Oceanography 201- Science of the Sea
Fall 2013 - MWF 10:00 - 10:50 AM - CRN 53205 - CR 3
University of Hawaii - Leeward Community College

Instructor: Michael Lane
Office: MS 102
Phone Number: Leeward CC - 455-0502; Mobile - 782-6530
Email Address: mlane@hawaii.edu
OCN 201 Web Site: Lani Aina Kai - www.laniainakai.com
Office Hours:
Monday 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Tuesday 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Wednesday 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Thursday 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Friday 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Textbook: Essentials of Oceanography, Trujillo, A. and Thurman, H., Eleventh edition, 2013
14 Math Problems (0.5 pts each) 7 pts Solve one math problem after each quiz
Class Participation 4 pts  
Attendance 4 pts  
Waikiki Field Trip 4 pts  
14 Quizzes (3 pts each) 42 pts Questions from the reading discussions
3 Exams (13 pts each) 39 pts Questions from lecture topics
Total 100.0 pts  
Optional Assignments:
Media Topics (0.5 pts each)    
Lecture Reports (2.5 pts each)    
Field Trip Reports (5 points)    
Course Description: Structure, formation, and features of ocean basins; seawater properties and distributions; currents; waves; tides; characteristics of marine organisms; marine ecological principles; man and the sea. Field trip required.
Grading Policies

Grades are earned based on the points accumulated by completing assignments and examinations. Students must earn at least 60 points to pass this course. If students want help completing the assignments or preparing for exams, they should contact the instructor. The instructor will assist students in selecting the appropriate mechanisms to help them successfully earn credit for this course.

Late work is not accepted.

The field trip report, quizzes, and exams are mandatory exercises that should not be missed. The quizzes, math problems, and exams can be made up, whereas, the points for class participation, attendance, and the field trip report cannot.

The points for lecture reports and class presentation will substitute for examination points. For example, if a student completes a lecture report (2.5 points) during a given examination period (two weeks), the next exam will be worth 11.5 points instead of 13 points.

The points for media topics will substitute for quiz points. For example, if a student completes a media topic (0.5 points) during a given quiz period (two days), the next quiz will be worth 2.5 points instead of 3.0 points.

Grading Scale: A - 100% => 90%
B - 89% => 80%
C - 79% => 70%
D - 69% => 60%
F - 59% => 0%
Reading Discussions:

The reading discussions are reading comprehension exercises that prepare students for quizzes.

The questions for each reading discussion assignment are posted on the Reading Discussions page. Students are required to read the assigned material from the text and respond to the questions prior to a quiz. The quizzes consist of three questions selected randomly from each reading discussion assignment.

Math Problems:

Math problems are a mechanism designed to encourage students to routinely use math to understand natural processes.

Each week students will solve a math problem in class related to a topic covered during a recent lecture. The probems will require students to demonstrate mathematical or graphical skills. Each problem is worth 0.5 points. An example of each problem will be posted on the Math Problems page prior to a quiz. To receive full credit for a problem, students must write the values for each problem, show the calculations, and write the appropriate units in the answer.

Students must use dedicated calculators for calculations. Mobile phones and other electronic devices are not permitted.

One math problem is given in association with each quiz.

Class Participation:

By participating in class discussions, students hone critical thinking skills while speaking (oral skills) and listening to other discussion participants (listening skills).

Students earn four points by participating in class discussions at least once during each two-week period. Students participate in class discussions by adding value to a discussion, e.g. asking pertinent questions about the topic under discussion or questions that expand the discussion, or answering questions posed by the instructor or other students. Students who do not participate voluntarily will be called on by the instructor.


Students earn four points for attending at least 15 weeks of class periods. In other words, students can miss three class periods during the semester and still earn all the attendance points.


Quiz preparation requires students to practice study skills: reading, comprehension, organizational, and communication. Quizzes consist of three short-answer questions selected randomly from the reading discussion for each quiz.

Each quiz is worth three points.


Exams are exercises in written communication, information comprehension, and problem solving.

Exams have two parts. The first part consists of 4-5 written comprehension questions. This part covers information from the previous two weeks of the semester. The list of potential questions will be posted two days prior to exam date.

The second part consists of one application question. This part also covers information from the previous four or five weeks of the semester; however, the application question is not posted on the course website. Application questions are problem-solving questions that require students respond to using information from the lecture topics.

Each exam is worth 13 points.

Media Topics:

Media topics are optional exercises that encourage students to read the media for earth science articles and to relate classroom topics to local issues that affect their lives.

Once a week, students can select an article from a newspaper, magazine, or website about a subject related to a topic discussed in class.

To receive full credit for each media topic (0.5 points) students must 1) provide a brief summary of the article and 2) explain the relationship between the information in the article and the topics learned in class. A copy of the media article must be handed in along with the media topic. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Media topics cannot be turned in late.

Media topics must be typed. Media topics substitute for quiz points, one per quiz period. A maximum of fourteen media topics can be completed.

Additional information is given on the Media Topic Information page and an example of a satisfactory media topic is given on the Media Topics Example page.

Lecture Reports:

Lecture reports are optional exercises in listening comprehension, critical thinking, and writing.

Three times a semester students can write a lecture report after attending a designated lecture or listening to a designated podcast. Lecture reports cover what the student learned from the lecture. The report should be 1-2 pages long, double-space, have 1-1.5” margins, and use a 12-point font.

The dates and locations of the lectures and a list of podcasts or videos will be announced in class and posted on the course website. Note that the number of possible lectures varies from semester to semester.

A lecture report is graded on the how well the subjects learned from the lecture are described and organized. Grading is in increments of 0.5 points, up to a maximum of 2.5 points. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Lecture reports cannot be turned in late.

