Essentials of Oceanography



As part of the course orientation you should review material on these pages and resources located on Canvas and you should take a cursory look through the lessons themselves. This will prepare you to be successful in this course

Have you looked at our syllabus?

This course orientation will complement and expand on the information provided on our syllabus. Be sure to review that document carefully! A link to the syllabus is located in the main menu.

What will we learn in the Course Orientation?

  • The structure of EARTH 540
  • What assignments are required in this course
  • An overview of Canvas, Penn State's course management system
  • Technical requirements for EARTH 540
  • How to succeed in this course
  • Where to get course assistance if you need it

What is due for the Course Orientation?

You should complete the Course Orientation before the end of the first week of classes. (See the syllabus for our semester plan.)

As you work your way through these online materials for the Course Orientation, you will encounter additional reading assignments and hands-on exercises and activities. The chart below provides an overview of the requirements for the Course Orientation. For assignment details, refer to the orientation page noted.

Create your Canvas profile page 4 No - If you are new to Canvas, create your Canvas profile (follow directions on the "About Canvas" page of this lesson). Please add a photo!
Forward your Canvas e-mail page 4 No - But this is an optional/important step to make sure you don't miss any important course communications
Login to this Web site page 8 No - But you will need to know how to do this later on in the course

Introduce yourself and meet the rest of the class!

Canvas: Discussions section Yes - this activity will count toward your overall Class Participation grade.


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions discussion forum located under the Discussions section in Canvas, or contact me, Eliza Richardson, via Canvas e-mail. I will check the discussion forum frequently to respond. While you are there, feel free to post a response if you are able to help out a classmate --this is a good time to establish a sense of community, and group learning, for the course.

Keep reading!

On the following pages you will find important information about the course structure, requirements, scheduling, and technical requirements and assistance...all of which you'll need to know in order to pass the course. Remember, you are also responsible for the information located on our course syllabus (see the Resources menu).