Introduction to Oceanography Syllabus
OCE1001 Class 8742, Fall 2014

Course Information

Introduction to Oceanography - OCE1001 Class 8742
Date: August 25 to December 13, 2014

This beginning course is designed to acquaint the student with the elementary physical, chemical, biological and geological characteristics of the world ocean system. Emphasis is on Florida and its unique relationship with the ocean environment. Optional field trips included.

Pre-reqs: No corequisites or prerequisites.
Credits: 3.00

Instructor Information

Diana Wenzel, M.S.

Office Phone Number:  407-971-5136 (OVI)

Offices:  Sanford Campus:  S105; Oviedo Campus: OVF 310B

Campus office hours are posted in the Office Hours section of Sakai.

The best way to contact Professor Wenzel is through the email messaging system in Sakai. 

Textbook Information

No information about textbooks has been received.

It does not mattier if the student purchases the eBook or the printed book.

Instructional Mode

Lecture and Discussion

Instruction includes classroom lecture and discussion.

Sakai Learning Management System Information

Sakai is the one of the online learning management systems used at Seminole State College.  If you are enrolled in an online, online/campus, hybrid, or web-enhanced campus class, you may need to log in to Sakai to access the site for your course.  

Sakai course sites will not be available until the first day of class.  If you register during the add/drop period, there may be a slight delay (up to 24 hours) in the activation of your user ID and password. If you are unable to log into Sakai after the add/drop period, please complete the eLearning Online Course Problem Form, and the eLearning staff will check on your account.

The login page for Sakai is:

Your Sakai login information is:

  • USERNAME = same as your MySeminoleState username
  • PASSWORD = first and last initial in UPPERCASE followed by your birthdate in YYMMDD format

Recommended browsers for Sakai include Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer (Note: IE9 users will need to enable compatibility mode).  Your browser must be set to accept cookies.

Sakai Test-Taking Tips - In order to avoid potential problems during an exam, we recommend that you:

  • Don't use mobile devices such as phones or tablets.
  • Use a supported web browser such as the latest version of Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer.
  • Make sure that you DO NOT have multiple windows or tabs open while testing.
  • Make sure you have a dependable internet connection; 
  • DO NOT use your browser back and forward buttons. Always navigate within Sakai.
  • For timed tests, remember that once you begin the test, the timer will continue to count down.  This is true if you lose internet connection, your browser crashes, or you simply exit and close your browser window.
  • Make sure that you only click on the "Begin Assessment" button ONCE when starting a test.
  • Make sure that you only click on the "Submit for Grading" button ONCE when submitting a test.

Sakai Course Format

The main Sakai screen has a list of links on the left side of the screen that take you to the various sections of Sakai, the course description from the college catalog in the center of the screen, and course announcements and message information on the right side of the screen.  When you click on one of the links on the left side of the screen, you will be taken to that section of Sakai.  The links that you will use during this course are explained below. 

