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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Geology - GEOL

Oceanography GEOL-1445

  • Spring 2014

  • Section SECTION_303 CRN-21140

  • 4 Credits

  • 01/13/2014 to 05/06/2014

  • Modified 01/12/2014

Meeting Times


Monday, Wednesday, 2:15 PM to 5:30 PM, Bookstore Bld. G216


Monday, Wednesday, 5:40 PM to 6:55 PM, Bookstore Bld. G216

Contact Information

Professor, Geology Coordinator: Dr. Cheryl L. Metz

Office: G247, Bookstore Building
Phone: (979) 209-7461

Office Hours: Monday,  Wednesday; 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM & Tuesday, Thrusday; 4:30 - 5:00 PM

And by Appointment.


General principles of oceanography. Topics include the origin of the ocean basins; geologic processes in marine environments; waves, tides, and coastal processes; the ocean?s role in climate variability and climate change; organisms that live in the ocean, their ecological communities and their interactions; and marine resources and human influences on the oceans. Laboratory work includes the physics of waves currents, and tides; seawater chemistry; geological analysis of seafloor materials; bathymetric charts and maps, and marine life.


Prerequisites: Exemption or passing score on reading section of THEA or alternative test or completion of READ 0306 with a grad of C or higher

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


  1. Identify and classify the major types of marine organisms in terms of Linnean taxonomy and relation to their community and ecology.
  2. Explain the geography and occurrence of geologic features of ocean basins in regard to plate tectonic theory, isotasy, and sedimentation.
  3. Classify the major types of seafloor and coastal sediments and interpret their distribution and origin.
  4. Explain the physical and chemical characteristics of seawater and relate these to specific physical and chemical processes in the ocean.
  5. Identify and compare relationships among processes involved in circulation of the atmosphere, surface water, and deep ocean.
  6. Explain the origin of waves and tides and demonstrate the ability to measure, calculate, and interpret relevant parameters.


Textbooks: Essential of Oceanography, 11th Edition, 2014, Trujillo and Thurman; Pearson

Seashore Life (a Golden Guide), 1989, Zim and Ingle (St. Martin’s Press).

Lab Manual: Course Pack available at Copy Stop Print and Postal

Lecture Notes: Students are responsible for taking their own lecture notes.

Supplemental Data and Information:     

  • E-Campus; Topic Notes, Information Sheets, Exam Review Sheets, Lab Work Sheets and Web Links will be posted to my E-Campus page (Go to - ).
  • Open Geology-aid Lab – Fridays, G215 from 1:00-3:00 pm – Instructors and sample available to students.

Course Requirements

This course has both a lecture and lab components of which participation is required, this include reading the assigned material before coming to class. Good reading habits and reading comprehension skills are important to doing well in this course. Beside the scheduled lecture, lab, and final exams; weekly lab assignments, scheduled quizzes, and reading assignments are included as part of the requirements for this course.

Lab Work: Lab assignments are done during the lab period and must be completed to receive credit for the lab. Students are required to have read over the assigned lab chapter and any other posted readings before coming to lab.

Quizzes: Ten quizzes will be given over the semester of which the best seven will be counted toward the quiz grade. Quiz material will be over assigned readings from the posted material, the textbook or the lab book. There is no make-up for missed quizzes, because three quizzes will be dropped.


This class has 4 lecture exams, 3 lab exams, 1 final exam, 10 quizzes, and 25 labs (lab activities & videos). Course grade is based on a total of 1000 class points. Breakdown of the point distribution and grading scheme is shown below.

Lecture and Lab Exams; Students are expect to take these exams at their scheduled time. If an exam is missed, even with an “excused absence”, the student must be notified me (email preferred) within 24 hours of missing the exam or they will lose the privilege to petition for a make-up exam. Do not miss a lab exam. If a make-up lecture exam is approved it may be different than those taken by the rest of the class.  An essay format may be used for make-up exams. An approved make-up exam must be taken within the same week as the scheduled exam, preferably within 48 hours of missing the scheduled exam.

Lab Assignments; to obtain class points for lab assignments, lab work must be completed during the scheduled lab time. There is no formal make-up for missed labs. If a student knows they will miss a lab or has missed a lab, they need to contact me as soon as possible; they may be able to attend the lab of one of my other physical geology sections. Student will not receive class points for missed labs.

Quizzes; 10 quizzes will be given of which the lowest three quiz grades will be dropped. No make-up quizzes are given since three quizzes will be dropped.

Point Distribution:

Grading Item



Point Scale

Lecture Exams (4); 95 points each


1000 - 900 points = A

Lecture Quizzes (best 7 out of 10); 10 points ea.


899 - 800 points = B

Lab Exercises (25); 6 points each


799 – 700 points = C

Lab Exams (3): Ex. 1-40 pts. / Ex. 2 & 3-80 pts. ea.


699 - 600 points = D

Comprehensive Final Exam: (20 % of  Grade)


Below 600 points = F

Total Class Points:



The Lecture Exams, Lab Tests, and Final Exam will include a variety of question formats, including multiple-choice, fill in the blank, and essay questions. All exams are closed book. Exams and lab tests will be returned in class for students to review. The exams usually are returned a week after it has been taken. No lecture or lab exams grades are dropped.

