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 Introduction to Oceanography  posted by  member150_php   on 3/30/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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ESCI 321 - Introduction to Oceanography - Syllabus - Fall 2008

Lecture Location: AH 04                                                       

Instructor: David H. Shull (Homepage)
Meeting time: TR 8:00-9:50 AM                                   Office: ES 445, ext. 3690
CRN: 43892                                                                     Office hours: TWR 10 AM-12 PM


1.  To gain an understanding of the physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes that affect marine ecosystems
2.   Identify challenges in marine science that must be solved by interdisciplinary thinking.
3.   Address important environmental issues in Puget Sound and the Washington coast


Initially, the organization of the lectures will follow the textbook.  Lectures will cover key concepts found in the readings, but often I will emphasize ideas not covered in the text.  Later, when we cover biological oceanography and interdisciplinary topics, the lectures and the text will diverge somewhat.  The schedule will likely vary a bit depending upon students’ interests and teaching opportunities.  I will update the schedule as needed and inform the class of any changes as appropriate.  If you miss class for any reason, it is your responsibility to become aware of these changes and prepare accordingly.  All material assigned from the text, handouts, assigned reserve reading, and lectures are fair game for exams.


Two quarters of biology; CHEM 115 or 121; Math 115; Recommended: GEOL 340, physics.


I will use the course web site for posting the syllabus, lectures, answers to exam questions, reading assignments, and course announcements.


Textbook: An Introduction to the World's Oceans, 9th Ed. Keith A. Sverdrup and E. Virginia Armbrust. McGraw-Hill, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-07-282701-9.  This is a new textbook for this course, co-authored by a University of Washington oceanographer (Armbrust). 

Handouts: Various articles given in class or posted on web site prior to pertinent lecture or lab activities.



               Term Paper2                                    10%
               Individual projects and quizzes3        10%


 93-100  A  90-92  A-  88-89  B+  83-87  B  80-82  B-   78-79  C+
 73-77    C  69-72  C-   67-68  D+    61-66  D  57-60  D-  0-56    F

1 The two midterms will each be worth 20% of the final grade.  These exams will cover factual material as well as conceptual material requiring integrative thinking.  The final exam, worth 40% of the final grade, will be cumulative but will focus on biology and interdisciplinary topics.

2 The paper will take the form of a persuasive letter to the Puget Sound Partnership to implement a new policy to protect some aspect of the health of Puget Sound.  Details of the assignment are found under the Term Paper tab above.

3 Quizzes will cover reading material for discussion.             


Date    Topic            Reading
25-Sep R About oceanography  
R The earth, plate tectonics and continental margins Ch. 3
30-Sep T The seafloor, continental margins and ocean basins Ch. 4
T Sediments: Clues to the ocean's past Ch. 4
2-Oct R Finish geology, Formation of Puget Sound Booth 1994 *
7-Oct T Properties of water Ch.5
T Seawater chemistry I: Major constituents Ch. 6
9-Oct R Seawater chemistry II: Minor solutes Ch. 6
14-Oct T Catch up and review for exam  
16-Oct R Exam 1   
21-Oct T Atmospheric circulation and climate Ch. 7
T Oceanic circulation I: Physics of flow Ch. 8
23-Oct R Oceanic circulation II: Major patterns of flow Ch. 9
28-Oct T Waves, Tsuanmis and seiches Ch. 10
30-Oct R Tides Ch. 11
4-Nov T Estuaries, coasts, and  beaches Ch. 12
6-Nov R Phytoplantkon: Primary producers Ch. 14
R Spring Bloom Ch. 15
11-Nov T Veteran's Day - no class  
13-Nov R Exam 2  
18-Nov T Zooplankton: Secondary producers Ch. 16
T Marine microbes and the microbial loop Kirchman Ch. 2*
20-Nov R Marine Mammals Ch. 17
R Fish and productivity Ware and Thompson 2005*
25-Nov T Benthos: Life at the bottom Ch. 18
27-Nov R Thanksgiving break - no class  
Interdisciplinary Topics  
2-Dec T Marine Pollution, Eutrophication, and Hood Canal Ch. 13
4-Dec R Oceanography and global change Reading TBD
R Catch up and review for final exam  
8-Dec M Final exam (1 PM - 3 PM)  

* = A short quiz will be given over the reading material                                                             Tell A Friend