  • Syllabus – A copy of this course’s syllabus can be found in this section of Sakai.
  • Course Calendar - A file containing important dates and a breakdown of the graded material for the course will be found in this section of the Modules. 
    • Dates when graded material will be available for you to view and work on will be provided as well as deadlines for all material. 
    • If any date revisions need to be made, a revised copy of the course schedule and an announcement will be posted.
  • Office Hours - The instructor's on-campus office hours and campus locations will be located in this section.
  • Units I - IV:  The course is broken up into four units.  Only Unit I will be available on the first day of the course.  The other Units will appear on the dates stated within the course calendar.
    • Each Unit is broken up into topics that are associated with the chapters in the textbook.  For each topic you will find links to:
      • The textbook reading assignment
      • Lecture notes in *.pdf format
      • Supplemental animations (not included for all topics)
      • An exercise (not included for all topics) – Printed copies of the exercises are usually handed out in class.  The exercise link will allow you to print your own copy and will also include a link to the answer sheet where you will submit your answers to the exercise.  You can also access the appropriate exercise answer sheet in the Tests & Quizzes section of Sakai
      • A quiz – You will be directed to the appropriate quiz in the Tests & Quizzes section of Sakai.  You can also access the appropriate quiz in the Tests & Quizzes section of Sakai
      • A study guide for the Unit Exam
  • Tests & Quizzes – All exercise answer sheets and quizzes will be in this section.
    • Links to the exercise answer sheets and quizzes can also be found within the individual topics in the Units sections of Sakai.
    • Results of graded exercise answer sheets and quizzes can be viewed in this section of Sakai as well 
  • Assignments - Any exercises without answer sheets will appear in this section of Sakai. 
    • Links to assignments can also be found within the individual topics in the Units sections of Sakai.
  • Sign-up
    • The Sign-up tool is where you will go to sign-up for one of the optional field trip dates
    • An announcement will be made when the field trip dates have been finalized and students can sign up for their preferred date
  • Forums – A forum is a place for students to post comments and have written discussions with other students. 
    • Two forums are available for students to use.
      • Course Questions Forum - This forum may be called by another name, such as "Water you Thinking?"  This forum is your place to post questions about the course.  These questions can be answered by other students or by me.  This is the preferred method for asking general questions about the course, such as where things are, mistakes in dates, material not showing up or working properly, etc.  Personal questions should be directed to me through Sakai's messaging.
      • Interesting Oceanographic/Marine Stuff Forum - Your place to post interesting things you've seen, heard about, or read.  I am only one set of eyes and ears.  I like to know what you all are hearing and seeing as well with regard to our world's oceans!
      • Forums will not be graded in this course. 
  • Messages– Your official method of communicating with the instructor during this course is through Sakai’s messaging system (email).
    • You should use the Sakai messaging system to send to and receive email messages from the instructor. 
    • You can also send email messages to other students in the class through Sakai’s messaging system.
    • Please use the Course Questions forum to ask general questions or note general, non-personal, problems with the course.
  • Announcements – The instructor will post announcements in this section on information that affects the entire class.  Announcements will also show up on the right side of the main course page.
  • Gradebook – Sakai’s gradebook is the official repository of all graded material for this course.
    • All scores for quizzes, exercises, the optional field trip, and exams as well as your overall course grade will be posted in Sakai’s gradebook and can be viewed by you at any time.
    • Quizzes and exercises are weighted differently than your unit exams and the comprehensive final, so you cannot use the point totals displayed in the gradebook to determine your overall course grade.  Your overall course grade will be the total percent score and the assigned letter grade.

URL of Online Syllabus

Online version:

PDF version:

Collegewide Student Learning Outcomes

The Collegewide Student Learning Outcomes assessed and reinforced in this course include the following:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning

Measurable Course Objectives

Measurable Course Objectives are outcomes students are expected to achieve by the end of the course.

  • Distinguish between a global ocean and named oceans.
  • Use latitude and longitude to plot a location on a map.
  • Perform conversions between English and metric units.
  • Describe the internal compositional and physical structure of the Earth.
  • Identify the features of the ocean basins and relate the structures observed to the theory of plate tectonics.
  • Specify the basic chemistry of the ocean in terms of the special properties of water and dissolved substances.
  • Explain the vertical physical structure of the ocean and its variability in terms of temperature, salinity, density, and light.
  • Describe the large-scale motion of the atmosphere in terms of causes and its influence upon the ocean.
  • Describe the motions of the sea currents, waves, and tides in terms of causes and their influences upon the land.
  • Identify the features of the different marine biological groups such as plankton, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates.


You can find a course calendar as a link on the Tool menu on the left side of your Sakai course page.

How This Course is Taught

This course will be broken up into four units that generally apply to the four main sub-fields of oceanography:  geology, chemistry, physics, and biology.  The topics and accompanying textbook chapters included in each unit can be accessed from the Unit # tab on the left side of the main course web page.  

For each topic you will have a reading assignment from the textbook, PowerPoint lecture notes, a quiz based on the same material, and a study guide for the unit exam.  You may also have animations or videos to help with the comprehension of the material, and an exercise based on the reading assignment and/or lecture note material.  There will be a Unit Exam given in class upon the completion of each Unit.

