[course]: OCEAN 497C: Oceanography in the Service of Society

Hello students and faculty,

This spring, Tansy Burns and I will be offering a special topics course called Oceanography in the Service of Society.

This course will train students in application of key ideas and principles from Oceanography to address immediate societal needs in education, human health and aquaculture. Course content is designed to provide core knowledge, practical skills and real-world experience in Earth Sciences pedagogy and environmental monitoring.

This content is relevant to students aspiring to be skilled educators at the K-12 through University levels; to gain qualifications for a wide variety of jobs in environmental consulting, marine industries, or technology; or to be basic researchers in Oceanography with improved insight into applications of their work.

Students will work in small groups to undertake projects focused on C-STEM education or aquaculture-related environmental monitoring. Students will be mentored by the instructors and by practicing professionals in assessing needs, designing and implementing effective low-cost solutions, and reflecting on how Oceanography can and should contribute to societal well-being.

Projects may involve off-campus work trips to schools, aquaculture facilities or other relevant field sites.

The course is 3 credits. Students may sign up for OCE 497C (SLN 21431) or OCE 506 (SLN 21432). Students enrolled in the 500-level course will undertake additional activities in designing evidence-based learning frameworks for Earth Sciences teaching or analysis and synthesis of marine environmental monitoring data.

Meeting time is Wednesday, 4:30-7:20, in a single block to facilitate participation by working professionals. During project implementation, some class meetings may be replaced by working group meetings with instructors and practitioners.

Please contact Tansy Clay (tansy@uw.edu) or me (random@uw.edu) for further information.


Danny Grünbaum

[winter course] OCEAN 450: Climatic Extremes

note that this course – if taken in winter 2018 only – will be applied to the ‘Oceanography Elective’ requirement of the Marine Biology Minor. We are expanding our normal elective list due to shortfall in biological oceanography courses this academic year.

Climatic Extremes Oceanography 450

Winter Quarter, 2017­   SLN:18580
4 credits     M, W, Th, F at 2:30 to 3:20
also offered as Honors 221D:   5 credits    SLN:15431
Room 425 Ocean ​Science

Class Web Page: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1114052/files

Instructors: Paul Quay (pdquay@uw.edu): Paul Johnson (johnson@ocean.washington.edu)

Course Content:   

To better understand the key factors that control the earth’s present and future climate, this course examines episodes in the earth’s past when extreme climate conditions existed. Dramatic changes in the earth’s climate have resulted from natural variations in solar insolation, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, rates and pathways of ocean circulation, plate tectonics, and the evolution of vascular plants and, in modern times, the burning of fossil fuels. The impact of these factors on climate through interactions between the atmosphere, oceans and land will be evaluated.

The processes that produced past climate changes will be discussed primarily as a framework to evaluate modern and future climate change resulting from human activity.

The class will utilize lectures, in-class problem solving, discussion of scientific papers and weekly homeworks to learn the material on both a qualitative and quantitative level.  Students are expected to have had sufficient science-based coursework to feel comfortable solving quantitative in-class and homework problems using basic algebra and using the spreadsheet program Excel.  Honors students will work as multi-student teams on separate projects to quantify the impact of human CO2 emissions on local and regional climate change.

[UW Today]: Researchers, students on annual expedition to maintain internet-connected deep-sea observatory

UW/NSF-OOI/Jason (via UW Today)
One of the shallowest pieces of the observatory lives about a tenth of a mile (200 meters) beneath the water’s surface. After a year it is coated in large anemones, small pink sea urchins, feathery brown crinoids , and small crustaceans.UW/NSF-OOI/Jason

This article was originally published on UW Today: Hickey, H. (2017, August 10). Researchers, students on annual expedition to maintain internet-connected deep-sea observatory. Retrieved from http://www.washington.edu/news/. [link to original article].

University of Washington oceanography researchers, engineers, and students are working off the coast of Oregon on the yearly cruise to maintain the deep-ocean observatory, the Cabled Array, which brings power and broadband Internet to the seafloor and water above. The cruise, funded by the National Science Foundation, left July 25 from Newport, Oregon, and will be back Aug. 29. The group is on the California-based research vessel Roger Revelle, since the UW’s large research vessel, the Thomas G. Thompson, is completing its major midlife overhaul.

Deborah Kelley, UW professor of oceanography, is chief scientist on the cruise that recently began its second leg.

While at sea a deep-sea robot will brave the crushing pressures and cold temperatures, while the team works day and night to direct the dives and prepare equipment above water. The researchers will be cleaning some instruments from marine life, and swapping out sensors that collect hot spring fluids and DNA samples over their year-long missions. The team is posting regular updates from the ship. On Aug. 1, members reported seeing pyrosomes, the bioluminescent tube-shaped tropical animals that have been seen this year off the Pacific Northwest. They are also posting highlights of the robot-captured dive videos, including one showing how marine creatures are getting cozy on the UW-built technology.

In addition to the maintenance work, two new instruments from William Chadwick at Oregon State University will be added. The first will monitor tilting and the rise and fall of the seafloor to detect inflation and deflation at Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano that is part of the cabled observatory. A second instrument, to be placed in a nearby hydrothermal vent field, will measure the temperature and salinity of fluids that waft around the vents and in the Axial caldera. More than 120 instruments — including seismometers, high-definition video and digital still camera, and underwater chemical mass spectrometers — will be recovered and reinstalled during the cruise. Data from all instruments is accessible in real time from shore through the Ocean Observatories Initiative Data Portal.

Other cruise participants include a teacher from Kingston Middle School in Kitsap County, faculty members from Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen and UW Tacoma, and a postdoctoral researcher from the UW Applied Physics Laboratory.This year’s cruise includes 24 undergraduate and graduate students from the UW, Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Western Washington University in Bellingham and Queens College in New York. They are posting student blogs. For many undergraduates this will be their first experience at sea.

