number of credits: 2.
Team taught by:
each teaching a separate module.
Syllabus and class activities
for physics module
Links of material with relevance
the physics module
This course focuses on using physical principles,
concepts and approaches to explain observed phenomena in aquatic sciences.
The course emphasizes “hands-on” activities; half the time in the class will
be devoted to laboratory sessions. Due to the emphasis on laboratory work
the lab portion of this class is limited to 20 students. The course is intended for 2nd/3rd
year students in SMS and has no prerequisites. The class will meet for two
hours a week; one in lecture/discussion, the other in lab. Course material
will be posted on a dedicated web site.
Grading in the class will be based on participation
(20%), weekly assignments (50%) a mid-term exam (15%) and a final exam
(15%). Extra credit: students electing to write a term paper (5 pages
maximum), whose topic they discussed with one of the instructors, could
replace the exam grades with that of the term paper. There will be no
make-up/retake/rescheduled exams. Late assignment will suffer an automatic
10% decrease in grade.
Two-seven week modules, one on Physics
by Dr. Boss)
and one on Chemistry
by Dr. Perry);
the integrated lecture/laboratory class will meet for two hours once a
week. On the average time will be apportioned as one hour of lecture
(including PowerPoint lecuture presentations,
class discussions, demonstrations, etc.)
and one hour in the laboratory
(hands-on experiments, analytical measurement, and computer-based data
seven weeks of semester):
Mechanics and physics of fluid and its application to aquatic organisms and
(second seven weeks of
The focus of this
module is on water quality issues, with the underlying question: “how do we
assess the water quality of coastal waters in light of increased nutrient
loadings, ocean observing programs, climate change, etc.?” Class time will
include lecture and laboratory; the allocation of time will vary with the
activity on any given class day.
Concepts to be
Conservation principles and their application to aquatic systems.
pressure, and Archimedes principle.
vs. laminar flow. Reybolds number. Drag.
(acoustics, optics, water waves).
Swimming in low and
high Reynolds number.
What do we mean by
“water quality” with regard to coastal marine ecosystems?
What is the role of
water quality in coastal marine ecosystems?
What are the
appropriate variables for assessing water quality
(e.g., chlorophyll, nutrients, dissolved
oxygen, water clarity or turbidity)?
How do measure those
variables? Beer’s Law and exponential functions.
How do we provide
assurance that the measurements were correctly made? standard curve,
statistical analysis, error bars.
statistics, parametric and non-parametric
median, standard deviation, percentile),
and standard curve.
Critical concepts such as accuracy, precision, and uncertainties.
Analysis of data
collected in the lab on Excel or similar program.
techniques and principles of instrument measurement, as applied to
measuring a variable relevant to marine water quality.
communication of data by graphs and tables, written summary, and