lab reports, written assignments, and the group project. Assignments facilitate development of logical communication skills, appropriate use of graphs and tables, and organizing, synthesizing, evaluating and interpreting scientific information. Through lab and group activities, this course fosters team work and ability to work with others. International and multicultural perspectives are integral to the course, since the oceans influence on human populations is global, both directly on the coasts, and indirectly away from the coasts (via weather, climate, and seafood production).