  • Reading Assignments:
    • The course calendar will specify which topic and chapter will be covered on a particular class date. 
    • Read the assigned text from the textbook for that topic BEFORE coming to class on the day that topic is covered.  
  • Lecture Notes:
    • Lecture notes are provided in *.pdf format for all topics covered in class.
    • It is recommend that you print the lecture notes in the most compact and readable format, usually 4-6 slides per page, and bring them to class on the date the material is being covered.  The course calendar will specify which topic and chapter will be covered on a particular class date. 
  • Exercises:  In class and homework exercises will be assigned to help you understand and apply the course material. 
    • The course calendar will specify the dates exercises will be assigned as well as their due dates.
    • Printed copies of each exercise will be provided in class.  If you miss receiving a printed copy, you can also find and print the exercise instructions from the individual topics in each Unit.
    • Answers to all exercises will be submitted electronically via exercise answer sheets.  You can access the exercise answer sheets through links under individual topics in each Unit or you can also access the exercise answer sheets through the Tests & Quizzes section of Sakai.
    • Exercise answer sheets will be available at 8:00 AM on the date that an exercise is assigned and will be due at 8:00 AM on the due date.  Exercise answer sheets will be accepted for up to 24 hours after their due date for 1/2 credit.
    • You will get feedback on your submitted answers to each exercise after 8:00 am on the day after the due date for the exercise.  The short answer and fill-in-the-blank questions must be manually graded after the due date passes, so the feedback for those questions will not appear immediately.  Once I have completed the manual grading for an exercise, I will post the final grade for the exercise in the gradebook.  Please do not email me about exercise results until AFTER you see that exercise appear in the gradebook.
    • You will be able to view any feedback or comments on your graded exercises by clicking on the Exercise answer sheet link in the “Submitted Assessments” section of the Test & Quizzes portion of Sakai.
    • You may only submit an answer sheet for an exercise one time.  If you run into any problems with premature submission of an answer sheet, contact me as soon as possible to try to get it resolved.
    • Any incomplete answer sheets open at 4:00 am will automatically be submitted for grading by the Sakai system.  The best way to prevent an inadvertent and incomplete answer sheet submission is to only open the answer sheet for an exercise when you have completed the entire exercise and can fairly quickly answer all of the questions before 4:00 am.
    • Each exercise has different point values associated with it.  Your grade on an exercise will be based on the percentage of correct answers for that exercise.
    • Your overall course exercise grade will be based on the percent of points you earned for all of the exercise compared to total exercise points possible.
  • Quizzes:  Each chapter will have an associated quiz.
    • The course calendar will specify the dates quizzes will be assigned as well as their due dates.
    • You can access the assigned quiz through the quiz link under the particular topic being studied in the Unit section of Sakai. 
    • Quizzes will be available at 8:00 am on the date they are assigned and due at 8:00 am on the date specified in the course calendar.
    • Quizzes will be left open for 24 hours after their due date for students to complete for 1/2 credit.  
    • Quizzes do not have any time limits associated with them.  You can take as long as you need for each quiz, but your quiz will automatically be submitted for grading if it is open at 4:00 am in the morning.
    • Quizzes may be attempted as many times as you want during the time period they are available. 
    • You will be able to review the results of each quiz in the “Submitted Assessments” section of “Test & Quizzes” to determine which questions were answered incorrectly for future attempts. 
    • Your final score on a quiz will be based on the highest score achieved during the time frame the quiz was available.
    • Quizzes have two different types of multiple choice answers. 
