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MSMS 5030 Marine Geology: Getting Started

Marine Geology

Marine Geology
MSMS 5030
Winter 2020

Marine Geology reviews key concepts of marine geology, as needed by marine biologists to understand the geomorphic setting they are working in and to provide a general-knowledge background. Since it is graduate-level, students are required to enhance frontal classroom teaching by the instructor through research papers and their presentation on specialized subjects directly related to the taught material. Course material reviews planetary evolution, types of sediments and rocks, the reason for the existence of oceans and continents and the spatio-temporal dynamics of marine sedimentary and igneous processes. Numerous case-studies are used to illustrate concepts such a plate tectonics via island formation, and sedimentology via discussion of attractive sedimentary systems, such as coral reefs. Students will have a broad understanding of geological ocean dynamics and will be literate in present issues in the Earth Sciences. Furthermore, since quantitative data analysis is a key skill required on the job-market, students will be introduced to the freeware statistical software R and will be exposed to the analysis of realistic geological datasets.

  • All course materials are provided in a pdf.
  • You do not need any textbook. All materials are provided as pdf’s or videos in the Blackboard folders. But feel free to read as much in the literature as you like! You can’t ever read enough.
  • You need to download R and R-Studio onto your laptop (or home computer). 

At the conclusion of the course, students will have had an easy introduction to the relevant topics in today’s marine geology. Students will not have heard any specialist, or even very detailed, technical information. But students will be able to comprehend the broad issues, will be able to understand the use of mathematics and statistics to quantify a scientific statement and will be able to use statistical software to express equations found in the instructional texts. Specialization can, if students choose this as their field of study, then occur in elective courses, Directed Independent Study, and the student’s thesis work. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Deliver a professional, formal presentation of an advanced topic in marine geology to a graduate audience
  • Write a grammatically perfect, technically informed, well laid-out document on a chosen graduate topic in marine geology
  • Use R for a limited exploration of standard, table-format, datasets
  • Use R to explore equations as can be found in any scientific or instructional text
  • Ask informed, in depth questions and elicit informed, in-depth answers from an interlocutor
  • Answer such challenging questions as define above in a formal, scientific, and coherent manner
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the treated materials by answering questions that may not immediately have an obvious answer
  • Demonstrate critical thinking ability by questioning or explaining complex processes with regards to marine geology
  • Discuss and explain different rock types and their genesis
  • Discuss and explain different land-forms and their genesis
  • Discuss and explain the interaction of major Earth processes with climate and evolution
  • Discuss and explain the major sedimentary processes in the oceans
  • Discuss and explain the processes that lead to land being found in the ocean
  • Discuss and explain why there are oceans, and what they are, and how they differ

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