Oceanography Session 2
Session 1 is a prerequisite for this course and you must have completed that course to enroll in this one.
Oceanography Session 1
If you have a student aged 12-17 that has an interest in the ocean, this is the class for them! My degree is in Marine Biology (from Texas A&M University at Galveston), and this is the only full year homeschool oceanography course that is taught by a degreed marine biologist! This will not be a “fluff” class, or an “overview”- it is an intensive, science heavy class where students will focus on the four branches of oceanography- biological, physical, geological and chemical. There will be a slight emphasis in tropical oceanography, as I will be filming videos and doing labs from the Caribbean Sea.
Because my full year marine zoology course focuses solely on marine animals, the biological oceanography portion of this class will focus primarily on ecosystems and life from bacteria to plants. The marine zoology course and oceanography course do NOT build on each other, so you can take either one first. However, the oceanography course does cover more advanced material, and completion of prealgebra is recommended.
Students who complete our full year of Marine Zoology have the option in late April/early May to attend our 5 day hands on workshop in Bocas del Toro, Panama! This amazing opportunity is not to be missed! Students will be hands on in the field, every day, both in and on the water, putting the knowledge they have gained during the year into practice! Please see our Panama Workshops page for more information.
No live classes- view lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for both- the depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2. Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.
Session 2 begins with our study of biological oceanography. We will start by mapping the ocean into all of its different zones based on specific criteria. These zones determine where and what kind of life can life in the ocean, based on its adaptations to the conditions in these zones. We'll then cover taxonomy- the classification of life. Then we'll break down various types of of ocean life by type.
This week we'll focus on various abiotic factors that determine where different life forms can exist- temperature, salinity, and pressure to name a few. We'll discuss Reynold's number as it pertains to buoyancy of planktonic organisms and body features in nektonic organisms that allow for different types of speed and maneuverability,
The basics of the oceanic food web will be covered this week, including producers, consumers, autotrophs, heterotrophs, chemotrophs, and their trophic levels in the marine food web. We'll also cover primary productivity and the different factors that affect it.
Longshore drift is the main topic this week, and how it and other processes build beaches through the process of erosion and deposition of sand. We'll discuss the methods humans use to control this process, and the pros and cons of each. We'll then move slightly offshore to barrier islands and discuss how they are formed and their anatomy, ending with other shoreline features such as sea stacks and deltas.
We're still at the shoreline for week 17, covering the different types of wetlands, focusing on estuaries and marshes. We'll discuss the salinity gradients within them, why biodiversity is so high in these areas, the importance of these environments and the threats facing them. We'll also discuss the ecology of kelp forest ecosystems and the role they play in nearshore habitats.
Week 18 is dedicated to the only tree able to withstand saltwater- the mangroves! We will cover these trees in detail- including zonation, adaptations, reproductive strategies, and their role in climate changes. This is a very important week for students who plan on attending the Panama workshops, as we will be hands on with much of this information in the mangrove ecosystem on my property!
Corals reef ecosystems are called the rainforests of the sea, due to the vast biodiversity found there. We'll discuss their anatomy, requirements for growth, symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, reproductive strategies, different types of reefs, and the phenomenon of coral bleaching. We'll then discuss how mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs all fit together in the tropical ecosystem. This is something we will see first hand in Panama!
Different types of plankton, species distribution in the nearshore zones, the diel vertical migration, bioluminescence, chemosynthesis at hydrothermal vents.....yeah, there's a lot going on in week 20!
Who owns the oceans? Who owns the resources that they hold? "Deep" questions that we'll get to the bottom of! We'll cover the many resources found in the oceans and ways of finding and extracting them- and the problems that these methods create. We'll discuss fisheries as a resource, sustainable and not so sustainable fishing methods, and the decimation of our fish populations as our human population increases.
Our ocean is being destroyed. This week we'll cover the when, where, why, what, and how of a wide variety of marine pollutants. We'll discuss the impacts of marine pollution, both on the oceans and on humans.
Marine pollution is such a massive problem, that we will spend a second week discussing it. We'll cover some of the major contributors, including agricultural runoff leading to eutrophication, oil spills, plastic pollution, and ghost fishing gear.
We'll end our year long study of oceanography with a week dedicated to climate change and how it specifically affects the ocean and the life in it...and as a consequence, affects us all.
Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students- written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, minecraft, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, crafts- we've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!
Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class, and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!
- Schedule Spring 2024
- Activities Science
- Lessons 12
- Suggested Ages 12-17 Two Levels
- Time This class is currently closed for enrollments. Join our mailing list to be notified when enrollment opens.