Follow along on Twitter at @VISIONSops, or tune in during one of the robot’s dives for live video from the deep sea.


For more information, contact Kelley at dskelley@uw.edu.

Open Seas: Super Awesome Ocean Science Theatre Show (6/8-11)

Come dive into a “Super Awesome Ocean Science Theatre Show”
Byron Walker, a current senior majoring in both oceanography and theatre will be performing his senior thesis the second weekend of June the 8th through the 11th at the Glen Hughes Penthouse theatre on campus. Come watch the performance for FREE Thursday and Sunday at 1:00 PM or Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM.
Experience oceanography as theatre!
RSVP at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/OpenSeas2017
Promotional poster of Open Seas with a picture of a whale

UW Aquatic & Fishery Sciences & Oceanography both ranked in the top 5 programs in their field globally

A new ranking of global university programs by academic subject highlights the quality of our marine and aquatic science programs. In the lists for their respective subjects, The UW School of Oceanography was ranked 2nd globally, and the UW School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences was ranked 4th. Read on for more details about the ranking and to learn about the other 43 subjects ranked in the top 10 globally.

The University of Washington landed at No. 9 with 45 subjects ranked in the top 10 in the Center for World University Rankings’ inaugural subjects ranking. The ranking features the top global universities in 227 subjects covering all academic disciplines in the sciences and social sciences. This is the highest the UW has placed in a global subject ranking.

Social work at the UW was ranked as the best such program in the world, while the UW’s oceanography and audiology & speech language pathology programs each ranked second. In all, 22 UW subjects were rated among the top five in the world.

The CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017 highlights the world’s elite universities in the sciences and the social sciences, based on the number of research articles in top-tier journals. Data is obtained from Clarivate Analytics (previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters). More information about the methodology is available here.

The new CWUR global subjects ranking joins several others in which the UW is highly regarded. Most recently, the UW had 52 subjects ranked in the top 10 on the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools ranking.

[read more at UW Today]

from Balta, V. (2017, April 3). UW lands at No. 9 with 45 subjects ranked in the top 10 in Center for World University Rankings inaugural subject list. Retrieved from http://www.washington.edu/news


[UW Today] Vitamin B-12, and a knockoff version, create complex market for marine vitamins

Associate Professor Ingalls – referenced in this UW Today Article – teaches the “OCEAN 295: Chemistry of Marine Organic Carbon” course annually. This course can be taken in place of CHEM 220 for the Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and Oceanography majors.

An oceanographic sampler, known as a rosette, during a 2013 cruise in the North Pacific. Each bottle contains water from different depths, which is how researchers collected samples of the vitamins at sea.

The New Year is a busy time for pharmacies and peddlers of all health-related products. In the oceans, marine organisms rely on nutrients, too, but the source of their vitamins is sometimes mysterious.

University of Washington oceanographers have now found that vitamin B-12 exists in two distinct versions in the oceans. A microbe thought to be a main supplier of B-12 in the open oceans, cyanobacteria, is actually making a “pseudo” version that only its kin can use.

The study has implications for where algae and other organisms can get a vitamin that is essential to fueling marine life. The paper is in the Jan. 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“I think the world is getting used to the idea that all lifeforms are in some ways dependent on microorganisms,” said corresponding author Anitra Ingalls, a UW associate professor of oceanography. “This is another case where microorganisms are playing a really big role in the survival of others, but not quite in the way that we had expected.”

[read the full article at UW Today]

[UW Today] Underwater volcano’s eruption captured in exquisite detail by seafloor observatory

The cracking, bulging and shaking from the eruption of a mile-high volcano where two tectonic plates separate has been captured in more detail than ever before. A University of Washington study published this week shows how the volcano behaved during its spring 2015 eruption, revealing new clues about the behavior of volcanoes where two ocean plates are moving apart.

A seismometer (long black cylinder, right) installed in 2013 atop Axial Volcano. The green plate transmits real-time data to the orange cable and then back to shore as part of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative.

“The new network allowed us to see in incredible detail where the faults are, and which were active during the eruption,” said lead author William Wilcock, a UW professor of oceanography. The new paper in Science is one of three studies published together that provide the first formal analyses of the seismic vibrations, seafloor movements and rock created during an April 2015 eruption off the Oregon coast. “We have a new understanding of the behavior of caldera dynamics that can be applied to other volcanoes all over the world.”

The studies are based on data collected by the Cabled Array, a National Science Foundation-funded project that brings electrical power and internet to the seafloor. The observatory, completed just months before the eruption, provides new tools to understand one of the test sites for understanding Earth’s volcanism.

[Read the full story at UW Today]

Still space in OCEAN 409: Marine Pollution

Profile photo of Rick Keil
Rick Keil

Ocean 409: Marine Pollution taught by Oceanography Professor and Program on the Environment Director Rick Kiel still has space available. Although the course has a listed pre-requisite of OCEAN 210: Integrative Oceans, interested Marine Biology minors without this course are still strongly encouraged to contact Rick (rickkeil [at] uw [dot] edu) as he is willing to be flexible. This course can help fulfill the ‘Oceanography Elective’ requirement of the Marine Biology Minor.

Ocean Observatories Initiative news story on UW Today


See, hear and study the deep sea: Ocean Observatories Initiative data now live

Check out a livestream from a more exotic source than usual: the bottom of the ocean off the Oregon Coast. Read more on UW Today about how data from the Ocean Observatories Initative is available to the public. Current UW students interested in learning more can take OCEAN 121: Deep Sea Vents or OCEAN 454: Hydrothermal Systems in winter. OCEAN 454 can be applied to the requirements of a Minor in Marine Biology.

[Ocean Observatories Initiative Live Video Stream]