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

Cellular telephones and beepers/pagers must be disengaged while the student is in the Blinn College Library or any classroom/lab, unless otherwise instructed. Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Attendance Policy Reminder:  Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence.  For classes that meet two times a week during the semester two absences counts as one week's absence.  Students accumulating two weeks’ worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.

How attendance will be implemented in my class; Attendance is taken in each lecture and lab class, missing either a lecture or a lab will count as an absence. A lecture sign-in sheet will be distributed during lecture and a lab sheet will be distributed for students to sign upon completion of the lab work; it is the student's responsibility to sign each time! You must be present from the start of the lab class to the end in order to receive credit for the lab (unless a special and prior arrangement has been made with me in advance).The

I will allow one (1) extra excused absence but a Excused Absence Petition Form (on the Ecampus course page) must be fill out with all the information filled in along with a statement why the student missed the class, why it should be excused, and the supporting documents should be attached it must be signed. The form must be given to me, in person, the day they return to class.  (Note: doctor’s appointments should be made at some other time than scheduled exams and during the geology lab times.) I will only accept 1 Excused Absence Petition Form from any individual during the semester.

Missed Classes and Exams: If a student misses a class or exam theymust notify me within one working day (24 hours of missing the class) preferably by e-mail (the phone is second option).  A student may petition to have an absence excused if I have been notified of the missed class. An Excused Absence Petition Form will be available on my Ecampus Physical Geology Course site, the form needs to be completed with any official written confirmation (doctor's note, court documents, funeral announcement etc.) attached to the form. If the reason for the missed class or exam is known ahead of time such as a court date or funeral I need to know before the student misses the class an alternative arrange may be able to be made at that time. No make-up quizzes are given since three quizzes will be dropped during the semester.

Problem Resolution: If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241,

Eating and Drinking:  Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.

Dress: Students should dress in appropriate clothing for the classroom and lab.

Student E-mails: Students are assigned a Blinn College E-mail address that must be checked regularly for official Blinn College communications and course information.  I will be using only the student’s BLINN Email account through Ecampus to contact you about the class; students should check their account regularly.


Tentative Class Schedule

CL   Metz, Oceanography Geology GEOL1445 – 303; Spring 2014

Section 303 - Lecture:   MW 4:15 – 5:30 pm / Lab: 5:30 – 6:55 pm


Lecture Topic

Lab Topics


Introduction   (Chap. 1.1 & Appendix V)

Lab   1: Geography of the Oceans

History   of Ocean Exploration (Chap. 1.2-1.3, & Appendix III)

Lab   2: Nautical Charts


No Class – Holiday – MLK Day

Origin   of Earth and Oceans (Chap. 1.4 - 1.7)   Quiz 1

Lab   3: Nautical Charts


Earth   Structure & Plate Tectonics (Chap. 2)

Lab   4: Bathymetry

Earth   Structure & Plate Tectonics (Chap. 2) 

LAB EXAM 1 (1/29)


Ocean   Basins (Chap. 3) / Quiz 2

Lab   5: Plate Tectonics / Seafloor


Video   1: Coasts


Coasts   (Chap. 10 & 11)

Lab   6: Coasts

Water,   Weathering and Sediments (Chap 4) / Quiz   3

Lab   7: Sediment Formation


Sediments   and Geologic Resources (Chap 4)

Lab   8: Sedimentary Rocks

Tides   and Estuaries (Chap 9 & 11.3-11.4) / Quiz   4

Lab   9: Occurence of Sediment & Rocks


Waves   (Chap. 8)

Lab   10: Waves and Tides


Video   2: Tidal Seas


Water   (Chap. 5 & Appendix IV) / Quiz 5

*Lab 11: Water   Properties

LAB EXAM 2 (3/5)

LAB EXAM 2 (3/5)


SPRING BREAK (March 10 – 14) No Classes


Atmospheric   Circulation (Chap 6)

Lab   12: Earth-Sun Relations

Atmospheric   Circulation (Chap 6) / Quiz 6

*Lab 13: Ocean   Circulation


Ocean   Circulation (Chap 7 & 11.2)

*Lab 14: Density   Experiments

Ocean   Circulation (Chap 7 & 11.2) / Quiz   7

*Lab 15: Water   Masses



Video   3: The Deep

Life   in the Ocean (Chap 12.3-12.4, 13.4 & 15.3 Kelp)

Lab   16: Algae, Food Webs


Life   in the Ocean (Chap 13.1 – 13.3) / Quiz   8

Lab   17: Distribution of Life

Community   Ecology / Classification (Chap 12.1-12.3)

Last   day to drop w/ Q – Friday 4/11

Lab   18: Classification 1


Benthic   Communities (Chap 15)  / Quiz 9

Lab   19: Classification 2

Fish   and Fisheries (Pelagic Life) (Chap 13.5 & 14.1-14.3)

Lab   20: Fish



Video   4: Coasts, Blue Planet

Vertebrates   (Chap. 14.4 & Ecampus reading) /

 Quiz 10

Lab   21: Dead Zones


LAB EXAM 3 (4/28)

LAB EXAM 3 (4/28)


Review   for Final Exam



Monday,   May 5 @ 5:30 pm in G216