The Blue Planet


Theme Description: The hydrologic cycle and its interactions with geology in the form of the rock cycle and plate tectonic cycle is the context in which water is studied in each of these courses. The different courses in the theme emphasize different components of the geologic influence on the hydrologic cycle. GLY 1104 covers terrestrial components of the hydrologic cycle, while GLY 1105 covers oceanic components of the hydrologic cycle in addition to physical, chemical, and biological components. These courses can be taken in any order.

Theme Coordinator:   Dr. Bill Anderson   (out on OCSA Spring 2011)



GLY 1104. Water: Mountains to Sea (4). F
A study of the interaction between terrestrial water and geological phenomena. The course applies the scientific method to the study of the continental components of the hydrologic cycle. It also focuses on the interaction of water with the rock and plate tectonic cycles. Lecture three hours, laboratory two hours.

GLY 1105. Oceanography (4). S
A study of physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography and their interrelationships. Lecture three hours, laboratory two hours. (WRITING; NUMERICAL DATA) (ND prerequisite: passing the math placement test or successful completion of MAT 0010.)


How These Courses Integrate into Theme:

Students in each course will examine the interaction of the hydrologic cycle with other Earth systems. One class focuses on marine interactions, while the other class focuses on the terrestrial portion of the hydrologic cycle and atmospheric interactions. Through these classes, students will develop a fundamental understanding of the world's oceans and the interrelationships among aspects of physical, chemical and geological oceanography and geology.


Slapton Ley is England's largest natural freshwater lagoon and is separated by beach sands from saline ocean waters of the English channel.  Slapton Ley is a National Nature Reserve and one of UK's Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its natural beauty and unique habitat for birds and rare plants.  As part of the Blue Planet theme, you will learn about challenging issues such as sea-level rise, freshwater resources, and coastal erosion, which threatens many sea-side communities, even protected ones like Slapton Ley.