University of Notre Dame

The Marine Environment

Course Number: BIOS10112
Instructor: Rachel Novick

The world ocean makes up 97% of the planet’s water and 99% of all living space on earth. Ocean systems and processes have a profound effect on our current and future well-being, yet the ocean remains mysterious to us in many ways. Humans have caused and continue to cause radical changes in ocean chemistry, physics, and biology. It is therefore more critical than ever for us to understand the mechanisms that undergird the physical and biological aspects of the world ocean. This class is divided into three parts: the first provides an introduction to oceanography – the physical aspects of the ocean. The second is an exploration of the incredibly diverse organisms that inhabit the ocean and how they interact with each other and their environment. The last section of the class focuses on human environmental impacts on the world ocean and how human societies and policies can best contribute to ocean health.