Fall 2024: European, African, and Asian Adventure

NR 150 Oceanography [CRN 69724]

Overview of Course

The ocean is the lifeblood of Earth, covering about 70 percent of the planet's surface, driving climate and weather, shaping coastlines, sustaining the earths biodiversity and supporting people in multiple ways. This course is an interdisciplinary scientific overview of the ocean environment with an emphasis on geological, physical, and chemical processes and a focus on critical environmental issues along the path of our voyage (such as ocean warming, ocean acidification, pollution, sea-level change, coastal erosion, natural disasters, etc.). Living at sea provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the ocean and coastal environments first-hand and in real time through observations on deck and discussions of environmental issues affecting the ports we visit. In addition to the fundamentals of oceanography (including the formation and structure of ocean basins, plate tectonics, how water moves [waves, tides, circulation], ocean-atmosphere interaction, the geochemistry of seawater, coastal processes, and how these processes affect biological communities), we will explore case studies from our voyage which illustrate the oceans role in people’s lives as well as the impact of human activities on the oceans. Studying the ocean will deepen our awareness of how we can protect the health of our oceans in the future.