Introduction to Oceanography

GEOL-G 115




With Oceanography, you have the choice of taking an online section or an on-campus section. The online sections are taught using similar material and are delivered entirely online through Canvas.

You may know 70% of Earth is covered by oceans, and this class covers all the "behind the scenes" features that go on in our ocean environments. Our oceans have an enormous impact on climactic and weather patterns, and they have helped shape the surface of the Earth (many rocks found in Indiana were deposited in ocean basins). This class starts by covering how the oceans are studied by scientists and how the Theory of Plate Tectonics has shaped the oceans over geologic time. Common topics include common ocean deposits and features, ocean sub-environments like reefs, and the unique characteristics and behavior of ocean water, sediments, and life. Depending on your instructor, the following topics may be covered:

  • Classifying sediments
  • Atmospheric and Oceanic interactions
  • Climate
  • Paleooceanography (Ocean history)
  • Ocean Circulation
  • Tides and Waves
  • Oceanic Life
  • Coastlines
  • Ocean Pollution and Management

There is no laboratory associated with the Oceanography course. The class typically includes a required writing assignment, either a service learning experience and follow-up paper, or a research paper.