EARTH 333 - The Inexhaustible Seas? Marine Resources and Environmental Issues
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Earth and Environmental Sciences (EARTH)
Department: LSA Earth & Environmental Sciences
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed GEOSCI 154, and no credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in EARTH 154.
Advisory Prerequisites:
EARTH (GEOSCI) 116, 119, 125, 120, 222, or 284.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course explores the mineral, energy and food resources of the ocean and environmental impacts that arise from the exploitation of these resources. The focus is on offshore drilling for energy resources, the exploitation of marine organisms, and pollution associated with human activity. This course consists of a lecture plus discussion section. It includes the examination of popular science writing and research science writing, including data presentation. Topics covered include:

  1. The movement of water in the ocean: Winds and ocean currents; Stratification, mixing and deep ocean circulation; Residence times and box models
  2. Law of the Sea
  3. Mineral resources: phosphates (guano), manganese nodules, mid-ocean ridge minerals; carbon cycle and the oceans; energy demands on the planet; petroleum-producing sediments; and gas hydrates
  4. Oil spills (drilling, transport, waste discharge): offshore drilling; oil spill cleanup; and oil spill environmental impacts
  5. Collapsed fisheries: maximum sustainable yield; fishing techniques; fishing down the food chain; keystone species and ecosystem change; invasive species and globalization; ecosystem change and marine geochemistry; marine preserves; and aquaculture
  6. Boundaries of the ocean: coastal erosion; coastal development, reclamation, dredging and deposal of spoil; human waste products; coastal dead zones; amplification of toxins; and great garbage patch plastics
  7. Climate change: ocean acidification — shell hell; polar oceans; coral reefs; and sea level

Course Requirements:

A 3000-word term paper with an explanation of incorporated edits (30%), a 1000-word popular science article (10%). Discussion section homework and participation (15%) Two exams will count for 30% of the final grade each. Lecture assignments and participation will account for 10% of the grade, while weekly quizzes will account for 5% of final grade.

Intended Audience:

Participation in synchronous remote discussion sections is required.

EARTH 333 is intended for students interested in the resource and environmental issues associated with the watery 70% of the Earth’s surface; Science concentrators, especially in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Class Format:

Lecture 3 hours per week, discussion with GSI 1 hour per week.

In addition, scheduled office hours for student groups will be available twice a week for further discussion and clarification of course materials. Weekly quizzes, one midterm exam and a final will be based on the content of these lectures and associated homework.


EARTH 333 - The Inexhaustible Seas? Marine Resources and Environmental Issues
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
002 (DIS)
 In Person
Tu 9:00AM - 10:00AM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
003 (DIS)
 In Person
Tu 1:00PM - 2:00PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
004 (DIS)
 In Person
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)