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GOL 111 : Oceanography I (4 Credits)

Welcome to GOL 111 - Oceanography offered by the Extended Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College. In this course you will receive an introduction to the principles of physical, chemical, and geological oceanography. What you learn in this course will benefit you by instilling an understanding and appreciation for the world oceans and processes as well as the Earth's environment.

You will be required to complete a variety of lab assignments. You will be able to complete these on your own and they will not require any specialized equipment or visits to campus, however, the use of a calculator and some basic math skills will be needed. You will be required to submit your lab results electronically and that may require scanning any handwritten charts or notes before submitting your project online.

If you feel you will have difficulty with any of the requirements for this class, please contact me immediately.

If you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:

  • describe the scientific method and how it has been used in scientific inquiry
  • describe the way in which major scientific discoveries impact society and modify social behavior
  • define and apply terminology used in the field of the marine sciences
  • describe how plate tectonics formed the ocean basins, continental land masses, and their geological features
  • describe how chemical and physical properties of seawater affect life in the oceans, including pH, salinity, density, and currents
  • explain photosynthesis and respiration in the cycle of cellular life and the basis of the oceanic food chain
  • discuss the basic differences between the phylogenetic kingdoms
  • explain how evolution and natural selection are involved in producing biodiveristy
  • explain the basic concepts of marine ecology
  • identify the different communities found in the world's oceans and what factors cause their differences and distribution
  • list various marine resources and describe their distribution and the factors that affect their availability
  • describe the interconnectedness of the ocean ecosystem
  • describe how man directly and indirectly impacts the oceans
  • use critical thinking skills to evaluate scientific studies and media reports involving the sciences



In addition to the text and lab manual, you will need to use some common household equipment and materials to complete the lab assignments.


Possible Assignments Include: (Subject to change each semester. The actual assignments are available in the Syllabus in the Blackboard course site on the first day of classes.)

Introduction 50
Discussions (7 @ 30 points each) 210
Labs (6 @ 40 points each)
(midterm & final - 250 points each)


Your final grade may be based on the following scale. Please note that you must also satisfactorily complete all lab assignments in order to pass the course, regardless of your scores on the other assignments, including exams.

Grading Scale
900-1000 points
800-899 points
700-799 points
600-699 points
0-599 points

There are 2 exams in this course.

ELI Policies and Procedures
Beginning the Course

Last Updated: September 12, 2011