Oceanography (OCEN 401) ‑‑ Spring Semester 2009

 

Lectures: Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 2:00‑2:50 p.m., Akeley/Lawrence Science Center 125

Text: Introduction to the World's Oceans, 10th edition, by Keith Sverdrup and Virginia Armbrust

Instructor: Dr. Timothy H. Heaton, Professor and Chair of Earth Sciences

       Office:              Science Center 201E (inside the Earth Sciences department office)

       Office hours:    Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 9:00 am to 12:00 noon or whenever available

       Office phone:   677‑6122                         E‑mail:            theaton@usd.edu

       Dept. phone:     677‑5649                         Home page:    http://www.usd.edu/esci/ocean

 

Course description: Our earth is unique in its possession of oceans. They are what give our planet its distinct look, and they are where life began. This course provides an introduction to the historical, physical, chemical, geological, and biological aspects of the oceans and their importance to the global system. There is no prerequisite, though some background in earth science or biology will be useful. The instructor realizes that many South Dakotans have never seen an ocean and will introduce the material accordingly.

 

Course requirements: The course will closely follow the textbook as outlined on the class schedule. Attendance at all lectures is expected, as is reading of the textbook assignments. The lectures will also include many visual aids. Supplementary handouts will be provided from time to time. At the beginning of the course each student is expected to learn (or review) the location of the earth's major geographical features, and maps and a globe will be available in the Earth Sciences Library (Science Center 210) to help with this. The Internet will also be used to supplement the course at times.

 

There will be three hour exams and a final exam, and the material covered on each exam is indicated on the class schedule. The study questions, problems, and terms at the end of each chapter will be useful in studying for the exams, as will the class handouts. Practice questions will be available on the course home page.

 

There will also be an open‑book, ten-question Web quiz on each text chapter. The only restriction on these quizzes is that students do their own work (no collaboration). In addition, students can receive extra credit for writing practice questions on the Web for use by other students (one question per text chapter for one point each). The quizzes and practice questions are due before we begin the subsequent chapter (e.g. Chapter 1 submissions are due before class on Jan 23rd).

 

Each student is expected to write a term paper on a topic of their choice related to oceanography. A list of possible topics and some helpful guidelines will be provided. The paper is to be written in two drafts with due dates indicated on the class schedule. The first draft is to be a completed, typed paper, and the instructor will carefully review it and offer suggestions for improvement on the second and final draft.

 

Disabilities: If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Director of the Office of Disability Services (Service Center 119, 677-6389) as early as possible in the semester.


                                  Oceanography (OCEN 401) ‑‑ Spring Semester 2009

                                                                  Class Schedule

 

Fri.

Jan. 16

Chapter 1: The History of Oceanography

Mon.

Jan. 19

*** Martin Luther King Holiday (no class ***

Wed.

Jan. 21

Chapter 1

Fri.

Jan. 23

Chapter 2: The Water Planet

Mon.

Jan. 26

Chapter 2

Wed.

Jan. 28

Chapter 3: Plate Tectonics

Fri.

Jan. 30

Chapter 3

Mon.

Feb. 2

Chapter 4: The Sea Floor and its sediments

Wed.

Feb. 4

Chapter 4

Fri.

Feb. 6

Chapter 5: The Physical Properties of Water

Mon.

Feb. 9

Chapter 5

Wed.

Feb. 11

 First Hour Exam (Chapters 1‑5, Geographic Features)

Fri.

Feb. 13

Chapter 6: The Chemistry of Seawater

Mon.

Feb. 16

*** President's Day Holiday (no class) ***

Wed.

Feb. 18

Chapter 6

Fri.

Feb. 20

Chapter 7: The Structure and Motion of the Atmosphere

Mon.

Feb. 23

Chapter 7

Wed.

Feb. 25

Chapter 8: Circulation and Ocean Structure

Fri.

Feb. 27

Chapter 8

Mon.

Mar. 2

Chapter 9: The Surface Currents

Wed.

Mar. 4

Chapter 9

Fri.

Mar. 6

Chapter 10: The Waves

 

Mar. 9-13

*** Spring Break (no class) ***

Mon.

Mar. 16

Chapter 10

Wed.

Mar. 18

Second Hour Exam (Chapters 6‑10, Geographic Features)

Fri.

Mar. 20

Chapter 11: The Tides

Mon.

Mar. 23

Chapter 11

Wed.

Mar. 25

Chapter 12: Coasts, Beaches, and Estuaries; Paper Topics Due

Fri.

Mar. 27

Chapter 12

Mon.

Mar. 30

Chapter 13: Environmental Issues and Concerns

Wed.

Apr. 1

Chapter 13

Fri.

Apr. 3

Chapter 14: The Living Ocean

Mon.

Apr. 6

Chapter 14

Wed.

Apr. 8

The History of Life in the Oceans; Term Paper First Drafts Due

 

Apr. 10-13

*** Easter Break (no class) ***

Wed.

Apr. 15

Chapter 15: Production and Life

Fri.

Apr. 17

Chapter 15

Mon.

Apr. 20

Third Hour Exam (Chapters 11‑15, Supplemental lecture, Geographic Features)

Wed.

Apr. 22

Chapter 16: The Plankton: Drifters of the Open Ocean

Fri.

Apr. 24

Chapter 17: The Nekton: Free Swimmers of the Sea

Mon.

Apr. 27

Chapter 17

Wed.

Apr. 29

Chapter 18: The Benthos: Dwellers of the Seafloor

Fri.

May 1

Chapter 18; Term Paper Final Drafts Due

Wed.

May 6

Final Exam 12:30‑2:30 pm (Text, Supplemental lecture, Geographic Features)