Fieldtrip Report:

The field trip report is an exercise that enables students to observe natural and scientific processes and report about what they learned on the field trip.

The field trip report covers what students observed and learned on the field trip. The report should be 2-3 pages long, double-space, have 1-1.5” margins, and use a 12-point font. An additional page, the title page, contains the assignment title, student's name, and class time.

A field trip report is graded on the how well the phenomena observed on the field trip are described and the material organized. Grading is in increments of 0.5 points, up to a maximum of five points.

The Waikiki Aquarium report is due the last day of class Wednesday, December 11.


To successfully complete the course, students should attend class regularly, participate in class discussions, check the course Web site regularly for information, and satisfactorily complete the mandatory assignments and exams. If students need help, they should contact the instructor. Students are expected follow the Board of Regents’ policy of academic dishonesty as stated on p. 171 of the current Leeward CC catalog.

Students should participate in classroom activities, pay attend during lecture, refrain from conversation that interferes with the learning of others, and respect the rights and dignity of fellow students. Discrimination based on gender, race, ethnic heritage, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of OCN 201, a student will be able to

  • explain and apply geological oceangraphy principles
  • explain and apply chemical oceangraphy principles
  • explain and apply physical oceangraphy principles
  • explain and apply biological oceangraphy principles
Students with Disabilites Statement:

Leeward Community College abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, which stipulate that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education "solely by
reason of a handicap." Students with documented disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in
this class are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of the KAKO 'O IKE (KI) program as soon as
possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. The KI office is located in L-
208, across from the elevator in the library building or call for information at 455-0421.

Student Assessment Notification: With the goal of continuing to improve the quality of educational services offered to students, Leeward CC conducts assessments of student achievement of course, program, and institutional learning outcomes. Student work is used anonymously as the basis of these assessments, and the work you do in this course may be used in these assessment efforts.
Learning Resource Center:

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) offers many free services for students. LRC writing consultants can help with writing and reading assignments for any class, with scholarship essays, and with study skills including time management, organization, and note taking. Content tutors can help with course concepts and study strategies for many subjects. The LRC also offers workshops and handouts to help you succeed in college as well as help in starting study groups. To make an appointment with a writing consultant or content tutor, visit the LRC on the first floor of the Library building, call 455-0412, or visit one of our websites:

Each website includes information about services for students and links to many online resources.

The Maka'ala Program:

At Leeward CC we want every student to be successful. The Maka‘ala Program is a campus-wide effort that seeks to support students early in the semester when they first begin experiencing difficulty in a class. If I feel that you are having difficulty in my class within the first few weeks of the semester (e.g. missing class, missing assignments, or low test scores) I may refer you to the program. I will notify you about my intention to refer you to the program. Once referred, the Maka‘ala Program will:

  • Send an email to your hawaii.edu account to let you know about my referral; and
  • Have a counselor follow up with you by phone or by email to find out what kinds of help you might need, to connect you with the necessary resources, and to help you devise a strategy for success.

Maka’ala means “eyes that are awake,” and reminds us that it is the responsibility of everyone involved—instructors, support services AND students—to be alert, watchful and vigilant and to attend to students’ success with “wide-open eyes.”

Fall 2013 OCN 201 Schedule
Date Lecture Topic Quiz Reading Discussion Media Topic Reports
August 26 Oceanography        
  28 Density Structure of Earth        
  30 Isostacy 1 Plate Tectonics and the Ocean Floor    
September 2 Holiday - Labor Day        
  4 Continental Drift        
  6 Sea Floor Spreading 2 Marine Provinces    
  9 Driving Mechanism of Plate Tectonics     1  
  11 Continental Margins        
  13 Deep-Ocean Basins 3 Marine Sediments    
  16 Marine Sediments     2  
  18 Abyssal Clays and Biogenous Ooze        
  20 Distribution of Marine Sediments 4 Water and Seawater I    
  23 Origin of the Ocean and Atmosphere     3  
  25 Seawater Chemistry        
  27 Major Constituents of Seawater 5 Water and Seawater II    
  30 Marcet's Principle     4  
October 2 Conservative Properties of Seawater       1
  4 First Exam        
  7 Minor Constituents, Trace Elements, and Gases     5  
  9 Vertical Variations of Salinity        
  11 Horizontal Variations of Salinity 6 Air-Sea Interaction    
  14 Light Transmission in Seawater     6  
  16 Oceanic Climatic Regions        
  18 Oceanic Climatic Regions 7 Ocean Circulation    
  21 Air-Sea Interactions     7  
  23 Density Structure of the Ocean        
  25 Currents 8 Waves and Water Dynamics    
  28 Geostrophic Currents     8  
  30 Subtropical Gyre Circulation        
November 1 Thermohaline Circulation 9 Tides    
  4 Waves     9  
  6 Wave Dispersion       2
  8 Second Exam        
  11 Holiday - Veteran's Day        
  13 Surf     10  
  15 Wave Refraction 10 Marine Life and the Marine Environment I    
  18 Longshore Drift     11  
  20 Longshore Current        
  22 Wave Reflection 11 Marine Life and the Marine Environment II    
  25 Tsunamis     12  
  27 Marine Environment 12 Biological Productivity and Energy Transfer    
  29 Holiday - Thanksgiving Break        
December 2 Marine Ecology     13  
  4 Living in an Aqueous Environment        
  6 Convergent Evolution 13 Animals of the Pelagic Environment    
  9 Why are Most Marine Organisms Microscopic?     14  
  11 Energy Flow in Marine Ecosystem 14 Animals of the Benthic Environment   3
Final Exam 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM