Honors Introduction to Oceanography with Lab Syllabus
OCE1001CH Class 9964, Fall 2014

Course Information

Honors Introduction to Oceanography with Lab - OCE1001CH Class 9964
Date: August 25 to December 13, 2014

This honors level introductory course is designed to acquaint students with the oceans, Earth's most dominant feature and their importance to all planetary systems. Focus will be on their physical, chemical, biological and geological characteristics. Emphasis is on Florida and its unique relationship with the ocean environment. Field trips may be included. Honors level content. Permission required from Honors director.

Pre-reqs: Prerequisite: Acceptance into Honors program.
Credits: 5.00

Instructor Information

Diana Wenzel, M.S.
Email: wenzeld@seminolestate.edu

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. 

Instructional Mode

Lecture and Discussion

Instruction includes classroom lecture and discussion.

Textbook Information

No information about textbooks has been received.

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

Measurable Course Objectives

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

  • State pertinent physical characteristics of the ocean.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between the Earth and its subsystems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the global water cycle transporting water, dissolved solids, gases and energy.
  • Interpret satellite imagery used to monitor the oceans, life in the oceans, weather and coastal features.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the features of the ocean floor and their origins.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how plate tectonics explains the origin and evolution of the ocean basins.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how salinity and temperature affect ocean water density.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the dissolved solids and gases in the oceans and their effect on the water environment and life.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about sediments and their significance on the ocean floor.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the connections that occur across the air-sea interface.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of surface and deep-water currents.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the tide-producing forces in the oceans and their significance.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of coastal geology with an emphasis on Florida.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about food chains and webs and the physical and chemical factors in the oceans that affect them.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the connection between the oceans and climactic changes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ocean and human influence on the fisheries industry.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the history of the field of oceanography.
  • Locate, discuss, analyze and evaluate current oceanographic research and events.
  • Collect, interpret, analyze and evaluate data.
  • Demonstrate the ability to read, comprehend and interpret course material.
  • Demonstrate the abilty to use technology and lab instruments necessary for the course.

Collegewide Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Information Literacy
  • Global Sociocultural Responsibility

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:  https://dl.seminolestate.edu/portal/

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)
      • A pre-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 lab - Not included for all topics.  You will be directed to the appropriate lab in the Assignments2 section of Sakai.  You will only need to use this link to get a copy of the lab if you are not in class on the day a lab is being done.
      • A post-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 – This is where you will find the Pre-Quizzes and the Post-Quizzes for each topic.
    • You will also be able to review your quiz results in this location.
  • Assignments2 - This is where labs that can be made up will be found.  Hard-copies of labs will be handed out in class, but if you miss a class, or lose a lab handout, you can still print the lab instructions and questions from here and be able to turn the lab in to class on time.
  • 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 ungraded forums are available for students to use.
      • Course Questions Forum - 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!
    • One or more graded forums may be made available to upload information for a lab or the group project 
  • Messages– Your official method of communicating with me 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 – Information that affects the entire class will be posted in this section.  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, labs, the optional field trip, the group project, 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, labs, and the group project are weighted differently than your unit exams, 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:



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

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 their corresponding chapters included in each unit will be displayed in the Units 1-4 ssections of Sakai.  For each topic you may have a reading assignment from the textbook, a pre-quiz, notes in *.pdf format, occasional animations or videos, a lab based on the topic, a post-quiz  based on the same material, and a study guide for the unit exam.  There will be a Unit Exam given upon completion of each Unit.

  • Preparation for class
    • Lectures will be mainly based on the lecture notes provided within the appropriate topic in the current Unit section of Sakai.  Much of the material in the lecture notes comes directly from the textbook.
    • You will be required to read the assigned portions of the textbook and review the lecture notes before coming to class.
    • A graded pre-quiz on the reading and lecture notes will be assigned in Sakai and must be completed by the assigned due date to determine your comprehension level of the material.  More information about the pre-quizzes can be found below.
  • Classes
    • Class time may include a lecture, discussion, demonstration, lab, and/or presentation.
      • Lecture/Demonstration/Discussion portion:
        • The first part of the class will generally be a lecture and/or discussion focusing on less comprehended areas based on the pre-quiz results.  The lecture notes will not be gone through slide by slide, but students are encouragesd to ask questions on any material they did not comprehend.
        • A post-quiz will be assigned in Sakai upon completion of each topic.
        • Ths portion of the class time may also be used to demonstrate and discuss principles taught in this section
        • Unit Exams will also be given in this portion of the class time.  Unit Exams will be described in greater detail below.
      • Labs/Presentations:  This portion of the class will be used to do hands-on labs to suplement the lecture and textbook informatione labs supplement and reinforce the lecture and textbook information or to work on or present the Group Project.
        • Labs will generally occur in the second half of each class. 
        • Hard copies of labs will be handed out in class and you will have time in class or in the library to work on the lab.  If you do not complete the lab in class, you will generally have one week to complete it and turn it in at the beginning of the class.
        • Some labs require a set-up of materials in the class that cannot be replicated on your own outside of class.  Those labs cannot be made up.  There will be some extra credit opportunities that will help you to makeup some of the points lost by missing one of the labs that cannot be made up.  The course schedule will indicate if a lab can only be completed in class.
        • If you miss a lab that can be made up, you can find and print the instructions for that lab in the Assignments2 section of Sakai.  The lab will still be due at the time specified in the course calendar.  
        • Labs are due at the beginning of the class on the due date specified in the course calendar.  Labs are considered late if handed in after they were collected in class.  See the Late Assignments and Make-up Exams section of this syllabus for more information on late labs.
        • If you will not be in class on the date a lab is due, you may email me an electronic copy of the completed lab before the class starts.  You have two opportunities to submit labs in this manner.  After two times, you must turn in the lab in class and it will be considered late.
        • Labs have different point values associated with them.  Your grade on an individual lab will be based on the percentage of correct answers for that lab.
        • Your overall course lab grade will be based on the percent of points you earned for all of the labs compared to total lab points possible.
  • Pre-Quizzes and Post-Quizzes:
    • Pre- and post-quizzes will be open at 4:30 pm on their assigned date and will be due at noon on their due date.  The assigned and due dates are listed in the course calendar.
    • Pre- and post-quizzes may each be taken a total of two times.  Feedback on the pre-quiz will be provided after the lecture associated with the material.  Feedback on the post-quiz will be given after each attempt. 
    • 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 be submitted for grading if it is open at 4:00 am in the morning.
    • Quizzes may be attempted a total of two times during the time period they are available.
    • Pre-Quizzes can be taken up to two hours late for 1/2 credit.  They will not be available once class start.
    • Post-Quizzes can be taken up to one day late for 1/2 credit.  They will no longer be available 24 hours after their due date.
    • Feedback on your quizzes will appear in the "Submitted Assessments" section of “Test & Quizzes”.  You can use the feedback of your first attempt of the post-quiz to determine which questions were answered incorrectly prior to your second attempt.
    • 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 but lose 1 point.  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 pre-quiz and post-quiz grades will be a percent based on the number of total points you earned on the pre- and post-quizzes compared to the total number of points possible for all of the pre- and post-quizzes.
  • Unit Exams
    • There will be a Unit Exam in class at the completion of each unit which will test you on your comprehension of the material presented in that unit.
    • Each Unit Exam includes 50 questions and is worth 50 points.
    • A study guide for each topic will be provided under that topic in the Unit being studied.  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 use on the provided scantron form.
    • You may also bring one 3"x5" handwritten notecard with anything you want written on both sides of the card to each exam in this course.
    • No Unit Exam makeups will be given.  There will be an optional field trip to Sebastian Inlet that will replace your lowest Unit Exam score, so it will act like a makeup exam.
  • 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 class. 
    • If you participate in this optional field trip, it will replace your lowest Unit exam! 
    • The field trip dates and details will be provided later on in the course. 
    • 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.
  • Group Project
    • There will be a group project assigned in this class.
    • There will be some time in class to work on this group project, but much of it will need to be worked on outside of class.
    • The group project will end with a presentation on your project to the class.
    • Specifics about the group project will be given out later in class.
  • Extra Credit
    • There will be one extra credit pre-quiz and post-quiz offered.  Check the course calendar to see when these quizzes are available.
    • There will be at least one extra credit assignment offered that will be included in the lab portion of your course grade.  These opportunities will be announced later in the course and information about them will appear in the Extra Credit forum in Sakai.

Cell Phones

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

Hardware/Software Listing

All lecture notes 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: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

Late Assignments and Make-up Exams


  • Labs are due at the beginning of class on the due date published in the course calendar in Sakai.  
  • Labs submitted late on the due date will have their scores reduced by 10%. 
  • Labs submitted after the due date but no later than the beginning of the next class meeting time will have their scores reduced by 50%. 
  • Labs may only be submitted late without penalty due to a medical emergency, legal situation, or death in the family with appropriate supporting documentation provided to the instructor.  
  • If you are not in class the day a lab that can be made up is handed out, it is your responsibility to print it from the Assignments2 section of Sakai and turn it in on time. 
  • If you will not be in class on the date a lab is due, you may email me a completed electronic copy of it before class starts for full credit.  I will accept electronic copies of a lab a maximum of two times during the term.  After two times, the lab will be considered late.
  • There will be at least one opportunity during the course to earn some extra credit points to make up for missing a lab.  

Pre- and Post-Quizzes:

  • Quizzes cannot be made up.  Pre-quizzes will be available from 4:30 pm on the date they are assigned until noon on their due date and are available for an extra two hours to submit late for 1/2 credit.  Post-quizzes will be available from 4:30 pm on the date they are assigned until noon on their due date and are availabe for an extra 24 hours to submit late for 1/2 credit.  There will be at least one extra credit pre-quiz and post-quiz to help make up points lost from missed quizzes.

Unit Exams:

  • No makeup 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 exam score if you scored higher on the field trip. 

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 examinations, and additional course work (labs, group project, and quizzes.) 

You cannot use the overall point total in Sakai to calculate your course grade since the weighting for each portion of your course grade is different.  You must look at the overall % score to see what your current grade is.







Group Project


Unit Exams


The final grade for the course will be based on a straight percentage scale with course percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. 

A = 90% or greater

B = 80% - 89%

C = 70% - 79%

D = 60% - 69%

F = 59% and lower

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 https://www.seminolestate.edu/policies-procedures/procedures/instruction/4.0900

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. 

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 (https://www.seminolestate.edu).


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 http://www.seminolestate.edu/student-email/ 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 www.seminolestate.edu/text/

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 www.seminolestate.edu/policies-procedures/procedures/studentinfo/3.0900

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 www.seminolestate.edu/tobaccofree/

Syllabus Disclaimer

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