Make a Splash

Examine the complex system of the world's oceans and how they effect all life on earth.
Register now:
September 19, 2016 - October 30, 2016
Climate Change, Earth: Inside and Out, Evolution, The Ocean System, Space, Time and Motion, Water
October 31, 2016 - December 11, 2016
The Brain: Structure, Function and Evolution, Climate Change, Evolution, The Diversity of Fishes, Genetics, Genomics, Genethics, The Ocean System, The Solar System
See the full calendar.

Authoring Scientists

Adriana Aquino
Dr. Aquino is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Ichthyology Department.
Rondi Davies
Dr. Davies came to the Museum in 2002 to study the high-pressure stability of minerals.

About the Course

The physical characteristics of the ocean and its related systems have framed its origin, incredible diversification of life, and amazing ecosystems, like coral reefs and mangrove forests. This seminar explores how oceanographers investigate the role that symbiotic relationships and other biological adaptations have in the dynamics of oceans, a dynamic that is being threatened by human activities and consumption. Read more.

Key Science Concepts

The Oceans are a complex system. They interact with the Earth's other systems—the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere—to form a dynamic planet.

The oceans and atmosphere formed primarily from gasses trapped deep in the Earth that were released by volcanic activity.

Evidence shows that life may have begun in the oceans. Early photosynthetic bacteria played a key role in creating an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

Ocean basins are created by plate tectonic activity (the movement of rigid plates across Earth's surface).

The unique properties of the water molecule have remarkable implications for regulation of the Earth's temperature and climate and for supporting life.

The ocean is a layered and circulating system. Surface currents are driven by winds, while deep-water circulation is driven by changes in water density. Both interact with the atmosphere to shape climate.

New technologies—such as deep-ocean observatories, ocean-going robots, satellites, and rock cores from the sea floor—are giving oceanographers a first look at many ocean and atmospheric processes.

The oceans and the solid Earth interact to support life in extreme environments.

The Earth's growing population is putting a great strain on ocean resources.

Course Textbook

Essentials of Oceanography
Author: Tom S. Garrison
Publisher: Cengage Learning
Edition: January 2014 (7th)
Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN: 1285753860
Buy online: Amazon | eChapters

Graduate Credit

This course is approved for graduate credit and continuing education units from leading institutions at an additional cost. Read more.

Adams State UniversityCity University of New YorkFramingham State UniversityHamline UniversityNorthwest Missouri State UniversityWestern Governors University

Related Courses

Interested in more from Seminars on Science? Consider these related offerings:

Earth: Inside and Out
Dynamic Earth Systems
Environmental Science
Climate Change
Earth and Environmental Science

Course Preview

Explore an interactive to find a deep sea vent, read about how the oceans formed, and explore a sample discussion.

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"It was great having access to experts in the field of ocean science."
—education graduate student
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73% of educators say this course was more valuable than professional development available at the local level.

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