PHSC 311 Oceanography

Covers the four main disciplines of oceanography: marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography (i.e., circulation), and marine biology.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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*The information contained in our Course Guides is provided as a sample. Specific course curriculum and requirements for each course are provided by individual instructors each semester. Students should not use Course Guides to find and complete assignments, class prerequisites, or order books.

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the study of the ocean. The course will reveal the complex inter-relatedness of the four main disciplines of oceanography. Particular attention will be paid to current issues and dilemmas facing the ocean and the associated impact for humankind. In the end, this course is designed to broaden the the student’s understanding of the ocean.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Each module, the student will be assigned reading from the text. Specific main points and important ideas for each chapter have been highlighted within SmartBook, which includes questions to help ensure the student’s understanding of the material. In addition, the student will be assigned lecture presentations, videos, and other resources to expand on the textbook readings.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 350 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is to reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 100 words and add substantially to the conversation. All posts must adhere to current APA format.

Homework Assignments (8)

After reading the assigned textbook chapter, the student will complete a short assignment to reinforce key components developed in the reading. The assignment will be composed of 15 matching, labeling, and sequencing questions.

Quiz: Aquarium Visit Assignment Site Request

Students will be tasked with submitting the aquarium or marine preserve they wish to visit for the Aquarium Visit Assignment.

Exploration Research Assignment

The student will create a cohesive video response to the given prompt, addressing the history, future, and benefits of ocean exploration. The video should be 3-4 minutes long.

Hurricane Glider Research Assignment

The student will compose a written response to questions regarding NOAA’s Hurricane Gliders. The response should be 350-450 words and should be broken into paragraphs. Sources should be scholarly and properly referenced in APA format.

Tsunami Research Assignment

The student will compose a response to questions regarding tsunamis. The response should be 350-450 words and should be broken into paragraphs. Research is required using scholarly sources. Two recommended sources are the required textbook and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Sources should be properly referenced in APA format.

Quiz: Spiritual Assessments (2)

The student will have the opportunity to offer a self-assessment of his/her spiritual health twice during the course. The student can share personal concerns, prayer requests, and praises with the professor. 

Aquarium Visit Assignment

The student will visit an aquarium and compose a PowerPoint Presentation that highlights the overall experience and connects the findings of the aquarium to the science of oceanography. The PowerPoint must include at least 2 scholarly sources in addition to the aquarium’s website
or pamphlet. PowerPoint must be 9-12 slides.

Quizzes (8)

The student will have 8 quizzes that cover the Learn material for the assigned module. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions. Quizzes have a 1-hour time limit.

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