Fall 2023: European, African, and Asian Adventure

NR 150 Oceanography [CRN 69724]

Overview of Course

The world's major ocean basins are highly interconnected, forming a single, unified ocean system. This vast body of water is not only responsible for regulating global climate, but also for producing a significant amount of the oxygen we breathe through the photosynthetic activity of phytoplankton. Even though the ocean contains a vast amount of Earth's biodiversity, 95% of the ocean still remains uncharted. While the ocean holds infinite potential for discovery, its resources are finite and under significant threat. Overfishing, ocean acidification, and pollution are just a few of the serious challenges facing our ocean that demand immediate attention and careful management.

This course aims to develop an "ocean-literate" perspective, emphasizing the importance of the ocean for all life on Earth. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the ocean's geological origins, physical processes, such as circulation, water chemistry, and the remarkable diversity of marine life. The course also covers the history of ocean exploration and the scientific research methods used to understand this complex ecosystem through observation and testable predictions.

At each port, participants will learn how different regions and countries depend on the ocean for essential services and will explore local marine life. Systematic comparisons between various regions of the world will be made, providing a global perspective on the ocean's importance. By the end of the course, participants will have a deeper understanding of the ocean's significance and a better understanding of science in general, empowering them to be informed global citizens.