ATOC 3070, Fall 2009

ATOC 3070: Introduction to Oceanography
Or, Lunch by the Sea
This is an upper-division undergraduate course roughly divided amongst the four interrelated disciplines of oceanography: marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography (i.e. circulation), and marine biology.

You can access the syllabus, class notes and calendar, reading, and class files, and Marchitto's Spring section.

Class Meetings and Notes

All meetings will be in Hellems 201, 12-12:50PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, unless noted below.

Office hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays 2-3PM in Ekeley S250B or by appointment (

Homework should be submitted to me by Monday at 12:01PM on CULearn. In CULearn you can also ask questions and post comments to a discussion board.

The calendar of lectures with slides and links is below. It is also available as a public subscription iCalendar called "ATOC/GEOL3070: Intro to Oceanography" at

Week Monday Wednesday Friday Reading & Homework
1 M8/24: Ocean World, pdf W8/26: Origins, pdf, Leilani F8/28: Earth Structure, Plate Tectonics, pdf. Due 8/31: Garrison1-3
CULearn #1
2 M8/31: Continents and Basins, pdf. CULearn #1 W9/2: Sediments, pdf. F9/4: Paleoceanography, pdf. Due 9/9: Garrison4-5
CULearn #2
3 M9/7: Labor Day, No Class W9/9: Water Basics, pdf.
CULearn #2
F9/11: Ocean Chemistry, pdf. Due 9/14: Garrison6-7
CULearn #3
4 M9/14: Atmospheric Chemistry, pdf,CULearn #3 W9/16: Atmospheric Circulation & Earth System Forcing, pdf F9/18: Air-Sea-Ice Interactions, pdf Due 9/21: Garrison7-8, CULearn #4
5 M9/21: Surface Currents: Ekman, pdf, CULearn #4 W9/23: Deep Currents: Geostrophy, pdf F9/25: Deep Currents: Wind, pdf Due 9/28: Garrison9, Tomczak & Godfrey Chps: 1, 2, 3, 4, CULearn #5
6 M9/28: Deep Currents: Boundary, pdf, CULearn #5 W9/30: Deep Currents: Overturning, Water Masses, pdf F10/2: Deep Currents: ACC, pdf Due 10/5: Garrison9, Tomczak & Godfrey Chps: 2, 3, 5, CULearn #6
7 M10/5: What is a wave?, pdf
CULearn #6
W10/7: Gravity Waves, pdf F10/9: Other Waves, pdf Due 10/12: Garrison10, Tomczak & Godfrey Chp: 3, CULearn #7
8 M10/12: Tides, pdf, CULearn #7 W10/14: Eddies, pdf F10/16: El Nino, pdf Due 10/19: Garrison11, Tomczak & Godfrey Chp. 19, CULearn #8
9 M10/19: Coastal Processes I: Erosional, pdf, CULearn #8 W10/21: Coastal Processes II: Depositional, pdf F10/23: Coastal Processes II: Depositional, pdf Due 10/26: Garrison12
CULearn #9
10 M10/26: Ocean Life Energy, pdf
CULearn #9
W10/28: Ocean Life Nutrients, pdf, movie F10/30: Ocean Life Zones, pdf, Due 11/2: Garrison13
CULearn #10
11 M11/2: Phytoplankton, pdf,
CULearn #10
W11/4: Zooplankton, pdf, F11/6: Seaweeds, Coral, etc., pdf, Due 11/9: Garrison14
CULearn #11
12 M11/9: Marine Invertebrates, pdf,
CULearn #11
W11/11: Marine Vertebrates, pdf, F11/13: Marine Mammals, pdf, Due 11/16: Garrison15
CULearn #12
13 M11/16: Marine Communities, pdf, CULearn #12 W11/18: Marine Communities, pdf, F11/20: Physical Marine Resources, pdf Due 11/30: Garrison16, CULearn #13
14 M11/23: Fall Break M11/25: Fall Break M11/27: Fall Break Fall Break
15 M11/30: Biological Marine Resources, pdf, CULearn #13 W12/2: Marine Pollution, pdf F12/4: Climate Change Basics, pdf Due 12/11: Garrison17-18 and IPCC2007: Synthesis, Physical Science Summary, Oceanic Climate Change, CULearn #14
16 M12/7: Climate Change: Ocean Carbon Sink, Ocean Acidification, pdf W12/9: Climate Change: Ocean Warming, Ice Melt, MOC Shutdown, and Sea Level Rise, pdf F12/11: Exam Review, pdf
CULearn #14
IPCC2007: Synthesis, Physical Science Summary, Oceanic Climate Change.
9:30AM alternate
W12/16 (4:30-7:00 PM)

Web Resources and Texts

Course Specific

  1. Syllabus
  2. Reading assignment guidelines
  3. Significant Digits & Units


  1. Garrison, Oceanography, An Invitation to Marine Science
  2. IPCC AR4, 2007: Synthesis Summary, Physical Science Summary, and Chp5: Oceanic Climate Change
  3. Tomczak & Godfrey, Regional Oceanography
  4. Robert H. Stewart, Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  5. Tchernia's Descriptive Regional Oceanography.
  6. Goosse H., P.Y. Barriat, W. Lefebvre, M.F. Loutre and V. Zunz. Introduction to climate dynamics and climate modeling.
  7. Daniel J. Jacob, Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry


  1. To What Degree? NSF Climate Change Report
  2. MBARI (Seafood Watch Cards and Info)
  3. UN Ocean Atlas
  4. Alvin
  5. NextGen Alvin
  6. WHOI Dive & Discover
  7. NOAA Interactive Global Bathymmetry
  8. JPL GPS Plate Motion
  9. LDEO Deep-Sea Sample Repository
  10. Dynamic Periodic Table
  11. Cleon Teunissen's Rotation Physics
  12. GISS Temperature Trends
  13. IPCC Home Site
  14. NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center
  15. IRI ENSO Page
  17. NOAA Tsunami Page
  18. MBARI Seafood Watch
  19. Nautilus Minerals Seafloor Mining
  20. National Geographic Animals
  21. Killers of Eden
  22. Grad. Schools: CU-ATOC, Scripps, WHOI, LDEO, UW, OSU, Hawaii, FSU, URI, RSMAS, Find One, Others

CU Specific Guidelines

  1. Disability Accomodations
  2. Religious Observance
  3. Classroom Behavior, *Note* Prof. Fox-Kemper regards inappropriate cellphone and laptop use as disruptive behavior.
  4. Student Code
  5. Discrimination & Harrassment
  6. Honor Code: here and here.

Additional Fun Reading


  1. Cook, The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook Round the World, Vol. 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3.
  2. Maury, 1860: The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology
  3. Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle
  4. Darwin, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
  5. Sverdrup, New Land: Four Years in the Arctic Region
  6. Nansen, Farthest North, Vol 1 and Vol 2.
  7. M'Clintock, The Voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas
  8. Philander, Our Affair with El Nino
  9. Emanuel, Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes


  1. Dana, Two Years Before the Mast
  2. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  3. Homer, The Odyssey
  4. London, The Sea Wolf
  5. Melville, Moby Dick
  6. Stevenson, Treasure Island
  7. Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
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