OCEA 110 Environmental Oceanography • 5 Cr.
Provides an overview of ocean environmental issues, including the potential impacts of overfishing, undersea mining, habitat loss, pollution, coastal development, and global climate change. Examined in the context of the innate relationship between humans and the sea. Same as ENVS 110. Either OCEA 110 or ENVS 110 may be taken for credit, not both.
After completing this class, students should be able to:
- Explain the prevailing theory of the origin and history of the Earth’s oceans.
- List and explain the basic physical and biological factors affecting ocean ecology.
- Describe the elements of natural variability in the ocean.
- List the major mineral and fossil fuel resources in the ocean and describe the known and potential environmental impacts related to their extraction.
- List the major biological resources in the ocean and describe the known and potential environmental impacts related to their extraction.
- Provide a comprehensive definition of “ocean pollution”.
- Summarize the ecological impacts associated with oil, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals in the ocean.
- Summarize the ecological impacts associated with solid waste disposal in the ocean.
- Summarize the ecological impacts associated with organic waste disposal in the ocean.
- Describe the documented and hypothesized impacts on the ocean due to global climate change.
- Explain the reasons for observed habitat losses in the coastal zone, estuaries, and coral reefs over the past century.
- Enumerate and evaluate scientific priorities dealing with studies of marine environmental change in the coming decades.
- Summarize key past and present international agreements and treaties that govern human use of the ocean, and assess their success in protecting the marine environment.