      • A single answer multiple choice question will have circles next to the possible answers and you will only be allowed to choose one answer.
      • A multiple answer multiple choice question will have squares next to the possible answers. 
        • The question point value will indicate how many answers are correct.  For example, if a question is worth 3 points and 6 answers are listed, three answers should be chosen. 
        • You will earn one point for each correct answer chosen, but lose 1 point for each incorrect answer chosen.  For example, if you correctly choose 2 of the three correct answers, you will earn 2 points for the correct answers but lose 1 point for the incorrect answer.  The total points you earned for this question would be 1.
    • Quizzes will have different numbers of questions associated with them.  Your grade on a quiz will be based on the percentage of correct answers for that quiz.
    • Your overall course quiz grade will be a percent based on the number of total points you earned on the quizzes compared to the total number of points possible for all of the quizzes.
  • Unit Exams
    • There will be a Unit Exam given in class at the completion of each unit which will test you on your comprehension of the material presented in that unit.
    • The Unit Exam dates are listed in the course calendar.
    • Each Unit Exam includes 50 multiple choice, true/false, and/or matching questions worth one point each, for a total of 50 points.
    • A study guide will be provided in each topic within the Unit in Sakai.  The study guides will help focus your studies to the pertinent areas on the test.
    • You must bring a #2 pencil to each exam to fill in the provided scantron answer sheet.  You will be penalized one point on the exam if I have to provide a pencil for you.
    • You may bring one 3"x5" notecard with ANYTHING handwritten on both sides of the card to use during the exam.
    • All cell phones must be turned off and placed face down on the desk in front of you during the exams.
    • Students may not leave the classroom after starting the exam without turning in the exam for grading.
    • Students that arrive late to class on an exam day after any other student has completed the exam and left the room will not be allowed to take the exam and will receive a grade of zero for that exam.
    • There are NO makeups for Unit Exams. The optional field trip will act as a makeup.
  • Optional Field Trip - Hands-on oceanographic experience is difficult to come by in our inland  region.   An optional field trip to Sebastian Inlet State Park is offered to give students the opportunity to get their hands wet and experience some of the principles covered in the class. 
    • Details about the field trip will be provided separately in Sakai along with sign up forms for the date(s) the field trip will be offered. 
    • Transportation will not be provided by the college so you will need to provide your own transportation if you decide to attend the field trip.  Carpooling with other students in the class is highly encouraged. 
    • You must have a signed field trip waiver turned in to me on campus before being allowed to participate in the field trip.
    • Participating in the optional field trip has the potential to improve your grade especially if you have not been doing well on the Unit Exams.  It cannot hurt your course grade in any way.  The field trip will replace your lowest Unit Exam.  If the field trip grade is lower than any of your Unit Exams, it will not be used.
  • Comprehensive Final Exam
    • You will be taking a comprehensive final exam on the last class day of the course.  The date of the exam can be found in the course calendar.
    • Makeups for this final exam will only be allowed with acceptable (by me) documented reasons, such as jury duty or hospitalization.  Work related or personal issues, such as leaving early for vacation, are not acceptable makeup excuses as the exam is scheduled during the regular class time for this course.
    • The exam will include 25 multiple choice or true/false questions based on the objectives for the course.  You can find the course objectives in an earlier section of this syllabus. 
    • A study guide for this exam can be found at the end of Unit IV in Sakai.
    • You will need to bring a #2 pencil to the final to use on the provided scantron form. 
    • No notecards can be used for this exam.
    • The optional field trip cannot be used to replace the comprehensive final exam.

