NVCC COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY
GOL 111-2 - OCEANOGRAPHY I-II (4 CR.) (4 CR.)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Examines the dynamics of the oceans and ocean basins. Applies the principles of physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography. Lecture 3 hours per week. Laboratory 3 hours per week. Total 6 hours per week.

GENERAL COURSE PURPOSE

The course covers an expanding and increasingly multidisciplinary field-study of the oceans. The student taking the course will obtain knowledge of a broad spectrum of scientific concepts and techniques and will be challenged to use them to solve wide-ranging problems. The course is best suited for the student who already has a background in one or more of the sciences and who is interested in pursuing a career in science. The course provides an opportunity for the student of diverse interest and viewpoints to come together with other students and share new experiences and expand their knowledge. Practical working experience in the laboratory and in the field, along the shore and on boats, will be emphasized. The student will learn to use sampling and measuring equipment and to collect, process and identify water, sedimentary and biological specimens.

ENTRY LEVEL COMPETENCY

The student is assumed to have had only one or two years of high school science courses (biology, earth science, chemistry, physics). The student's mathematical level is assumed to be two years of high school mathematics including algebra.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

    A. trace in a general way the history of the oceans

    B. diagram the interior and surface relief patterns of the earth

    C. explain the mechanism of movement of the earth's crustal plates and relate the occurrence of ocean basin features (volcanic mountains, faults, trenches, etc.) to tectonic processes

    D. describe the operation of oceanic sampling devices

    E. explain the patterns of sedimentation on the ocean floor and at shorelines, relating them to dispersal by waves and currents

    F. describe the patterns and causes of tides and currents

    G. measure the physical and chemical properties of sea water and discuss how they vary with depth, geography, time, and environmental conditions

    H. list the major elements and gases in sea water and discuss their distribution, major chemical reactions, and cycling in the oceans

    I. discuss the biochemical and geological evidence for the origin of life in the oceans and generally trace the evolutionary history of life to the present time

    J. diagram the classification of main environments, labeling the major depth and water zones

    K. demonstrate techniques for sampling and processing marine organisms

    L. identify the major groups (kingdoms, phyla, classes) of marine organisms

    M. discuss the interactions among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the marine realm and tell how external environmental factors influence this system

    N. converse or write intelligently about food and mineral resources of the ocean, pollution problems, fisheries rights, coastal development power from the sea, and desalination

MAJOR TOPICS TO BE COVERED

GOL 111

    A. Chemical Oceanography
    1. composition of sea water (major elements, nutrient elements, trace elements, gases)
    2. major chemical reactions
    3. factors affecting chemical reactions (concentrations, pH, organic processes)
    4. chemical cycles (nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, oxygen)
    B. Physical Oceanography
    1. interrelationships of land-sea-atmosphere systems
    2. physical properties of sea water (H2O molecule, phases, evaporation, condensation, freezing, light and sound transmission, heat, salinity, density, pressure, viscosity, surface tension)
    3. motions of the sea (waves, breakers, tides, surface currents, deep currents, turbidity currents, Ekman transport, upwelling)
    C. Geological Oceanography
    1. model of earth's interior and crust
    2. topography of ocean basis
    3. structure of ocean basins
    4. techniques for sampling ocean basins
    5. mechanisms of sediment dispersal
    6. patterns of sediment distribution
    7. shoreline features
    8. continental drift, sea floor spreading, plate tectonics
    9. mineral resources of the oceans
GOL 112
    A. Bioligical Oceanography
    1. basic concepts of life
    2. origin and brief history of life in the oceans
    3. classification of marine environments
    4. techniques for sampling marine life
    5. plants in the ocean (phytoplankton, higher plants, distribution, production, factors influencing population density)
    6. animals in the ocean (zooplankton, larger animals adaptations to environmental parameters)
    7. roles of bacteria and fungi
    8. interrelationships of marine organisms (natural associations, food webs, communities)
    9. coral reef community
    10. food resources of ocean
    B. Special Topics
    1. coastal development
    2. pollution (oil spills, other chemicals, nuclear wastes)
    3. territorial zones, fisheries conflicts
    4. future of the oceans
OPTIONAL TOPICS

None

Revised 2/93


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