EARTH 540
Essentials of Oceanography

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Registered students should begin with the Course Orientation, located in the "Orientation" menu.

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Not registered? Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about registering for this course and about the online Master of Education in Earth Sciences is available at http://earth.e-education.psu.edu.

Quick Facts about EARTH 540

  • Instructor for Spring 2016 - Elise Rubio, M.Ed. in Earth Sciences from PSU, Science Teacher at Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA.
  • Authors - Chris Marone and Michael Arthur, Professors, Department of Geosciences
  • Overview - EARTH 540 is an elective course in Penn State's online Masters of Education in Earth Sciences. This course is designed specifically for science teachers who seek to enrich their knowledge of oceanography and contemporary principles of the fluid Earth and who are able to study only part-time and at a distance from the Penn State Campus. EARTH 540 is offered periodically, generally once or twice per year .

    NOTE:

    It is strongly recommended that students successfully complete EARTH 501 before taking EARTH 540.

  • Learning Environment - This Web site provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The Resources menu links to important supporting materials, while the Course Outline menu links to the course lessons. Canvas, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course, as well, as it provides the primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.
  • Topics of Study - EARTH 540 introduces knowledge and broadens understanding of the oceans and their role in climate, coastal processes, and life within the fluid Earth.  Students will gain insight into the physical and chemical processes that determine properties of the ocean and govern interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, groundwater, and the fluid/solid Earth. Topics will reinforce fundamental scientific principles such as heat transfer, chemical equilibrium, and conservation of energy.
    • Lesson 1 - The Water Planet: Earth and the Goldilocks Principle
    • Lesson 2 - Living on an Island: Origin of Ocean Basins and Sea Floor Morphology
    • Lesson 3 - From Rock to Salt
    • Lesson 4 - The Global Thermostat. The Ocean-Atmosphere-Climate Connection
    • Lesson 5 - The Sea is Rising, the Sea is Rising
    • Lesson 6 - Tides Turning and the Planetary Connection
    • Lesson 7 - Environmental Issues: Coral Reefs Imperiled, The Dead Zone
    • Lesson 8 - Capstone Project
    • Lesson 9 - The Secret Lives of Fishes and the Great Meal Deal

NOTE:

This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and re-use materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.