Late Assignments and Make-up Exams

Exercises may be submitted for grading up to 24 hours late for 1/2 credit.  Exercises will not be accepted past the 24 hour late time.  There will be at least one extra credit exercise available to help make up points lost from missed exercises.

Quizzes may be submitted for grading up to 24 hours late for 1/2 credit.  Quizzes will not be accepted past the 24 hour late time.  They will be available for a long enough time to give students an opportunity to complete them.  There will be at least one extra credit quiz to help make up points lost from missed quizzes.

No makeup Unit Exams will be allowed.  The optional field trip can be used like a makeup exam in that the points earned on the field trip will replace your lowest Unit Exam score.  See the instructor if all field trip slots have been filled and you have missed a Unit Exam so that the instructor can manually place you into one of the field trip slots.

Any extreme and documented circumstances that prevented you from completing the graded material by the due date should be brought to the instructor's attention for review.  In very rare cases, such as hospitalizations or unexpected military deployments, exceptions to the late assignments and makeup policy have been granted.

Grade Scale and Evaluation Methods

  • Grade of “A”
    “A” level work demonstrates excellence overall with no major weaknesses.  This includes an “A” grade on tests and labs.  A level work displays excellent presentation and clarification of key concepts of the unit.  All written work is outstanding and presented in excellent form.

  • Grade of “B”
    “B” level work demonstrates more strengths than weaknesses.  This includes “A” and “B” grades on tests and labs.  All written and oral work is on the whole clear, precise and well presented.

  • Grade of “C”
    “C” level work demonstrates slightly more than a minimal level of skill and comprehension of material covered in the class.  “C” level work demonstrated by a “C” grade on tests and average presentation of formal written material.  “C” level work shows some assignments are reasonably well done but others are poorly done or mediocre at best.

  • Grade of “D”
    “D” level work demonstrates a minimal level of skill and comprehension of material covered in class.  “D” level work is demonstrated by a “C” grade or lower on tests and below average presentation of formal written material.

  • Grade of “F”
    Below 60%
    “F” level work demonstrates that the student has failed to comprehend the material and to the required work of the course.  “F” level work is demonstrated by a grade of “F” or lower on tests and below average presentation of formal written material.

Your final grade in this course is based upon performance on unit exams, additional course work (assignments and quizzes) and the comprehensive final.  The percent score for each of the below categories will be weighted by the percent displayed in the table and then added together to determine the final percent score in the course.  The final grade will NOT be based on the "total points earned/total points possible" score displayed in the gradebook in Sakai.






Unit Exams (each 15%) (optional field trip may replace one Unit Exam score)


Comprehensive Final (on campus)


The final grade for the course will be based on the percentage ranges listed below with course percentages earned rounded to the nearest whole number.

A = 90% or greater

B = 80% - 89%

C = 70% - 79%

D = 60% - 69%

F = 59% and lower

Computer Difficulties

You are responsible for having access either at home, work, or through the school's library or student success center to a working computer and internet connection to complete exercises and quizzes.  Extra time will not be given on an individual basis for student computer issues.  System-wide Sakai issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the instructor and extra time may be awarded as warranted.

Hardware/Software Listing

All supplemental lecture notes, exercise instructions, and study guides will be provided in *.pdf file format and will require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.   Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded free of charge from:

Attendance Policy

The College recognizes the correlation between attendance and both student retention and achievement. Per College Policy 3.060 Students are expected to attend all class meetings of all courses for which they are registered. The College Attendance Procedure is located in College Procedure 4.0900 and is available online at

For online classes, attendance is determined by consistently logging in and accessing the course content and completing courses in accordance with the syllabus. Simply logging in to an on-line class does NOT count as attendance. Students must engage in an academically-related activity.

 Attendance is not graded for this course.

Withdrawal Policy

A student desiring to withdraw from a course after the add/drop period should initiate withdrawal procedures with an instructor or counselor. Withdrawals are not official until the withdrawal form is completed and given to the Office of Enrollment Services and Registrar. Withdrawal deadlines are published in the official College Catalog Academic Calendar.

Please inform the instructor if you decide to withdraw from the course. 

Student Code of Conduct

It is the responsibility of a student to observe campus rules and regulations and to help maintain appropriate conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. The Student Code of Conduct is a statement of Seminole State’s expectations regarding student standards of conduct, both academic and non-academic. It is the student’s responsibility to read the Code of Conduct and follow its expectations. The Student Code of Conduct can be found at

A Tobacco-Free College

To promote the health and wellness of the Seminole State College community, the use if tobacco of any kind and in any form is prohibited on all College-owned and/or operated facilities.  This includes tobacco use in personal vehicles while on College property.  The College Tobacco-Free Policy can be found at

Classroom Guidelines

Students are expected to be on time to class.  If you arrive late, take your seat in the classroom with as little disruption as possible to the rest of the class.  If the instructor has already taken attendance, it is your responsibility to inform the instructor of your presence at the end of the class.  Failure to do so may result in you being considered absent for that day.

