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Course Description


“There has long been a belief that the sea, at least, was inviolate, beyond man’s ability to change and to despoil. But this belief, unfortunately, has proved to be naive.” Rachel Carson

Knowledge of the oceans is more than a matter of curiosity. Our very survival may hinge upon it.” President John F. Kennedy, Jr.


Earth from Space

Planet Earth (

Ours is a watery world.  Two thirds of our planet’s surface is covered by the sea, and that area will only increase by century’s end due to global warming.  We have put humans on the moon, explored the surface of Mars, and sent spacecraft outside of our known solar system, yet we still understand preciously little about our own planet’s “second world” – the ocean.  This class explores the physics, chemistry, and biology of the world’s oceans.  Our journey will take us to the dark and cold depths of subduction trenches to the sparkling, warm blue waters of shallow coral reefs.  We will encounter the somber songs of whales, the roar of crashing waves, the howl of perfect storms, and the silent grace of the deep blue abyss.  On the way, we will seek to understand how oceanographers explore the mysteries of our watery realm, the technologies that make it possible, and the historical shoulders current and future explorers are standing on.

Official Undergraduate Course Bulletin Description:
EOS 102. The Dynamic Oceans. NS, STS The oceans and their impact on the Earth’s surface, climate, and society.Topics include seafloor evolution, marine hazards, ocean currents and climate, waves and beach erosion, tides, hurricanes/cyclones,marine life and ecosystems, and marine resources. Emphasis on the historical, society and economic roots of oceanography, the formulation and testing of hypotheses, quantitative assessment of data, and technological developments that lead to understanding of current and future societal issues involving the oceans. Instructors: Glass. One course. C-L: Biology 157,Marine Science and Conservation

Times and Location:
Wherever you are and whenever is convenient for you! (note, Zoom office hours are set weekly and by appointment)

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