Fall for 2008-2009
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The major objective of this course is to understand to ocean's role in global environmental and energy issues such as biodiversity, ocean acidification, climate change, and sea level rise. In this context, course will (1) present fundamental biological, chemical and physical processes and features in modern and past oceans; (2) describe relationships between these processes and contemporary environmental and economic resource issues; (3) to develop familiarity with ocean and coastal zone policy issues on local, regional and global spatial scales. The course will cover these topics: sea-level rise and coastal zones, ecosystem degradation (dead zones, estuaries, mangroves), the carbon cycle, ocean acidification, coral reef ecosystems, oceans and energy and mineral resources, energy policy (carbon sequestration, iron fertilization), biodiversity (endangered species, extinction, invasive species), El Nino and climate variability, and polar oceans. We will cover topics related to continental shelves and slopes (gravity slides), deep-sea abyssal plains and hydrothermal vents. A global view is necessary to understand certain critical ocean-related issues, but many policy issues are pertinent at local and regional spatial scales, such as the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, iron fertilization of low nutrient ocean ecosystems, will rapid sea level inundate low-lying nations, estuarine pollution, hypoxia, and land use impacts, and water and coastal zone management, endangered marine
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '08: Cronin, Thomas M. (description, file download)
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