Fall 2020 - REM 370 D100

Global Resource Issues in Oceanography (4)

Class Number: 3658

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 15, 2020
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    EVSC 100, or GEOG 111, or REM 100, and 45 units.



Introduces principles of oceanography, including ocean circulation, ocean carbon cycling, nutrients and biological productivity, oceans and the climate system, and ocean resource contributions to global food supply. Provides basic understanding of ocean resource management including transportation, recreation, fisheries, and mining. Students with credit for MASC 435 may not take this course for further credit.


In this course, students examine how the ocean acts as a valuable resource to human society. Using current case studies (such as climate change, ocean acidification, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and global fisheries), students will consider the scientific basis of ocean-related problems, human contributions to resource degradation, and their potential impacts. Through course exercises, students will develop their own opinions about the feasibility of proposed solutions to global ocean resource issues, based on a combination of scientific evidence and societal values. Course assignments and quizzes are designed to help students to understand the scientific and governance frameworks surrounding ocean resource issues and the challenges involved in managing them sustainably.

Course Format:
SYNCHRONOUS: Course will be a BLEND of synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods. Most of the one-hour (Wednesday) sessions and approximately ½ of the tutorial sessions (FRIDAY) will be ASYNCHRONOUS. The weekly two-hour “lecture” session (Friday) will be SYNCHRONOUS and delivered via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. The method of delivery for each assigned class will be clearly indicated on the Class Schedule.


By the conclusion of this course, students should be able to integrate their knowledge of physical, chemical, and biological processes with an understanding of important governance and societal complexities, to better understand global environmental problems facing the ocean. Students should be able to:

1. Identify values of the ocean as a resource, be able to find information to help quantify that value and appreciate values that are not quantified.
2. Read, understand, and summarize arguments from cutting edge, peer-reviewed journal articles in the scientific literature.
3. Describe and evaluate positions regarding ocean resource issues from a strength of interdisciplinary knowledge, based on an evidence-based understanding of the science, human contributions to degradation, and how the resource is governed
4. Use this interdisciplinary knowledge of an ocean resource issue (i.e., science, values, causes) to evaluate potential solutions.
5. Feel empowered to identify actions to manage ocean resources sustainably.


  • Assignments 15%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • 4 Unit Exams 60%
  • Final 15%


All assignments, quizzes, and exams will be delivered and submitted online through canvas.

Weekly worksheets have been designed to help students understand physical oceanographic concepts as well as to identify key concepts from videos, podcasts, and weekly readings. Completing and submitting these worksheets on time will be essential for keeping up with course material. For some assignment worksheets, students will need to draw answers and then scan and upload them to canvas.

Low-stakes quizzes are designed to test comprehension of readings.

Four, timed, online short essay exams are designed to test students’ abilities to synthesize the interdisciplinary information from each case study.

Final is comprehensive.



Computer, Strong internet connection to enable participation in synchronous online course meetings, Paper/Pencil, Ability to print, photograph/scan, and upload handwritten assignments to canvas.


Computer, Strong internet connection to enable participation in synchronous online course meetings, Paper/Pencil, Ability to print, photograph/scan, and upload handwritten assignments to canvas.


Ocean circulation, 2nd edition, Open University Course Team, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 286 pp, ISBN-13: 978-0750652780, 2001.

This text available for free download through the SFU library. A copy can be also purchased online (both electronic and paperback versions) through one of the giant online book distributors. Please speak to your TA if you are having difficulty obtaining access.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).