If you know you must leave before class is over, please talk to the instructor at the beginning of class to get any handouts or information that you might miss.  Please depart with as little disruption as possible to the rest of the class.

Please respect your instructor and the other students around you by not carrying on side conversations with your neighbors during class.  These conversations distract the instructor and make it difficult for the students that are trying to pay attention to hear what the instructor has to say.  You may be asked to leave the class for the day if you are not able to refrain from side conversations.

You may use your computers, tablets, or smartphones during class as long as you do so silently.  All of the lecture notes are in electronic form so you may want to have them displayed electronically during lectures.

No chewing tobacco or dipping is allowed in class.

Cell Phones

Cell phone ringers should be turned to silent at the beginning of class. 

You are permitted to use your cell phone during class as long as you do so silently, which means no placing or answering of calls while in the classroom.    

All cell phones must be turned off and placed face down on the desk in front of you during all exams.

Academic Integrity

As members of the Seminole State College of Florida community, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic coursework and activities. Academic dishonesty, such as cheating of any kind on examinations, course assignments or projects, plagiarism, misrepresentation and the unauthorized possession of examinations or other course-related materials, is prohibited.

Plagiarism is unacceptable to the college community. Academic work that is submitted by students is assumed to be the result of their own thought, research or self-expression. When students borrow ideas, wording or organization from another source, they are expected to acknowledge that fact in an appropriate manner. Plagiarism is the deliberate use and appropriation of another's work without identifying the source and trying to pass-off such work as the student's own. Any student who fails to give full credit for ideas or materials taken from another has plagiarized.

Students who share their work for the purpose of cheating on class assignments or tests are subject to the same penalties as the student who commits the act of cheating.

When cheating or plagiarism has occurred, instructors may take academic action that ranges from denial of credit for the assignment or a grade of "F" on a specific assignment, examination or project, to the assignment of a grade of "F" for the course. Students may also be subject to further sanctions imposed by the judicial officer, such as disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal from the College. Students may also be subject to further sanctions imposed by a judicial officer, such as disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal from the College.

Accommodation Statement

Seminole State College abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which stipulates that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education 'solely by reason of a handicap.' Disabilities covered by law include, but are not limited to psychiatric impairments, learning disabilities and hearing, sight or mobility impairments. If you have a disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, contact the Disability Support Services Office (DSS) to facilitate the accommodation process.

Campus locations and phone numbers for DSS are:

  • Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, Room A-101, 407.708.2109
  • Altamonte Campus, Room ALT 107, 407.404.6005
  • Heathrow Campus, Room HEA 115, 407.708.4440
  • Oviedo Campus, Room OVF 102-D, 407.971.5114

College Emergency Information

In case of emergency conditions (such as tropical storms, hurricanes, power outages, etc), verify the college is open and classes are being held by calling 407.708.2290 or 407.708.4722.  The Seminole State homepage will also feature updated announcements (


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Students have the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records.  It is Seminole State Colleges policy to comply with the requirements of FERPA and to prevent improper disclosure of personally identifiable information from the records. For more details on FERPA, please refer to the FERPA information on the Seminole State website

College Communication

Student Email Office 365

All official e-mail from the College is sent to your Seminole State Office 365 student e-mail address. When contacting the college students should use their student email accounts to ensure that communication is delivered to the appropriate party.   Be sure to check your account regularly for information important to your academic and financial records. To access your student email account, visit for instructions.

Canvas Messages

Students currently enrolled in online or hybrid courses should use the Inbox link within their Canvas course to communicate with the professor. It is important for students to check the inbox regularly for important communication from the instructor.

Seminole State Text

Sign up for Seminole State Text and you will receive messages pertaining to registration dates, tuition deadlines, financial aid, emergency campus closings and changes to your student record or classes. To sign up to receive text messages, visit

Syllabus Disclaimer

Changes to the syllabus and course may be made at the professor’s discretion.  Students will be notified of those changes.