Oceanography is the scientific study of the ocean and its phenomena. Students take courses to prepare for a major in oceanography and to fulfill physical science general education requirements. Career options include teaching, research, marine product sales, and a variety of positions in private and public environmental agencies.
Department Chair: Chris Metzler
Dean: Carlos Lopez
Department: Physical Sciences
Office: Building OC3600, 760.795.6844
How to Read Course Descriptions
Courses listed in this catalog apply to the fall 2013, spring 2014, and summer 2014 terms. Courses are numbered numerically within alphabetically arranged subject areas.
The bolded first line begins with a capitalized abbreviation that designates the subject area. This subject-area designator is followed by the official course number and a descriptive title. The next lines indicate the course's unit value; prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, and limitations on enrollment if they exist; CSU/UC credit acceptance; and lecture and lab hours followed by a Taxonomy of Program number in parentheses.
- Prerequisites: This is a requirement that must be met before a student can enroll in the course.
- Corequisites: This is a course the student must take in the same semester.
- Advisories: This is recommended preparation the student is advised but not required to have before or in conjunction with the course.
- Enrollment Limitations: Some courses place restrictions on enrollment. Most of these restrictions prevent students from duplicating course work. Others specify something the student must do prior to enrolling in a course, such as audition or obtain special approval. Some enrollment limitations restrict the number of units a student can earn within a group of similar courses.
- Acceptable for Credit: CSU means the course is accepted for transfer at any California State University (CSU) campus; UC means it is accepted for transfer at any University of California (UC) campus. Some courses can be used to satisfy general education or major requirements while others transfer as elective credit. UC Credit Limitation means credit for the course may have UC transfer restrictions; these restrictions are identified at the end of the course description.
- Lecture and Lab Hours: These are the number of hours the course meets for lecture and/or lab per week.
- Taxonomy of Program (TOP) Number: The TOP number is identified in parentheses after the lecture and lab hours. This number serves an administrative purpose and is not intended for student use.
The course description summarizes the purpose and key topical areas of the course, and it includes special requirements if any exist. Some course descriptions end with information about whether the course was "formerly" another course, how many times the course may be repeated, if the course is offered pass/no pass, or what the UC credit limitation is.
Some course descriptions are followed by a C-ID number. The purpose of C-ID numbers is to identify comparable courses within the California community college system. When a course has a C-ID number, students can be assured the course will be accepted in lieu of a course bearing the same C-ID designation at another community college.
OCEA 101: Introduction to Oceanography
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in OCEA 101H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (1919.00)
This course explores the major processes and features of the world's oceans. Topics include the origin and history of the ocean basins, atmospheric circulation and weather, ocean circulation, and the dynamics of waves, tides, and coastlines. The course also reviews marine life (including plankton, nekton, benthos, and marine mammals), explores the oceans as a resource for people, and considers human impacts on marine environments.
OCEA 101H: Introduction to Oceanography (Honors)
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in OCEA 101.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 3 hours. (1919.00)
This course offers highly motivated students an enriched introduction to the scientific study of the oceans. The course explores the major processes and features of the world's oceans, including plate tectonics, the origin and history of the ocean basins, atmospheric circulation, weather and climate, ocean circulation, and the dynamics of waves, tides, and coastlines. The course also reviews marine life (including plankton, nekton, benthos, and marine mammals), explores the oceans as a resource for people, and considers human impacts on marine environments. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for OCEA 101 or OCEA 101H.
OCEA 101L: Introductory Oceanography Laboratory
This course is designed to accompany Oceanography 101 or 101H. It offers hands-on experience with oceanographic materials and techniques in both the laboratory and field. Topics include reading navigational charts and topographic maps, interpreting sea floor features, analyzing seawater chemistry, and studying waves and tides. On field trips, students study waves, currents, and coastal processes and examine organisms in coastal marine habitats and at an aquarium. Students also participate in a half-day scientific ocean voyage.
OCEA 292: Internship Studies
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor, dept chair, and Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
This course provides students the opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of their discipline in an internship position in a professional setting under the instruction of a faculty-mentor and site supervisor. It introduces students to aspects of the roles and responsibilities of professionals employed in the field of study. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students must develop new learning objectives and/or intern at a new site upon each repetition. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.
OCEA 298: Directed Study in Oceanography
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor and department chair approval and successful completion of 12 units of college work with at least a 3.0 grade-point average.
Repeatability Rule: May be taken for a total of 3 units.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Laboratory 3 hours
Laboratory 6 hours
Laboratory 9 hours. (1919.00)
This course allows students to pursue a special area of interest in order to achieve specific goals beyond the scope of existing courses within the discipline. Students work independently and interact directly with an instructor on an individual basis and as prescribed by the Directed Study Agreement.