OCOR 5608 : Introduction to Physical Oceanography: Getting Started

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OCOR 5608 - Introduction to Physical Oceanography - Course Info

Introduction to Physical Oceangraphy

Course Number: OCOR - 5608

This course is intended to give students insight to how wind, radiation, gravity, friction, and the Earth's rotation determine the ocean's temperature and salinity patterns and currents. Some important processes we will study include heat budget of the oceans, exchange of heat with the atmosphere and the role of the ocean in climate, surface mixed layer, waves in the ocean, geostrophy, Ekman transport, Rossby waves. Students will learn how to explain physical features of the ocean ranging from microscopic turbulence to global circulation.

Textbook Information:

A. Colling. 2001. Ocean Circulation (Second Edition).  The Open University Course Team.

J Wright et al. 2000. Waves, Tides and Shallow-Water Processes (Second Edition). The Open University Course Team.

Fall 2013 Course:






Introduction to Physical Oceanography 

OCOR 5608

 Dr. Kristi Foster

Prerequisites: Recommend Algebra & Physics

OCOR 5608 - Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. calculate Coriolis parameter, Ekman boundary layer depth, and Brunt-Vaisala frequency;
  2. explain intensification of the western boundary current;
  3. identify costal upwelling areas on satellite images of sea surface temperature and color;
  4. identify different water masses and their sources from global distributions of temperature and salinity;
  5. interpret tidal sea level record;
  6. write a report on a Physical Oceanography topic.

Final Examination and Proctoring

Final Examination and Proctoring

The Oceanographic Center requires that at least one test be proctored during each online course. A proctor is an impartial person, usually in a position with some authority, who is not related to you. The role of the proctor is to monitor you as you write a test to ensure your identity and the integrity of the process. The proctoring protocol for the OCOR 5608 final exam is as follows:

    • All arrangements must be finalized with the proctoring center and approved by the course instructor before November 8, 2013 (i.e. BEFORE the start of finals week). All arrangements must also be provided to the Distance Education office. (Please email details to oconline@nova.edu, as that office will be responsible for distributing and collecting final exams to/from the proctors.)
    • If you live close to the Oceanographic Center, you can arrange to come to the OC to have your test proctored, either with one of the librarians on site (Jaime Goldman, hjaime@nova.edu, telephone 954 262-3681) or with Jazmin Zea, Outreach and Student Services Coordinator (email jz164@nova.edu, telephone 954 262-3622). Please arrange directly with them for a convenient time. You can find the library hours and other details at: http://nova.campusguides.com/oclibrary.
    • If it is not convenient for you to come to the OC, you can find someone in your community to proctor who meets the definition above. They can be a supervisor at your workplace, a librarian, at your local community college or university, doctor, minister, etc. You can also check the website of the National College Testing Association to find a proctoring organization near to you. (Please see: http://www.ncta-testing.org/cctc/index.php)
    • Finally, if you have audio-video capabilities with your computer, you can arrange with ProctorU to be proctored virtually at your computer. There is a cost associated with this service and you will need to do this 72 hours before the exam time.