Oceanography 201- Science of the Sea
Spring 2018 - MWF 11:00 - 11:50 am - CRN 55210 - 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 11:50 am - 12:50 pm
Tuesday 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Wednesday 11:50 am - 12:50 pm
Thursday 1:15 am - 2:15 pm
Friday By appointment
Textbook: Invitation to Oceanography, Pinet, P., Seventh edition, 2014
14 Math Problems (1 pt each) 14 pts  
Class Participation 4 pts  
Attendance 4 pts  
Waikiki Field Trip 5 pts  
14 Quizzes (2 pts each) 28 pts Questions from the reading discussions
3 Exams (15 pts each) 45 pts Questions from lecture topics
Total 100 pts  
Optional Assignments:
Media Topics (1 pt each)    
Lecture Reports (4 pts each)    
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 (four points) during a given examination period (two weeks), the next exam will be worth 11 points instead of 15 points.

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

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

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

The questions for each reading assignment are posted on the Reading Assignments 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 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 one point. 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 two short-answer questions selected randomly from the readings for each quiz.

Each quiz is worth two points.


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

Exams have two parts. The first part consists of 3-5 written comprehension questions. This part covers information from the previous four or five weeks of the semester. The list of potential questions will be posted approximately one week prior to the 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 15 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 (one point) 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 material learned from the lecture is described and organized. Grading is in increments of 0.5 points, up to a maximum of four points. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Lecture reports cannot be turned in late.

Field Trip 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 6.


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 on the second floor of the Learning Commons building (to the right of the main Learning Commons entrance). Students may also contact the coordinator by phone 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 free support for a wide range of Leeward CC content courses as well as computer skills support. Content tutors are fellow students who are available by appointment to help with course concepts and study strategies. For several science subjects, drop-in help is provided in science study areas. The LRC also offers online and phone tutoring and holds specialized workshops and group review sessions for some subjects.

For more information or to make an appointment, stop by the LRC on the second floor of the Learning Commons, call 455-0412, or visit the LRC website:

The Writing Center provides free writing support for Leeward CC students. The writing consultants are fellow students who are available--in person in the Writing Center, online via SKYPE, and by phone--to help with writing assignments for any Leeward CC class, scholarship essays, and college success skills (including time management, organization, note taking, and reading). They are available on both an appointment and drop-in basis.

For more information or to make an appointment, stop by the Writing Center located on the second floor of the Learning Commons; call 455-0409; or visit the Writing Center website:

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

The Maka'ala Program:

It is desired that every student be successful at Leeward Community College. Therefore, if the instructor feels that you need extra support outside of the classroom in order to have a positive experience in class, the instructor will refer you to the College's Maka'ala Program to ensure that you have access to all of the resources you may need.

The Maka?ala Program is a campus-wide program that seeks to support to students early in the semester when they first begin experiencing difficulty in a class. If the instructor feels that you are having difficulty in class within the first 5 weeks of the semester, and working together to address your challenges shows that you would really benefit from being connected to resources outside of the classroom, the instructor will 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.

The instructor will not refer you to the Maka'ala Program without telling you. However, if you are referred to the program, know that it has been done in an effort to connect you with all of the help you may need to do well this semester.

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.”

Title IX Statement:

The University of Hawaii is committed to providing a learning, working and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect and is free of all forms of sex discrimination and gender-based violence, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these, the University has staff and resources on campus to support and assist you.  Staff can also direct you to resources that are in the community.

As a member of the University faculty, I am required to immediately report any incident of sex discrimination or gender-based violence to the campus Title IX Coordinator. Although the Title IX Coordinator and I cannot guarantee confidentiality, you will still have options about how your case will be handled.  My goal is to make sure you are aware of the range of options available to you and have access to the resources and support you need.

For more information regarding sex discrimination and gender-based violence, the University’s Title IX resources and the University’s Policy, Interim EP 1.204, go to: http://www.hawaii.edu/titleix.

Academic Dishonesty Policy:

Academic dishonesty cannot be condoned by the University. Such dishonesty includes cheating and plagiarism (examples of which are given below), which violate the Student Conduct Code and could result in expulsion from the University.

Cheating includes but is not limited to giving unauthrized help during and examination, obtaining unauthorized infromation about an examination before it is administered, using inappropriate sources of information druing an examination, altering the record of any grades, altering answers after an examination has been submitted, falsifying any official University record, and misrepresenting the facts in order to obtain exemptions from course requirements.

Plagiarism includes but is not limited to submitting any document, to satisfy an academic requirment, that has been copied in whole or part from another individual's work without identifying that individual; neglecting to identify as a quotation a documented idea that has not been assimilated into the student's language and style, or paraphrasing a passage so closely that the readier is misled as to the source; submitting the same written or oral material n more than once course without obtaining autorization from the instructors involved' or dry-labbing, which includes (a) obtaining and usng experimental data from other students without the express consent of the instructor, (b) utilizing experimental data and laboratory write-ups form other sections of the course or from previous terms durng which the course was conducted, and (c) fabricating data to fit the expected results.

Spring 2018 OCN 201 Schedule
Date Lecture Topic Quiz Reading Discussion Media Topic Report
January 8 Oceanography        
  10 Density Structure of Earth        
  12 Isostasy        
  15 Holiday - Martin Luther King Jr. Day        
  17 Sea Floor Spreading 1 The Origin of the Ocean Basins    
  19 Driving Mechanism of Plate Tectonics 2 The Planet Oceanus    
  22 Continental Margins     1  
  24 Deep-Ocean Basins        
  26 Marine Sediments 3 Marine Sedimentation    
  29 Abyssal Clays     2  
  31 Biogenous Ooze        
February 2 Distribution of Marine Sediments 4 The Properties of Seawater I    
  5 Origin of the Ocean and Atmosphere     3  
  7 Seawater Chemistry        
  9 Major Constituents of Seawater 5 The Properties of Seawater II    
  12 Properties of the Major Constituents     4  
  14 Minor Constituents, Trace Elements, and Gases        
  16 First Exam        
  19 Holiday - Presidents' Day        
  21 Vertical Variations of Salinity     5  
  23 Horizontal Variations of Salinity 6 The Properties of Seawater II    
  26 Light Transmission in Seawater     6  
  28 Oceanic Climatic Regions 7 Wind and Ocean Circulation II   1
March 2 Professional Development Day (no class)        
  5 Air-Sea Interactions     7  
  7 Density Structure of the Ocean        
  9 Currents 8 Waves in the Ocean    
  12 Ekman Spiral and Ekman Transport     8  
  14 Geostrophic Currents        
  16 Vertical Circulation 9 Marine Ecology I    
  19 Thermohaline Circulation     9  
  21 Waves        
  23 Second Exam        
  26 Spring Break        
  28 Spring Break        
  30 Spring Break        
April 2 Wave Interference     10  
  4 Surf       2
  6 Wave Refraction 10 Marine Ecology II    
  9 Wave-Shoreline Interaction     11  
  11 Longshore Drift        
  13 Longshore Current 11 Biological Productivity in the Ocean I    
  16 Wave Reflection     12  
  18 Beaches        
  20 Tsunamis 12 Biological Productivity in the Ocean II    
  23 Marine Environment     13  
  25 Marine Ecology        
  27 Living in an Aqueous Environment 13 Ocean Habitats and Their Biota    
  30 Why are Most Marine Organisms Microscopic?     14  
May 2 Energy Flow in Marine Ecosystem 14 Tides   3
Final Exam 11:00 am - 12:00 pm