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 GEOL0160, Fall 2013

Fridtjof Nansen
Scientist, Explorer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Monsters of the Abyss: Oceanography and Sea Tales

Brown Critical Review Link

We will read from the logbooks of Cook, Darwin, Wallace, and Nansen. Their discoveries and expeditions inspired and were inspired by fiction that we will also read, including Moby Dick and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The daring successes and cannibalistic dooms of the Essex, Beagle, Terror, Challenger, and Fram inspired 19th century writers to imagine what lay far across and deep beneath the oceans. These retellings--fictional, narrative, and scientific--helped formulate and fund further research. Who risks their life for a bird, a map, a widow, or an eclipse? How would these scientists and their ideas do today? Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. First Year Seminar.

You can access the syllabus, class calendar, notes, and reading

Web Resources and Texts

  1. Paper writing guidelines, the Science of Scientific Writing
  2. , and Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  3. Peer reviewing guidelines.
  4. Reading assignment guidelines.
  5. Journaling guidelines.
  6. Library Guide
  7. Science Center Advising
  8. Writing Center

Main Texts

  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. Darwin, Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, Vol. III, Journal and Remarks, 1832-1836 now known as The Voyage of the Beagle
  3. Darwin, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
  4. FitzRoy, Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, Vol. II
  5. FitzRoy, The Weather Book
  6. Franzen, 'Farther Away: “Robinson Crusoe,” David Foster Wallace, and the island of solitude.'
  7. Lyell, The Student's Lyell: A Manual of Elementary Geology
  8. Melville, Moby Dick. version
  9. Mitchell, Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals
  10. Nansen, Farthest North, Vol 1 and Vol 2.
  11. Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. version
  12. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-utan and the Bird of Paradise, A Narrative of Travel, with Studies of Man and Nature

Secondary Online Textbooks

  1. Robert H. Stewart's Introduction to Physical Oceanography
    Web-distributed basic but comprehensive textbook.
  2. Tomczak and Godfrey's Regional Oceanography: An Introduction
    Tomczak and Godfrey's nice descriptive textbook.
  3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), 2007: Synthesis Summary, Physical Science Summary, and Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Sydney Observatory: Cook's three voyages of exploration
  2. UN Ocean Atlas
  3. National Geographic
  4. NASA Earth Observatory
  5. NOAA Interactive Global Bathymmetry
  6. Cleon Teunissen's Rotation Physics
  7. IPCC Home Site
  8. US National Climate Assessment
  9. MBARI Seafood Watch

Additional Fun Reading


  1. Amundsen, The North West Passage
  2. Bowditch, The American Practical Navigator
  3. FitzRoy, Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, Vol. I
  4. Maury, 1860: The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology
  5. Sverdrup, New Land: Four Years in the Arctic Region
  6. M'Clintock, The Voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas
  7. Sides, 1,000 Days in the Ice, National Geographic


  1. Dana, Two Years Before the Mast
  2. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  3. Homer, The Odyssey
  4. London, The Sea Wolf
  5. Stevenson, Treasure Island

Brown Specific Guidelines

  1. Disability Support Services
  2. Academic & Student Conduct Codes, *Note* Prof. Fox-Kemper regards inappropriate cellphone and laptop use as disruptive behavior.
  3. Academic Code