The study of oceanography gives students a world view, an understanding of the global system that is our environment; it provides a better understanding of the interconnectedness of systems within a major feature of our earth.
Oceanographers address practical problems and engage in basic scientific discovery. In the area of human health, for example, the oceans provide threats such as storms and hurricanes, and rising sea levels endangering coastal populations (more than half of the world’s population live within 50 km of the sea). The oceans provide a diversity of food, are the reservoir of our water supply and most of the heat and carbon of the climate system, are the source of roughly half the respired oxygen of the biosphere, and contain most of the remaining undiscovered natural pharmaceuticals.
- MARINE BIOLOGY
Marine Biology covers the study of a range of marine ecosystems, organisms and their classification. It examines the interconnectedness and relationships within the population dynamic and the human impact on these. Students will use the skills of scientific inquiry to design and conduct an investigation and communicate their findings. They will develop an understanding of science as a human endeavour within the inter-disciplinary field of Oceanography.
- MARINE GEOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY
Students will develop an understanding of the physical forces within the earth that affect the ocean basins, including tectonic theory and volcanism. Data is used to construct visual representations and models of the bathymetry of the ocean basins and to predict new land formations such as those seen in volcanic island arcs. Students will evaluate mapping tools and the use of technology. They will examine the effects of natural and anthropogenic processes that create weathering and erosion of coastal environments. Students will examine science as a human endeavour within the interdisciplinary field of Oceanography.
- CHEMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
Students will develop an understanding of the chemical properties of the marine environment such as salinity, dissolved gases and water molecules, and the effects related to these properties, such as density, acoustics, viscosity, temperature and movement of nutrients. The unit examines atmospheric properties and conditions, oceanic and atmospheric pollution, and gas cycles for carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Students will use scientific inquiry and examine science as a human endeavour within the field of Oceanography.
- PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
Students will study physical principles such as wave generation and theory, fluid statics and dynamics and the effects of processes such as tides and currents, including thermohaline circulation. Students will study energy balances, weather patterns, sustainability and energy harvesting, and an evaluation of the anthropogenic contribution to climate change.
Students can complete a Major by completing 4 units or a Minor by completing any 2 units.