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Know your Oceans: Rivers to the Abyss

Course numbers: CZMT - 0600 and MAMC - 0600

In this graduate-level course for science and non-science majors, we will examine the marine environment from its origin (rivers) to its deepest reaches (deep-sea trenches) and everything in between. We will begin by examining the distribution of water on earth and its influence on climate. Next we will examine the path of water from rivers, through estuaries, to the sea. In that process, life in the marine environment, from plants through animals, will be discussed. We will continue our journey from the estuaries into the coastal seas, with discussion of the physical factors that shape the coastal zone, sea shores, and major ecosystem types. Emphasis will be placed on Florida’s coastal zone (e.g., coral reefs). Traveling seaward across the continental shelves, we will reach earth’s largest ecosystem (by far), the deep sea. Structuring features of this enormous environment will be discussed, and students will be introduced to the myriad bizarre-looking life forms in the deep. Last, selected conservation issues facing the marine environment will be discussed, including fisheries, endangered species, marine protected areas, and aquaculture.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • describe the hydrological cycle, understand the underlying structure of marine food chains
  • understand the differences in the types of organisms found in different marine environments
  • and understand the cumulative impacts of human effects on the marine environment and what steps are needed to manage these effects to achieve sustainability



Winter 2014 Syllabus

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