333 Introduction to Oceanography   


                  Ocean Links

                Field Trip 1, Field Trip 2


                Lab Exercises   



GEOSCI 333 Oceanography 4 units  

Instructor: Dr. W. Richard Laton, Geological Sciences,

Office: MH 208a Phone: (657) 278-7514; FAX: (657) 278-7266; email: Wlaton@fullerton.edu;

Class Hours: TBA

Office Hours: TBA

Textbook:  Oceanography, An Invitation to Marine Science, Garrison, T., Wadsworth Publishing, 4th edition, 2002.


 1.     Investigate basic oceanography (chemical, physical, geographical, geological and biological).

2.     Become familiar with the use of sampling and analytical techniques in oceanographic investigations and with methods of data analysis and graphical representations.

3.     Evaluate geological, hydrological, ecological, and chemical conditions of the local beaches and open oceans.

The above objectives will be met by class seminars, laboratory and field assignments.  There will be two examinations plus a final, three field trip reports, a topic report and a semester project report.  The dates for field trips, student presentations and examinations are given in the schedule.

Topic Report: Each student will pick a topic to develop a two –three page report on.  This can be a case history of an oceanography-based investigation of a selected topic. Due April 8. 

Semester Project: Each student will be assigned an oceanographic system and asked to evaluate geological, hydrological and ecological conditions in order to explain its importance and functions.  Semester Project report will be due May 20.  A 10-12 minute oral presentation, with an executive summary handout will be presented in the class on this date.

Scheduled Topics:

  1. *Introduction to Oceanography

  2. *An Ocean World

  3. *A History of Marine Science

  4. *Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics

  5. *Continental Margins and Ocean Basins

  6. *Sediments

  7. *Seawater Chemistry

  8. *Ocean Physics

  9. *Meteorology

  10. *Ocean Circulation

  11. *Waves

  12. *Tsunami, Seiches, and Tides

  13. *Coasts

  14. *Life in the Ocean

  15. *Marine Animals

  16. *Marine Resources

  17. *Environmental Concerns

General Class Information

GE Requirements

Geological Sciences 140, 201, 310T, 333, 335, 340, & 376

    III. Disciplinary Learning

    A. Mathematics and Natural Sciences

        3. Implications and Explorations in Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Learning Goals

The learning goals for GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES 140, 201, 310T, 333, 335, 340 & 376 are as follows:

  1. a)To understand broad, unifying themes in mathematics and/or science from cross-disciplinary             perspectives.

  2. b)To solve complex problems that requires mathematical and/or scientific reasoning.

  3. c)To relate mathematics and/or science to significant social problems or to other related disciplines.

  4. d)When deemed appropriate, to apply disciplinary concepts to mathematics and natural sciences in a variety of settings, such as community-based learning sites and activities.  

General Education Writing Requirement

Specifically, general education course will include student-writing assignments appropriate to the course. Writing assignments in General Education course should involve the organization and expression of complex data or ideas and careful and timely evaluations of writing so that deficiencies are identified and suggestions for improvement and/or for means of remediation are offered. Assessments of the student’s writing competence shall be used in determining the final course grade. The learning goals specified in this document identify ideal student learning objectives for each General Education category and subcategory.  

Student Dishonesty

 Students who violate university standards of academic integrity are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including failure in the course and suspension from the university. Since dishonesty in any form harms the individual, other students and the university, policies on academic integrity are strictly enforced. I expect that you will familiarize yourself with the academic integrity guidelines found in the current student handbook. 

Make up Exams and Exercises

 If you have a scheduling conflict (e.g., I have to work or I have to go to my wedding.) with the exam dates such that you will be unable to attend the exam, you must inform me AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE the exam. In the event that some unforeseen problem or event prevents you from attending the exam (e.g., You or a family member are ill.) please call me by telephone as soon as possible, preferably before the exam, to inform me that you will miss the exam and arrange a makeup. Make ups should be done within a week of the date that the exam was given to the remainder of the class and your grade will not be posted until documentation (e.g., Dr.’s note) of your inability to attend is received.

Disruptive Behavior

 Disruptive behavior, such as a talking and cell phones ringing, will not be tolerated. This behavior detracts from the learning experience of others in the class. You should make certain that cell phones and beepers are turned off before entering the class. Disruptive behavior may result in you being asked to change seats, leave class or have your behavior reported to Student Affairs or Public Safety for further action.


Copyright © 2011 W.Richard Laton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Hydrogeology

California State University, Fullerton

Department of Geological Sciences

(657) 278-7514